May 04, 2021
“If there is only one book you are going to read….” is not something I say often, and something I don’t think should ever be said about a topic as important and as complicated as the Holocaust. I will say though, that anyone who cares about the topic, or any questions of evil and how we respond to it, really must read Faris Cassell’s new, and already award-winning book, The Unanswered Letter. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Faris about her work, which had already been awarded first place in......
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January 22, 2021
The Meaning of this Day, January 27, 2021 In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27–the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau–as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges the world community to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism. The theme guiding Holocaust remembrance in 2021 is Facing the Aftermath: Recovery and Reconstitution After The Holocaust. The never-ending process of recovery and reconstitution of individuals, communities, and systems of justice includes: accurately recording the......
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January 14, 2021
Donald Trump is mentally ill and needs a constitutional straitjacket. He is hungry for adulation to compensate for a mind-blowing inner lack of self-worth -that even those of us most horrified by his venality have to feel a smidgeon of compassion for. His most violent followers – a minority of the 70+ million people who voted for him – rendered needy, powerless, and stripped of their dignity by serious societal stress – have through their adulating Trump felt powerful. The violence of last Wednesday and the violence of Trump’s administration is a......
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January 13, 2021
To impeach or not to impeach. That is the question. Or is it? Perhaps the more important question at this moment is not a question of what to do, but of why we do it. That has certainly been my approach, as I am asked if there are any spiritual or religious responses to the cresting chorus of those who are ready to explain the “right answer” to the question of impeachment — Focusing on the “why” more than the “what.” The question of whether or not the President should be impeached,......
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December 15, 2020
I sat down recently with Beth Kissileff, a TWD contributor who has a new book out — one reflecting how different people in Pittsburgh have processed, and continue to process the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue building, which occurred a little more than 2 years ago. Our conversation was about “more” than one terrible event, as you will see. It’s not simple to write, think, or talk about tragedy, but this was an attempt to do just that. We do not only, or even primarily, look back. Instead, I hope......
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December 03, 2020
By decree of Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma is observing today, Thursday, December 3rd, as a day of prayer and fasting, asking God “To heal those who are sick, comfort those who are hurting and provide renewed strength and wisdom to all who are managing the effects of COVID-19.” I applaud the Governor, most of his decree, and all those who would join him in prayer and fasting, even, or especially if they don’t believe in God. Yes, I am applauding the state-sponsored establishment of a religious day, even though I believe in......