July 15, 2020

Recent current events reminded me of a beautiful story I heard years ago. A boy was shorter than his younger brother, and it bothered him greatly. One day, he shoved his brother into a shallow ditch, and then stood beside him and gloated that he was now taller. His father, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, approached with a stool. He helped his younger so...

July 3, 2020

With all of its flaws and opportunities for improvement, what is great about America is the ideal, enshrined in its founding documents, that all of its citizens are free to believe and practice as they choose. 

There are those who believe at this moment that America's independence is not something to celebrate. They are highly attuned to the oppress...

June 24, 2020

I read an interesting line today from an author I respect, Jonathan Tobin:  "Those who marched in the past for civil rights did so not because they felt that America was an irredeemably racist nation that needed to be completely rethought, but because they thought racism was a betrayal of the nation’s founding principles."  (https://bit.ly/2zXjzVI)...

June 9, 2020

25 years ago, I married the spectacular woman who I had been lucky enough to meet and fall in love with eight years earlier when we were in highschool. I have been blessed with her companionship and guidance, and with the beautiful family that we have worked together to raise.

This is not a love note to my wife. I will send her that privately. This...

June 2, 2020

The world is not black and white.  It is complex and puzzling.  There are no easy answers.  But sometimes, things are clear.  It is clear at this moment that black Americans have suffered violence and bias in this country for far too long, and more must be done by all of us to support and defend them, to assure them that we will no longer tolerate...

August 6, 2019

There is clearly something wrong in America. We didn’t need two more mass shootings over the past weekend to convince us of that, but they certainly did shine a glaring spotlight on our defects and instability. Anyone who is unaware of the crisis in this country need only peruse the media headlines in the days and weeks BEFORE the recent shootings,...

May 21, 2019

I want to apologize from the get go. I am, by virtue of writing and disseminating this article, contributing to the problem. The problem is only getting worse, and I am hereby guilty of aggravating it further.

The problem is the ubiquity of commentary and critique. So much commentary and critique! Everyone’s a pundit. An expert. Myself included. My...

April 29, 2019

There is a Police presence at my children’s school today in the wake of the shooting at a synagogue in San Diego. And there is a grotesque cartoon (which I refuse to reprint) in the New York Times from this past weekend which exposes deep and blatant anti-semitism in one of the country’s oldest and most trusted newspapers. It’s a troubling time! Tr...

February 19, 2019

Julia Dhar is a world debating champion.  In a time when “contempt has replaced conversation," her professed “mission in life is to help us disagree productively.”

In this timely Ted talk delivered in October of 2018, Dhar describes how the rules of formal debate and the techniques of the most successful debaters can assist us in restoring respect a...

December 20, 2018

As American social and political discourse grows increasingly contentious, a variety of theories have been advanced to explain and explore the source and root causes of our current division.  In his excellent piece “The Outrage Epidemic”, economist Russ Roberts begins with a succinct overview of the situation and a warning of the seriousness of the...

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