Blog

DOES JESUS HATE DEMOCRACY?

By David Perlstein | January 19, 2024 |

For many Donald Trump supporters, Monday’s Republican primary win was all about Jesus. Before the caucuses, CNN interviewed a Trump supporter—a white, middle-aged woman and evangelical Christian. “God puts leaders over us,” she said. The reporter failed to seek clarification: “Did God put Joe Biden over us?” The woman might have mustered one of several…

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REFORM JEWS AT A CROSSROADS 

By David Perlstein | January 12, 2024 |

Following October 7, the Israel-Hamas war kicked up a small storm in Reform Judaism. My synagogue, Congregation Sherith Israel, has not been immune. I begin with a January 1 column in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper by Daniel Weiner, senior rabbi of Seattle’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai: “What We Reform Jews Forgot to Teach Our Children.” (Daniel Weiner is…

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AGING AND MAKING SPACE 

By David Perlstein | January 5, 2024 |

The American adoration of the rugged, hence isolated, individual becomes most unhelpful as people age. Installing a new Apple TV device offers a prime example. Many elders refuse assistance. Let their children or grandchildren—or professionals—help them get along? That stands as an admission that independence is waning, that they’ll soon be removed from their home…

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A TRULY PIVOTAL 2024 

By David Perlstein | December 29, 2023 |

Every New Year brings hopes and fears but 2024 will play a particularly pivotal role in history. Take November’s election. Donald Trump likely will secure the Republican nomination unless his legal woes and outrageous statements bring some Republicans to their senses—or he’s banned from enough state ballots. The Atlantic’s January/February 2024 issue posits what might happen…

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CHRISTMAS AND “SEX EDUCATION” 

By David Perlstein | December 22, 2023 |

A British TV dramedy about high-school teens involved in endless sex ultimately reveals a lot about the challenges Christmas often poses. Carolyn and I just finished season four (the final) of Netflix’s Sex Education, starring Gillian Anderson and a wonderful cast. Each season starts with copious sex but soon segues into the subject of relationships with…

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CHANUKAH AND HAMAS 

By David Perlstein | December 15, 2023 |

Sundown tonight marks the end of the eight-day Festival of Lights—Chanukah. However, the story we’ve again told usually remains incomplete because we ignore the related law of unintended consequences. Israel should take note. And Hamas. Around 164 BCE, traditional Jews defeated their Seleucid Greek overlords and also Jewish Hellenizers. The winners cleaned and rededicated (the…

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GENOCIDE AND CONTEXT 

By David Perlstein | December 8, 2023 |

Today’s first day of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, arrives during a period of more than seasonal darkness. Israel continues to face the threat of Hamas (and Hezbollah) violence, a war rages in Gaza, and Jews across the globe, including the United States, contend with rising antisemitism. Of note, Jewish college students who support Israel…

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SLOW LAKE—ONE YEAR AFTER 

By David Perlstein | December 1, 2023 |

One year ago, the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority affirmed Lake Street from Arguello (east) and 28th Avenue (west) as a Slow Street. How has that worked out? SFMTA’s website notes reduced vehicle speeds (under 15 mph) and decreased traffic volume (below 1,000 vehicles daily). Great. But those feats weren’t presented as Slow Lake’s goals.…

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A SMALL, BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURE

By David Perlstein | November 17, 2023 |

Carolyn and I have been fortunate to journey across the United States and around the world. Last Sunday, a “mundane” trip close to home provided a great deal of fun.  A sunny autumn day at hand, we left the car home and took public transit to Oakland for lunch with our friends Tamar and Ken. …

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THE 2.5-STATE SOLUTION 

By David Perlstein | November 10, 2023 |

The end of the Israel-Hamas war will come. The ending depends on Israel and the Palestinians looking forward, not backward. Given the October 7 slaughter, Israeli anger is understandable. Israel will destroy Hamas’s infrastructure and fighting capabilities, if not its hatred. Afterwards? Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu approached the slippery slope last Monday when he said…

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