FINGERS CROSSED

Joe Biden ascended to the Oval Office after a tumultuous post-election period. His inaugural address replaced American carnage with American hope, and Washington’s spectacular fireworks celebrated not the individual but our continuing democracy. What lies ahead? President Biden’s call to “come together to carry all of us forward” was heard across the nation. Not all…

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INSURRECTION AND COMPLICITY

Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol unfolded like a TV mini-series. I binge-watched and rejoiced in the failure of an insurrection by American terrorists incited by Donald Trump. Now, we’re being inundated with pangs of conscience. The attempt to overthrow our democratic process prompted much “soul searching.” I’m skeptical. To engage in that activity, you need…

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THE STUMBLING BLOCK

The Senate’s acquittal of Donald Trump was expected. Some Republicans sought cover with Lamar Alexander’s (Tennessee) rationale: What the president did was wrong but didn’t rise to the level of removal from office. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans ignored Leviticus 19:14. Torah commands Israelites not to place a stumbling block before the blind. Literally, one should never…

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ACCEPTING MIND CONTROL

My January 15 post, “Loyalty and Betrayal,” explored the unwillingness of many people to disagree with a group to which they belonged—even when they knew something was wrong. Two more examples highlight the danger inherent in giving up independent thinking and submitting to mind control. Fundamentalist religious sects long have abounded. Judaism has its share.…

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HUMILITY

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey just won the National League’s Most Valuable Player award. (The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera won the AL MVP.) I hope neither tells the world, “I’m humbled.” Baseball players often say that, given the game’s roots in small-town America where seemingly no one can be humble enough. But I’m rankled by…

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