http://jewishcurrents.org/miracle-on-blanshard-street/ MIRACLE ON BLANSHARD STREET By Alan Rutkowski on December 13, 2017. by Alan Rutkowski VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA in Canada, has a small Jewish community of around 3,000 and is home to Canada’s oldest continuously existing congregation, Congregation Emanu-El. The building that houses Congregation Emanu-El, which was built in 1863, is also the oldest synagogue building on the west … More Miracle on Blanshard St.
The most striking thing about Donald Trump isn’t his propensity to lie or his Sarah-Palin-like ignorance of the issues and lack of curiosity about them, his boorish name-calling, or even his orange-tinted skin and ridiculous hairdo. The most striking thing about Trump is his complete lack of humour. He has never uttered a witticism or … More Humourless Trump
http://jewishcurrents.org/why-single-israel-out/ WHY SINGLE ISRAEL OUT? By Alan Rutkowski on August 10, 2017. WHY SINGLE ISRAEL OUT? This is a question often posed to those of us, Jews and non-Jews, who oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and advocate for Palestinian rights. After all, Israel is, as they say, the “only democracy in the region.” Of course, calling … More
http://jewishcurrents.org/my-path-to-atheism/ I RECENTLY HAD an epiphany: I don’t believe in God. For a very long time — most of my life, actually — I sort of thought I did. Religion has played a big part in my life. For some reason my mother, who was not religious at all, sent my sister and me to a … More My Path to Atheism
My wife and I just spent a couple of weeks in Brooklyn visiting our six-year-old grandson Sam and his parents. They live in Carroll Gardens, an old Italian neighborhood of lovely brownstones and corner stores that is rapidly gentrifying. Middle-aged and elderly Italian men in the neighborhood seem to be living out the stereotypes … More Visiting Brooklyn
http://jewishcurrents.org/reflections-on-conversion-and-a-trip-to-israel/ I CAME of age in the United States during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. Although I certainly never put my life on the line as some did in those struggles, as a university student I participated in them, especially the anti-war movement, and they contributed to my core values and political … More Reflections on Conversion and a Trip to Israel
I have taken up Stoicism as a practical life philosophy. My main source of information about Stoicism is Massimo Pigliucci’s blog “How to Be a Stoic,” which I highly recommend. I find Stoicism therapeutic, and in fact various modern cognitive therapies such as Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy have consciously drawn on the insights of the … More Stoicism As Therapy
Ethnic pride has always seemed a little strange to me. One’s ethnicity is simply a question of birth, and having been born into a particular group is obviously not an accomplishment. Most of us readily reject collective guilt but have no problem with collective pride. As comedian Doug Stanhope said, “Nationalism does nothing but teach … More Collective Pride and Collective Shame
I have an academic friend who said on the night of Donald Trump’s election that he felt like a social democrat waking up in Berlin in 1933. His quip nicely captured the shock all non-Trump voters felt that night. It has been small comfort that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote; Trump is the President. … More Trump and the Demise of Civility
Of all the baffling aspects of the Donald Trump phenomenon, one of the most baffling and appalling for me has been the support he has had from white Evangelical Protestants and Catholics. Okay, I get the opposition to abortion, but surely Christian values can’t be reduced to opposition to abortion. What about love, respect, caring … More Trump: What Would Jesus Do?