Visiting Brooklyn

  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

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

Stoicism As Therapy

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

The War on Christmas

} It’s as though the city is under siege. We have seen more than one would-be Xmas tree vendor hauled of in handcuffs. Happy Holiday goons forced a local store to take down a window display that slightly resembled a manger. Traditional Christmas drinks like eggnog are banned for the month of December, but our … More The War on Christmas

Fairy Tales

Money can’t buy happiness. This is fairy tale that we tell ourselves to feel less envious of the rich and that the rich promote in order to feel safer. It’s true, of course, that happiness isn’t a commodity you can buy on Amazon. And it’s also true that rich can be quite miserable. But having … More Fairy Tales