Opening Thoughts

paginated
BY Joshua Runyan
August 21, 2014

Nobody likes dealing with the dead. So many of us view it as a necessary evil: Attending to the burial of a loved one is seen as a crucial part of the mourning process, but it is never embraced as something to be anticipated. It is what it is, much like death itself. But one CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
August 14, 2014

You need only look at the prime-time television commercials to realize that genealogy is a big business — a $1.6 billion one, in fact, according to a 2012 report on “Good Morning America.” With Ancestry.com’s sepia-toned spots pulling at heartstrings across the country, it seems that more and more people are seeking out their links CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
August 7, 2014

In chemistry, a solvent is a liquid capable of dissolving another substance. The resulting homogeneous mixture is known as a solution. In this regard, water is known as “the universal solvent” because of its unique ability to dissolve seemingly impermeable things. Jewish tradition teaches that the great Rabbi Akiva was even motivated to learn Torah CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
July 31, 2014

Back in February, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned of the consequences facing Israel if the American-led peace talks between the Jewish state and its Palestinian neighbors fell apart. He alluded to the growing strength of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and worried that should peace fail, Israel would find itself isolated CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
July 24, 2014

Three decades ago, faith communities across the Southwestern United States, seeing as their moral duty to protect the downtrodden and vulnerable from what they saw as an almost certain death sentence, decided to break the law and harbor illegal immigrants who had arrived from Central America. Moved by a sense of humanity and an anti-establishment CONTINUE »