Opening Thoughts

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 »

BY Hannah M. Heller
July 24, 2014

“I am now a vegetarian,” our daughter, 11, announced proudly one night in 2001. “Why now,” I wanted to know? “I just bought one of your favorite foods — hot dogs.” To many people, becoming a vegetarian can appear to be a phase until the newness and excitement wear off. Our Gila, however, is a CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
July 10, 2014

According to the biblical account, creation didn’t take place through fire or a divine wind. The world instead came into being through speech. As taught and amplified by the Jewish tradition in the thousands of years since that seminal event, words — even when limited to the constricted realm of human speech — have retained CONTINUE »