Opening Thoughts

BY Joshua Runyan
April 10, 2014

Every now and then, events and timing conspire to offer opportunities for reflection. Looking back at what transpired on the world stage the past week and a half, it’s hard not to wonder: How, when, why did things get so bad? The collapse of the so-called “peace talks” between the Israelis and the Palestinians was CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
April 3, 2014

Memory is a particularly powerful faculty. It helps us learn, it can provide a guide by which to judge future actions and, along with emotions, serves as the foundation upon which human experience is built. Memory is frequently passive, but in a Jewish context it is seen more in terms of a positive act. That’s CONTINUE »

March 27, 2014

At a time in life when others get lost in music or drugs or the high school social scene, one particular headstrong 16-year-old decides that his teenage rebellion requires wearing a yarmulke. He knows little about kashrut, even less about Jewish history and practice, but he knows that he’s Jewish. And so he makes a CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
March 20, 2014

You certainly don’t need to be reminded, but there’s nothing like spending Purim in Baltimore. As if last week’s pre-holiday carnivals weren’t enough, entire streets became parking lots on Sunday, bumper-to-bumper traffic competing with costumed revelers in the race to deliver precious shlach manot to neighbors and friends. The scene was one of tremendous unity, CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
March 13, 2014

You don’t need to be a political scientist to recognize that what passes for social discourse nowadays is anything but social. The severity of the invective and the frequency with which it appears can be observed in the corridors of power, can be read in the newspapers — particularly among the letters to the editor CONTINUE »