Opening Thoughts

BY Joshua Runyan
April 24, 2014

The year 1939 saw an upheaval the likes of which the modern world has rarely experienced. German troops marched into Poland that September, ushering in a world war that would ultimately change the maps of Europe and the Middle East, lay waste to vast swaths of land spanning three continents and wipe out millions of CONTINUE »

BY Joshua Runyan
April 17, 2014

Any doubts as to the danger of anti-Semitism in the United States were unfortunately put to rest this week when a gunman’s bullets — smack dab in the middle of middle America — claimed the lives of three people at Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kan. We now know that the 73-year-old man from Aurora, CONTINUE »

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 »