Orenthal James

O.J. Simpson passed away.  I don’t bring that up to recall his infamous murder trial or that surrealistic drive in the white Bronco that mesmerized people all over the world. I also am not bringing it up to remember his extraordinary football playing career—though I still cringe a bit at the thought that the Philadelphia…

It Aint Over Till…

“If there is nothing for which you would commit murder, you cannot play the role of Lady MacBeth!”  That is how the now aging opera diva, Maria Callas, dismissed a young, pretty, but not quite ripened, ingenue who aspired to one day take center stage on her own.  She had the voice, yes, and even…

Not Two

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Dt. 6:5) Most people think of the term “integrity” in the moral context of “honesty,” with the opposite being “dishonesty.”  That is technically not the case.  “Integrity”–which has the same root as “integer” or…

Nirvana is Within You

A friend was telling me about a recent visit to Turkey which included the ancient monastic cells of monks in the caves of Cappadocia. As he considers himself a “typical engineering type,” he was trying to understand why people would adopt such a reclusive lifestyle. I agreed with him, but not for any mathematical formulas…

“To Be or Not To Be”

This is a painting by the 20th Century American Painter, Edward Hopper.  It is titled, “Night Hawks.”  To ask in the spirit of Captain Obvious: is this real?  The answer, though, is not so obvious.  It is “real” in the sense that it is a painting that one can see, touch and even smell.  In…

“Not So Far Away”

On the flight on the way back from Europe I was able to watch two movies. One was “Hypnotic” about a sinister conspiracy to use the mind’s power to control others through the telepathic creation of “hypnotic constructs.” The other was “Corner Office,” which depicts a middle manager who could be extremely effective in his…

A Not So Still, Small Voice

Arthur Yavelberg  In times of terrible tragedies—whether personal or world-wide—many in the West think of the Bible and pray.  While the text of the prayer may be general–”Please fix this!”–there is usually the hope that there will be some dramatic, divine intervention—much like, say, God splitting the Red Sea in the Book of Exodus.  However,…

Voltaire or Shakespeare?

Voltaire was an 18th Century French playwright.  Highly influential regarding the French Revolution,  he was a rabid atheist and satirist. He wrote:  “One hundred years from my day, there will not be a Bible on earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity-seeker.”    Ironically, it is also said that, some 50 years…

The Blind Leading

“Peaky Blinders” is a show on Netflix that takes place in Birmingham, England, with a largely poor Irish community in the ’20’s. The main character, Thomas, is essentially a gangster–into bookmaking, murder, and whatever may be necessary–but is very bright and may have a good heart, maybe softened or hardened by experiences in World War…