Passover and the Passion

Arthur Yavelberg People sometimes wonder about why the Jewish holiday of Passover often overlaps with the Christian celebration of Easter.  There are many explanations for this—such as both are carryovers from pagan fertility rites having to do with the “rebirth” in spring.  (Hence the use of “eggs” on the Passover seder plate and Easter egg…

Writing a Book That Starts a Movement

(an interview with Jake Frankel of “Authority Magazine”) INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:  As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the pleasure of interviewing  Arthur Yavelberg  A teacher and school administrator for close to 40 years, Arthur Yavelberg has dedicated his career to making complicated issues accessible to…

How Sweet Is It?

“I want to taste sugar. I don’t want to be sugar.” This was a philosophy professor’s point years and years–and years–ago in rejecting what he saw as the premise of mysticism: the dissolution of the self/ego into some kind of union with God. Since then, I have read many things to the effect that this…

A Beetle’s Wisdom

In the Ancient Egypt of the pyramids, the Pharaoh Akhenaten tried to institute a monotheism based on the worship of the Sun. The context was that every morning the star’s all powerful light conquered the dreaded darkness of night, thus announcing the daily assured victory of the good and rational over evil and ignorance with…

Faith or Reason?

(Published in The Arizona Daily Star, March 5, 2023) Consider the following scenario: there is someone you have known for years, practically your entire life. You love and trust this person who has always been there for you, no matter what, and has even saved your very life a time or two. As it turns…

“Do You Love Me?”

“Do you love me?”  Most people see such a question and assume it comes from some starry-eyed indvidual–thrilled with emotion, but quivering that the feelings are not mutual. Depending on the experiences of the reader, the reactions might range from a nostalgic “How sweet!” to the hardened “How stupid!” to the cynical “How naive!” There…

What Makes a Mystic?

“I need to find myself” is a common refrain. Unfortunately, it often refers to something “out there”–a career, perhaps, or a relationship–as opposed to identifying and pursuing one’s own internal passion. The irony is that, when engaged in that passion, one loses the sense of self. Think of the sentence “I am singing.” Most will…