Words are also things. They have weight and substance. They are real and tangible. But that doesn't mean we understand them. And so the conversation becomes harder, because it hardly seems we're part of the same conversation. Here, then, is my list, a glossary of words of my choosing, with definitions and annotations I've devised.
As an American for whom war has always been an awful abstract, this is a surreal experience. The siren wails, and I know that missiles are coming, missiles shot only moments ago by Hamas, by people who want to kill me, my neighbors, my countrymen and women. It's not a movie. It's really happening.
This year, amidst the war that rages on the ground, in the shattered remnants of our hearts, we believe the world needs an extra Shabbat of Comfort, an extra dose of compassion, an extra week to seek comfort for all of God's fragile creation.
ISIS is now forcing the approximately 3,000 Christians remaining in Mosul, a major city with thousands of years of Christian history, to choose between essentially the same options given to Jews in 1492: live under intolerable, impoverishing dhimmi status; convert to Islam; leave; or die.
All the chatter about disproportion in war, laced with macho innuendo about size, stature, relevance and subordination is of course a sideshow compared to the horrific slaughter and existential threat of the Gaza-Israel war.
What is justice, and what is vengeance?
Our ubiquitous social media are a game changer: having seen pictures of dead boys on a beach, we cannot un-see them.
It is disappointing, but perhaps not surprising, that blame for the current violence has been placed on Israel rather than on Hamas.
Every 6-year-old in Gaza is now living through the third war in their life. Aside from the risks they face of being injured or killed, one cannot begin to fathom what this means for their long-term mental health and well-being.
In the face of the ongoing aggression, the ensuing humanitarian crisis, and the political stalemate between Israel and Hamas, I have written this letter to my former congressional colleagues.
Anyone who spends time investigating the reason that there is no peace between Arab and Jew will likely find that the fingers point both ways and at times towards the U.S.
With ongoing rocket attacks on Israel and unrelenting retaliatory airstrikes in densely populated parts of Gaza, both Hamas and the Israeli government appeared to be potentially violating the fundamental laws of war.
The war in Gaza roars on and a storm of words are bandied about, unfiltered and at times, even un-thought. In the past few weeks I've done my own share of opining -- I won't be doing only that here. Rather, I'm going to show you an example of bridge building, as of late, an activity in short supply.
It is a common theme throughout the world that governments like to create war and the people they govern would rather live in peace.
Qatar's latest investment in Israeli Palestinian soccer comes against a backdrop of a war of words between the two countries over the Gulf state's support for Hamas, the Islamist militia that controls the war-wracked Gaza Strip.
How similar is Qatar's real face to the image it's trying to portray? For one thing, Qatar has funded many extremist Islamic movements, such as ISIS, something it's probably regretted once ISIS got out of hand.