Chris Botti: The trumpet doesn't care about the national anthem or anything, it's just going to beat you down every day. So you need to practice it hours and hours and hours a day; otherwise it will take control of you rather quickly.
This work calls upon us to imitate God in order to bring God's presence into our lives and the lives of others. On Shemini Atzeret, we think about God seeking to linger in our presence because God needs us as much as we need God.
What is especially exciting is that the rationale for the Center has little to do with the millions of people who travel to Las Vegas every year to enjoy the hotels, gambling and shows for which Las Vegas has become famous.
There is something feverish about listening to Cesar Franck. Something in this music takes you to another place. The hairs rise on the back of your neck. The response it evokes is physical as well as intellectual.
The Washington Post's Gene Weingarten won the Pulitzer for Feature Writing for the delightful "Pearls Before Breakfast," an experiment in context, beauty, and willingness to ignore the rest of the world for the sake of your Blackberry.