The environment is sustained by trees, which cleanse the air and stabilize the earth, and the references in Jewish sources to the importance of protecting them are meant to be guidelines for caring for the planet in general.
The distortions and falsification of biblical history not only led to the persecution of countless numbers of Jews but contributed to the great divide between Judaism and Christianity, which only now is on a path of reconciliation.
Now as then, atrocities occur all around us; now, as then, they're not real until they happen to be reported. Initially, we're upset, but it takes too much time and energy to sustain that -- we begin to tune out.
Obama's visit to the West Bank took him into the center of the Palestinian tragedy where outrage over Israel's military occupation and civilian settlements has been punctuated by bursts of terrorist violence, quiet oppression, and demoralizing acquiescence.
Not knowing what else to do at this time with what they considered to be my gender non-conformity, my parents sent me to a child psychologist at the age of four until my 13th birthday because they feared that I might be gay (or to use the terminology of the day, "homosexual").
In every gallery I was surrounded by paintings that featured a cast of characters and lavish settings that bore no resemblance to the world that Jesus and his followers inhabited. Every wall greeted me with blond, fair-skinned European figures.
The greatly increased willingness of European Muslim leaders to denounce attacks on Jews and work with authorities to prevent future occurrences is a vital component in combined efforts to protect the security of Jews across the continent.
Unlike scientific claims, beliefs cannot be arbitrated to determine which is valid because there is no objective basis on which to compare one set of beliefs to another. Those two world views are not closer than we think; they are as far apart as could possibly be imagined.
Draw your family close to you, lay the table with unspeakably unhealthy foods, turn the volume way up on the flat screen television, take the remote away from your brother, welcome in your friend's friend's friend and give thanks for all of your blessings.