A majority of languages around the world have no gender distinctions in pronouns. So why is using “they” as a singular pronoun considered so politically and grammatically unconventional?
Does True Charity Exist? — July 29, 2013, Sermon
…giving that makes use of the head as well as the heart – that uses economists, philosophers, business people, scientists to direct charitable gifts in the most effective ways.
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Church Issues — June 6, 2010, Sermon
What every single one of these issues has in common is that the opinions about them are fiercely held.
The Challenge of Compassion — February 26, 2012, Sermon
Now that I think of it, I guess I showed compassion by stepping in for an ailing minister with just a few days’ notice in February 2012, to write and deliver this sermon on compassion. ***** Rick Ruzzamenti, of Riverside, California, is an electrical contractor with a surly streak and an impulsive side. But he…
A Noiseless Patient Spider
We all yearn for connection, and no one has captured that feeling as well as Walt Whitman in this 1868 poem A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them,…
Memories Are Made of This — October 20, 2013, Sermon
This isn’t really the word’s etymology, but when we re-member it’s as though we are bringing together various members of the thought into one coherent memory, and the members – the various bits from various parts of our brain – change over time.
Questions for My Father
Dad, what were you thinking and how were you feeling when you left your little shtetl of Shershov in 1921 and set out alone for the United States? At the age of 23, what made you go? Hunger? War? Pogroms? Poverty? You left behind a brother and sister in that swampy town in what’s now…
Temporarily Embarrassed Millionaires
I used that title for a sermon I delivered in February 2012 about income inequality. The phrase, which has been attributed to Steinbeck, is a very loose paraphrase from his “America and Americans”: Socialism never took root in America because Americans don’t see themselves as poor – only temporarily embarrassed millionaires. I added that, speaking as…
In honor of my Jewish heritage on this Rosh Hashanah, my Mel’s Mouth post for today is this story I told earlier this year about my Aunt Chvolkah. My fledgling blog is also celebrating today its 1,000th page view. I’m grateful and humbled that more than 250 people have checked me out, and I invite…
Heaven Is So High — February 17, 2013, Sermon
Every once in a while we become aware of another group that deserves our attention, that needs people to go to bat for it. Maybe it’s the turn of the mentally ill.