Category Archives: Christianity

Levinas, the Other, and Me

Levinas, the Other, and Me Some years ago, I went to a conference on Emmanuel Levinas at the University of Chicago.  I had just discovered Levinas, found him a dramatically original and appealing philosopher, and went out there with no … Continue reading

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The Past 150 Years: Looking Backwards

The Past 150 years: Looking Backwards I’ve said, and I believe, that our lives are the true stories of who we are – something we find out as we try out the deeds that appear to express who we are … Continue reading

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The Right Way to Act

The Right Way to Act An essay of mine with that title, excerpted from my Good Look at Evil, is now posted on academia.edu.  It’s on the question of how to conduct oneself during one’s Holocaust.  The title is meant … Continue reading

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Sanctifying the Name

Sanctifying the Name Christians have the concept of martyrdom, from a term of Greek  derivation that means witness.  The martyr refuses to renounce her faith despite all that the world can throw against it. The corresponding Jewish figure does something … Continue reading

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How Did I Get To Be This Happy?

How Did I Get To Be This Happy? If I put this question to an existentialist, the answer would be: “Because you’re inauthentic.  You walk around in bad faith.”  The human situation can be deemed absurd (if you’re feeling French) … Continue reading

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Forgiveness Revisited

Forgiveness Revisited Lately I’ve come to a new attitude toward forgiveness and, for me, it’s a really great change.  You might say, it’s a move closer to the Christian view, but that would be misleading.  The change was prompted by … Continue reading

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The Baal Shem Tov

The Baal Shem Tov The Baal Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name) is the preeminent Hassidic master, the 18th-century founder (1700-1760) and prototype of any follower who practices in that tradition.  His very presence was said to be a … Continue reading

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The Fallacy of Misplaced Vagueness

The Fallacy of Misplaced Vagueness The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead spotlighted a previously unrecognized mistake in reasoning: “the fallacy of misplaced concreteness.”  It happens when we confuse an abstract concept for something concrete. Medieval knights set out in quest of … Continue reading

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How to Be Modern

How to Be Modern I’ve never understood why people wanted to be modern in the first place.  Okay, the dentistry is an improvement.  I’ll give you that. On the other hand, Victorian people (as in the novels of Dickens) seemed … Continue reading

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Miracle Stories

Miracle Stories We are just back from another of our week-long stays in Riverside, California.  We go there periodically to get treatments only available from the neuropathy clinic at Loma Linda Hospital. Here’s how we “happened” to learn of this … Continue reading

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