Friday, April 30, 2010

Long on Oil

Happy 97th Birthday to Eleanor Rubinstein, my late grandparents’ mechutan (does that make her my grand-mechutan?) who could still beat most readers of this blog at tennis.

Get this: the very same day that we learned about BP springing a leak in the Gulf of Meh-hee-ko, we discovered that our kitchen faucet had a leak. Freaky or what??!!

(For those who have been flabbergasted by our stranger-than-fiction news of late, that last paragraph was said tongue firmly in cheek, or thumb in fist as it were.)

Raise your hand if you'd be willing to pay more to drive in order to avoid these mind-boggling spills.

So is there, you ask, a "Jewish" spin on the mega-disaster?

First of all, be prepared to defend Israel and the Jews for causing this catastrophe, along with the bankruptcy of Greece and the Iceland volcano.

Second of all, in proper rabbinic fashion, why don't I answer the question with a question...for your table of course:

What do the BP slick, the Goldman-Sachs affair, the China real estate bubble and John Lennon's lyrics for sale all have in common?

After you ponder that one for awhile, you might consider this take:

It's actually quite simple. These stories make worldwide headlines because they have worldwide impact. The common thread is that we are all connected to one another. Humanity is like a person with many cells, organs and limbs. To fight each other is like cutting off one's proverbial nose to spite one's proverbial face (to coin a proverbial phrase).

The only way to proverbial Mt. Sinai (or choose your own symbol of human spiritual quest) is by working together, or to quote the modern proverb...

You better recognize your brother
in everyone you meet.

You know I spend a lot of time talking to individuals about their stressed-out all-but-broken relationships. Everybody wants an uplifting, compassionate, loving, unifying relationship. We get stuck in these ruts of resentment and criticism.

What's the way out?

Put your thoughts (and those of your table) in the comments below. Anyone who gets the right answer will win a copy of the new edition of the Art of Amazement.

Shabbat Shalom

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." - Churchill


PS - Two weeks ago, I posted this uplifting Jewish story. It's still uplifting. Don't read it if you don't want to be uplifted:

Soldier, survivor have emotional reunion | The Detroit News

In the fall of 1945, a Soviet soldier hoisted a 5-year-old boy aloft and paraded him through a Lithuanian synagogue that had been closed throughout a long Nazi occupation.

For 65 years, the boy and the soldier carried that moment in their heads and hearts. Unknown to each other, they told the story to family and friends. A Toronto songwriter memorialized it in song. The boy became a man and included the anecdote in his 2003 book.

On Thursday, they met and embraced for the first time since then in Rabbi Leo Goldman's Oak Park living room.

(click to read more)

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