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Author: baruch

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Mindfulness. It's a buzz word. Every spiritual center, house of worship or yoga studio you attend preaches mindfulness these days. It's thrown around in pop culture, in New Age circles and in the office. "I practice mindfulness." "I'm trying to be more mindful." "You should cultivate mindfulness." But why is it en vogue and what does it mean? One of the reasons it's so popular is because it transcends religion. You can be Christian and mindful, Jewish and mindful, even secular and mindful. It isn't...

Here's a thought about water on this very wet (at least here in Denver) day. The Biblical creation story (which Jews around the world read about in the Torah this week), walks us through God's creation of the world. It describes the formation of almost everything - from bugs to babies, from food to creepy crawly things to college football (OK, it's not exactly in there but it should be) - it's all there. However, until it was pointed out to me,...

Recently I spoke at the OKA Institute Water Sustainability Conference on Israel's rise as a water superpower, or what I call, "The Aqua Nation." In my talk I spoke about Israel's amazing accomplishments in the area of water, such as: Israel treats nearly all of it's sewage and reuses almost 90% of it for agriculture Israel is the only country in the world with a net gain of trees over the past century Israel is the only country in the...

Why is it that whenever we experience droughts our first inclination is to pray? From Moses and the Israelites to today’s politicians, praying for rain seems to be a knee jerk reaction. Water shortages. Droughts. No rain. Many believe this constitutes cause to turn our eyes heavenwards and cry out to God to make it rain. Certainly it’s not shocking to read about Moses doing this multiple times during the Exodus from Egypt. Whether or not you are religious, as a...

Having retired from being a synagogue rabbi a few years back, there are times, like right now as Jews around the world head into Yom Kippur, when I truly miss it. Yom Kippur is a unique and amazing opportunity, both because it’s the largest turnout in a synagogue all year along, and also because it is such an introspective, sincere and open hearted holy day. For clergy like me, a passionate preacher from Nebraska, it was the spiritual Super Bowl and...

Jews around the world prepare to usher in Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, through prayer, family gatherings and, of course, the ritual of eating apples and honey (symbolizing a sweet New Year). Certainly it is a great opportunity to stop and reflect upon so many important things. This year, however, how about reflecting upon the importance of that actual honey you are about to consume? Did you know: Honey bees are responsible for 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. A single...

As I pack my bags readying to leave, after three amazing years living in Israel, I’m reflecting on all the insights, lessons and inspiration I’ll take with me. Nothing has been more profound than this. Israel isn’t simply the modern, Start-up Nation, but equally the ancient Entrepreneur Nation, creating and nurturing entrepreneurs for four thousand years and counting. Thanks to this entrepreneurial spirit  I am a better person and this world is truly a better place. How In The Heck...

Acres of Diamonds There is a famous story called “Acres of Diamonds,” about a man in an African village who was visited by a traveller who told him of rumors that diamonds had been found across the river. This man became obsessed with discovering such diamonds, sold his home and wandered off in search of treasures.. After years of difficult and fruitless searching, destitute and in a state of desperation, he threw himself into the sea. Meanwhile, back at the home...