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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...

As Passover begins, Jews around the world will gather at their seder (holiday) table to tell the ancient story of the Exodus, and the journey Moses and the Israelites made from slavery to freedom. As many will recall, the climax of the story occurs when the Israelites, being pursued by Pharaoh and the Egyptian army, come to an impasse. Their escape route is cut off as they have run smack into the Red Sea. Their demise seems all but certain. So what...

The following is by Avi Jorisch, author of the recently published book: Thou Shalt Innovate: How Israeli Ingenuity Repairs the World. It is an important insight and helpful way to understand the story of the Exodus for those preparing for the Jewish holiday of Passover.  An Open Letter to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Dear President Sisi: Egypt’s annual water supply has dropped dramatically in the last 70 years. The United Nations predicts that by 2025, your country will approach a state of...

welaunch was formed with the intention of connecting the Silicon Prairie (the US Midwest) and the Start-up Nation (Israel). But, why? Let’s start with water. Simply put, we have a growing water crisis. When it comes to water - most people don't even realize, we are literally running out. It is not overly dramatic or unfounded to say that at our current pace, within a matter of years, certainly a few decades, we're going to be in dire straits. And it’s...