July 31, 2014

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The Rabbi
What’s the worth of a person? Print E-mail

“How much was he worth?” The old farmer queried, as he sat close to the pot-bellied stove in the country store. The store owner narrowed his eyes and stared long and hard out the window as if mentally gathering evidence for his reply concerning the passing of a well known citizen of this community. He pursed his lips and replied, “I’d say…..at least….$75,000!” He exhaled in a sigh of admiration and envy. “At least that much,” he appended. I was a high school student when I heard this interchange; today $75,000 would be the equivalent of a million dollars, or more.

The problem of violence in the USA Print E-mail

The newspapers and newscasts in the Tampa area blazoned the news in early January: “Man killed in Theater While Texting!” The story unfolded: Chad Oulson, 43, was with his wife, 33, waiting for the movie to begin in Wesley Chapel which is just off I-75, about 15 minutes south of Brooksville, where we reside during the winter. Oulson got into an argument with Curtis Reeves, 71, a decorated retired Tampa police officer who was sitting behind the Oulsons, because Oulson was texting during the previews.

How does this Winter compare with the Winters in 1977 and 1978 and 1963? Print E-mail

Stanley Bishop driving his truck in the winter of 1978 near Hayes Station Road and pictured in the back, from left, Brian Crouch and James O’Hara.


When Janice and I left Butler for Florida on January 3, it was 2 above zero. According to our neighbors, the temperature that day did not get above 8 above and fell to 10 below that night. And, as you are well aware, it has been a relatively cold and snowy winter thus far. We began to wonder how this winter compared to other unusually cold and snowy ones. We talked with some old timers and consulted with Ms. Cheri  Figgins, Director of the Pendleton County Public Library which has files of most, if not all, of The Falmouth Outlooks. Following are our findings:

Stupefying our Youth Print E-mail

I do not like Bill O’ Reilly of Fox News. I find him to be arrogant and egotistical. He interrupts guests on his program. And he brags about the books he has written.

But I find myself agreeing with many of the points he makes. His books on Killing Lincoln, Kennedy, and Jesus are the most powerful histories I have ever read. And, a recent Factor program provided some of the material for this column. To be sure, he is conservative, but he backs up his point of view with an arsenal of facts. Finally, I think he is the most powerful voice in America for common-sense morality!

Profile of a Back Operation Print E-mail

When I withdrew from writing several weeks past, I knew that I was going to have a major surgery on my back and that I would be under high dosage of pain medication for several weeks. Both of these have proven true, but I have missed writing and offer my experience with this common ailment among us oldies and others, not for sympathy, but to provide one man’s experience as I battle to maintain an upright position. If you have back problems, especially if you are an oldie, I think you will find my experience enlightening.

New Year Resolutions: How Can We Improve! Print E-mail

Dedicated to Janelle Gardner, By the Rabbi

I have heard many say that they did not make New Year resolutions because they were so easily broken that they simply (the breaking therof) reinforced bad feelings about themselves.

Admittedly, we often make resolutions about losing weight which is a tough one to keep, and the way we make the resolution often dooms us to failure. However, by turning the resolution into a goal we have a much better chance of succeeding.

Happiness? Some Factors Print E-mail

“Collins,” he said disconsolately, “Money is a nuisance!” He did not elaborate. I grinned at him as we finished our meal and waited for the program to begin.

He was an elderly gentleman who always seemed to have a cocked-hat chuckle and I was very fond of his company. I knew that he had lived frugally and had made a lucrative investment late in life.  Both he and I had grown up when times were hard economically. We were taught to work hard and save and invest. To discipline ourselves in terms of purchases. To care for our family and pass onto our children whatever was left. At the same time we were taught to keep material things in perspective. To realize that the measure of one’s life consisted of far more than things. To give responsibly to the church and other reliable charities.

White Christmas at the Falmouth Baptist Church, December 15 Print E-mail

Outside the air was crisp, cool, bracing; bringing to mind a Christmas card of snow and sleighs and persons going to church in the country, beside frozen brooks and arched bridges. Those were days when a stocking with some candy and an orange and an apple were considered a nice Christmas. Those were days when many of us did not have much, but we did not know any better and rejoiced in the simpler things that many scoff at today. And, as we look back to those days we realize that for all our getting of things today: big things, little things, simple things, ornate things, we have chased a mirage for we are not as well satisfied now as then.

So Long for a While Print E-mail

I am reminded of what a friend said to me a few months past. “There are persons who hate you for what you write!” I sloughed it off, but his contention has come home to roost with me because of some letters written to the editor of The Falmouth Outlook. I have been called a bigot and a purveyor of hatred, both of which are not what I perceive myself to be.

Obamacare: Good?...Bad? Print E-mail

The airways during the past week have been filled with news on the roll out of Obamacare. Some have touted it as an early Christmas present to our nation while others have a very negative view of its advent.

I received the following in the US mail recently which raises some issues with this major legislation passed early in President Obama’s first term. Among the criticisms are the following:


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