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My dear readers, let's look for a few moments behind the news. As we may readily learn from the philosophers, every sham can have a patina.
Every four years America looks to a new president as a source of real hope. And every four years the code word of each yelling aspirant is "change."
"There were these two diamond dealers negotiating over a diamond.
Ravaged by excess - of consumption and commodities rather than of understanding - America now lives anxiously in crowds. This is naturally pleasing to politicians of all persuasions, for whom herding the people together where they cannot think is always "good."
One wonders, what are they talking ABOUT? With WHOM are they talking? WHY are they compelled to be SEEN on the phone? And why are they so undeniably eager that others overhear their conversation?
Now that the primary season is seriously upon us, at least one claim is common to all of the candidates. No matter the differences between them, all of the political aspirants exhibit a fundamental populism. "I want to be the people's president" is their shared mantra. Indeed, for any of them to suggest otherwise would be far more than foolish; it would be downright blasphemous.
Personal consumption drives our American economy. To uplift the financial markets and restore confidence on Wall Street and Main Street, everyone now wants the consumer to buy more. Without an aggressive expansion of consumer spending, corporate earnings will remain depressed, growth will stagnate, unemployment will increase, and stock values will decline even further. What then should we do?
A basic tenet of our faith is that there are no random occurrences. The Hebrew word "mikreh" - something that happens coincidentally, also spells the words "karah me'HaShem" - happened by the will of G-d. To be sure, we never know definitive reasons for occurrences - they are beyond the scope of our human minds. But one thing is certain - nothing, but nothing, happens capriciously. It therefore behooves us to at least make an attempt to listen and try to discern the meaning of the messages that HaShem is sending us.