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CVA Weekly Newsletter
September 11, 2013

  1. Comment on Last Week’s Essay
  2. Quotation
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Comment on Last Week’s Essay
Betsy Wosko, commenting on last week’s essay “Who Is a Person?” writes:
I always enjoy your commentary, and look forward to it! May I, however, respectfully and gently take issue with your remark that you are skeptical that insects and mollusks meet the criteria for personhood, with the following argument: if one tries to kill an insect, the insect will take evasive action. That evasive action is an expression of a desire to avoid pain, and hence, evidence of the capacity to feel pleasure or pain, which was Jeremy Bentham's definition of "sentience" as it relates to fundamental rights. I am sure mollusks also exercise similar care. Insects are Divine, too.  Also, behold the industry, strength, and organizational capacity of ants! Ants can carry far more than their body weight! There is so much to delight in ants, as part of God's creation.

2. Quotation
This week, I submit a quotation from Rabbi Heschel, and I welcome readers to reply with thoughts and comments:
“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion – its message becomes meaningless.”

- Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Worldly Troubles

Your question and comments are welcome

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