Free Forum Q&A: SARA DAVIDSON, author of THE DECEMBER PROJECT: An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Take Aim at Our Greatest MysteryWritten on July 18th, 2014
We all deal day to day with a lot of questions and a lot of fears – around work, money, health, politcs, relationships. And at some point, we will all deal with the final fears and the final questions – fear of death and questions about what it means and what if anything comes after.
At his request, today’s guest, SARA DAVIDSON met every Friday for two years with 89-year-old RABBI ZALMAN SHACHTER-SHALOMI, the iconic founder of the Jewish Renewal movment, to discuss what he calls THE DECEMBER PROJECT. “When you can feel in your cells that you’re coming to the end of your tour of duty,” in tHe rabbi’s words, “what is the spiritual work of this time, how do we prepare for the mystery?”
Davidson, who describes herself as having a seeker’s heart and a skeptic’s mind, feared death would be a complete annihilation, while Reb Zalman felt certain that “something continues.” He didn’t want to convince her of anything, but to loosen her mind.” Through their talks, he wanted to help people “not freak out about dying,” and enable them to have a more heightened and grateful life.
ZACHARY KARABELL argues that the economies of China and the US have melded over the past 20 years, as billions of dollars flow east from the US for Chinese-made goods and return to this country from China in exchange for IOUs.
"This mega-economy is hiding in plain sight, unrecognized, unacknowledged, and unwanted by many millions whose lives are being reshaped by it." Karabell's not suggesting this is an unalloyed good thing, "but it's a fact. And it's better to deal with reality than live in a fantasy land."
ZACHARY KARABELL is President of River Twice Research, where he analyzes economic and political trends. He is also a senior advisor for Business for Social Responsibility, which develops sustainable business strategies. Previously, he was president of Fred Alger and Company; and portfolio manager of the award-winning China-U.S. Growth Fund, and launched the $30 million Spectra Green Fund, linking profit and sustainability.
Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, his previous books include A Visionary Nation: Four Centuries of American Dreams and What Lies Ahead, The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election, and Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Coexistence.