4,000 comics tried—Alper’s ‘original’ humor wins
COVER STORY: We’re all celebrating the international honor bestowed on Rabbi Bob Alper, author and full-time standup comic, whose 11-second joke beat out 4,000 comedians from around the world to win the title: Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope. No kidding! It’s true. Our latest story tells: Why did the rabbi cross the finish line? And, we reveal other news, including the joke itself.
GOT ‘SOCKS’? After years of circling the globe to foster peace in some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts, Daniel Buttry publishes a book packed with dozens of the most inspirational stories from his long career. Here’s the story about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in this accompanying short video, you can hear Dan himself tell you the surprising story behind the new book’s title: We Are the Socks.
HEROES OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM—Daniel Buttry turns to the U.S. in his series of inspiring profiles: InterfaithPeacemakers. He writes: “Political campaigns already are underway, polarizing many communities. And already there has been much discussion about religion. … This week, we feature three interfaith heroes who laid the foundations for religious liberty in our country. It would behoove us to keep these heroes in mind during our political campaigns!” You’re also free to share these profiles of Roger Williams, Haym Salomon, and John Leland to help spark discussion.
FESTIVALS & FOOD
ALL THE HOLIDAYS—You’ll find all of our holiday coverage at the easy URL: www.InterfaithHolidays.com … including this overview of autumn holidays, festivals and special themes.
CANADIAN THANKSGIVING—Our friends to the North hold their Thanksgiving celebration a month earlier than American families. Stephanie Fenton has the story—and links to 10 Canadian tips from the CBC for making Thanksgiving dinner easier this year. (If you’re American, read ’em now and you’ve got more than a month to prepare.)
COLUMBUS DAY—As we report, “few holidays expose the friction in U.S. history as much as Columbus Day.” Our story covers the beloved Italian-American festival as well as the growing interest in an Indigenous People’s Day. (Both observances are Monday October 12 this year, but check local calendars as some communities are celebrating on Sunday October 11.)
ROLL YOUR OWN! One way to enjoy the complex flavors of the autumn harvest is blending and rolling in grape leaves, one of the world’s ancient food preparations. This week, FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis writes about her own experiments with grape leaves—and she provides a delicious recipe to get you started.
FAITH and FILM
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty. This week, Ed adds his October issue of Visual Parables Journal, the only part of his work that he sells by subscription. The journal is packed with complete study guides to help small groups spark faith-and-film discussions. The new issue includes all you need for lively conversations about 17 films including: He Named Me Malala, Bridge of Spies, Time Out of Mind, Pawn Sacrifice, Stonewall and The Visit.
- BRIDGE OF SPIES—Put this new Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg collaboration on your “must see” list, says Ed McNulty. (5 out of 5 stars)
- A LEGO BRICKAMENTARY—No, it’s not an extended advertisement for the toy company. It’s a fascinating documentary, says Ed. (4 stars)
- PAWN SACRIFICE—There’s much more than the single famous chess match in this story of chess genius Bobby Fischer. (4.5 stars)
- THE VISIT—Director M. Night Shyamalan at last has a film that instills fear and trembling in viewers rather than dismay or boredom, Ed says. (3.5 stars)
- SICARIO—A disturbing look at the war on drugs. (4 stars)
- TIME OUT OF MIND—Oren Moverman’s powerful film about a homeless man is as close as we can get to the stark reality that far too many people face, says Ed. (4 stars)
- HE NAMED ME MALALA—The new film about the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize honoree is wonderful. (5 stars). Earlier, Interfaith Peacemakers profiled Malala’s daring pursuit of peace.
‘What’s for dinner, America?’
- 1—Which of these 15 foods do you avoid?
- 2—Is fat OK now? How about salt?
- 3—Try a quiz: Have you ever bribed someone for a table at a restaurant?
- 4—Is sugar in everything?
- 5—Is the soft drink industry ‘schizophrenic’?
IN THE WORLD
One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …
SUZY FARBMAN—Every week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman brings us an inspiring story about men and women committed to improving their lives, their communities and our world. This week, she visits with artist and photographer Ernestine Rubens—and shares a video preview of Rubens’ multi-media work exploring the remnants of the World War II Willow Run factory that once supplied the bombers that won the war.