Entries for September 2012

Ha'azinu: Our life -- what legacy?

Ha'azinu: Our life -- what legacy?

 

Where I grew up and still spend much of my time -- Orange County, California -- special effort is needed to come face-to-face with any conspicuously “historical” tangible object, such as a building more than a century old or a museum artifact. How different elsewhere!  Over the past two months I’ve spent in ...

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Sep 27

Jewish British Mudslinging at Israel

Jewish British Mudslinging at Israel

 

This week I depart from my Torah commentary to describe two upsetting, related incidents in connection with my Rosh Hashanah visit to a Liberal Judaism movement congregation in the UK.  They both involved Israel. In the first ... 

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Sep 21
Posted in: Israel

Nitzavim: The Pink Ostrich of Life

Nitzavim: The Pink Ostrich of Life

 

This week I heard an intriguing radio short story.  A travel writer narrated his visit to a strange land populated by two peoples.  One lived entirely to serve the other.  The servant-people were neither slaves nor employees; they were motivated entirely by religious faith.  Their god was a great pink ostrich that they believed was pleased with their devoted altruism to the Others.  These Others regarded the notions of any god and of altruism as equally absurd.  Yet, since the arrangement suited the interests of both groups, their society functioned harmoniously.  ,,,

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Sep 14

Ki Tavo: An Authentic Non-Torah Judaism?

Ki Tavo: An Authentic Non-Torah Judaism?

 

Every Passover – our ancient and most conspicuous celebration of Jewish history -- I can’t help but notice something extraordinary about the summary historical narrative that comes right out of this week’s Torah portion: “My father was a fugitive Aramean...."  

 

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If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
Jewish Proverb