Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Sat, 04/12/2014 - 23:25
There's an old saying in the Middle East that there are three levels of dead: dead, dead and buried, dead and buried and not coming back. Right now the peace talks are dead and the guys with the shovels, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, can't decide whether to keep digging or resume talking.
Each leader thought he was clever enough to kill the talks and put the blame on the other, but blame is about the only thing they have in common.
At the Passover Seder, we recall the Israelites’ redemption from Egyptian slavery. It is an appropriate time to examine the link between Egyptian slavery and beliefs that can keep us in bondage.
The “Egypt Within”
The Hebrew word for Egypt, “Mitzrayim,” closely resembles the Hebrew word “maytzarim,”—boundaries, constraints, narrow and confining spaces. None of us is physically enslaved, but some of us experience “the Egypt within,” believing that we are trapped by our disability, confined to “narrow spaces,” from which we cannot escape to live fulfilling lives.
It is customary to study Jewish texts – mostly commonly Pirkei Avot – during the period of time between Passover and Shavuot. Many take the opportunity to occupy themselves with Torah study in the late Shabbat afternoons when the days are longer. The sages believed it was a worthwhile practice and would keep people focused on Sabbath observance.
Here are four opportunities for online study during this period.
Editor's Note: Shelley Cohen's blog published today is very timely, as the Justice Department announced a landmark agreement with the State of Rhode Island yesterday that will liberate people with disabilities from sheltered workshops. Read more about this agreement in The New York Times.
The Justice Department announced today that it has entered into the nation’s first statewide settlement agreement vindicating the civil rights of individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs.
For children who have sensory processing differences, Passover can be a very challenging holiday. Sensory integration refers to how our our minds and bodies continuously process, filter and respond to information from our surroundings in order to pay attention, behave in a flexible manner and interact with others.
The four questions may look slightly different under the circumstances ….
Why do I have to sit for such a long time? Why is everyone singing way too loud? Why do these foods smell so awful? Why can’t I just eat what I want?
Keep an eye out for future productions of Noémi Schlosser’s wry theater piece "Traktorfabrik." I was lucky enough to catch a staged reading of part of it recently as part of the Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Works Series.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:49
Judging by the reaction of the thought police you'd think Chris Christie stood before the Adelson acolytes in Sin City and did a full Sieg Heil. The outrage was palpable, the room gasped. When informed of his transgression, he practically fell to his knees to genuflect to King Sheldon in abject apology.
What was his sin? He used the O word. Apparently the O word is now in the same category as the N word and the F word for some folks.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Fri, 04/04/2014 - 18:32
While the Jews prepare to celebrate Passover and recall Moses' demand of Pharaoh, immigration activists across the United States are planning demonstrations in Washington Saturday calling on President Obama to let their people stay.
They want the President to throttle back his deportation policy and stop splitting immigrants from their families and communities. They expect him to do more than tell the Department of Homeland Security to review its deportation policies.
Like all human beings my unique personal identity is composed of many facets. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a daughter and a wife, a Democrat, a citizen of the United States, a writer and a former attorney. I am also an autistic Jew. I am proud to be all of the above. I like who I am. There are times, though, when much to my sadness, it is not easy to be both autistic and Jewish. While my religion places great value on empathy and inclusiveness, not all those who practice it do. While my people have risked their lives to stand in solidarity with others who have been disenfranchised, there have been times when we have neglected to stand in support of one another.