Blogs

A possible 'Obama Plan' and J Street's dilemma

I had several calls in the past few days expressing emotions ranging from anxiety to rage because of the Obama administration's rumored Middle East peace plan. And that made me wonder about how the other side – and J Street, in particular – will respond to the inevitable firestorm from mainstream pro-Israel groups when and if a plan is unveiled.

A Mountain Of Books

My daughters are hardly book-deprived.
Thanks to two older cousins who supply us with a Strand’s worth of hand-me-downs, countless bookish relatives who keep Amazon.com busy around Chanukah and birthdays, and my husband Joe’s seeming inability to walk out of a Barnes & Noble without purchasing something, our bookshelves runneth over.

Second Amendment mishigas

 I post this pretty much without comment, except to say that the group “Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership” is reportedly supporting the protest.

Okay, one comment: “Totalitarian socialism?” And these guys are armed?

Sabbath: Not Just For Jews

Judith Shulevitz's new book, "The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time," is attracting a good bit of attention, as well it should. Blending personal experience with history, theology and philosophy, the book is both an emotionally and intellectually rewarding encounter for the reader, and the product of a highly intelligent and thoughtful writer willing to probe every angle of what the Sabbath has meant to the world.

WaPo columnist: democratization, not a U.S. peace plan, should be administration goal

With talk continuing about a possible U.S. Mideast peace proposal, the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl has a thought provoking analysis suggesting this is exactly the wrong policy for the current situation.

Tzedakah 2.0

My grandmother sometimes complains about charitable organizations. She’s a very generous woman who donates to many charities, but she often gets frustrated by the amount of solicitations she receives. With each complimentary pen, notepad, wall calendar, or other complimentary gift sent in the mail (so she’ll remember to donate again), she remarks that these organizations would be better off saving their money and using it to fulfill their mission. She also expresses angst when a solicitation envelope arrives only days after she already sent in a contribution.

Lost, Lonely & Vicious

Something Vicious: This is the ultimate extention of British Mandate-Obama Mandate logic. The UK has banned an ad for Israeli tourism because it shows the Western Wall. The Kotel, of course, was always part of Israel. Where else would the Temple have been built? 

The Intermarriage-Assimilation Myth

 Kudos to my friend Paul Golin of the Jewish Outreach Institute for his op-ed this week entitled “Intermarriage, Assimilation Are Not Interchangeable.”
To which I’d add my own mantras: “intermarriage is also not a disease or an epidemic” and “when preventing intermarriage becomes the primary focus of Jewish life, Judaism is reduced to little more than a glorified matchmaking service.”

Five great non-Jewish blogs with a lot of Jewish interest

You know about the zillion or so Jewish blogs out there in cyberspace, but there are also plenty of blogs that are not focused primarily on Jewish issues – but which provide a lot of content about Israel, U.S. Middle East policy and a range of domestic issues that Jews love to debate. Here are five that are consistently interesting:

The Current Frontier

President Obama has taken some heat for his reshaping of NASA's goals, essentially abandoning the been-there-done-that emphasis on the moon for the more dreamy-eyed vision of a manned landing on Mars within just 15 years.

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