Blogs

Moses' Greatest Victory

On Thursday night and Friday we will celebrate Simchat Torah. Amid singing and dancing, we complete the reading of the Torah and, without pause, begin the Torah reading cycle again. I have often marveled that, like a massive oak growing from a small seed, our religion has developed from a portable scroll. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

Slamming The Door To Peace

In a pair of dueling speeches at the United Nations, Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the door shut on future peace talks between two leaders who neither trust nor like each other. 

Setting The Stage For Third Intifada?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, unlike his predecessor Yasser Arafat, meant it when he renounced terrorism and publicly pursued negotiations as the path to peace with Israel, but sometimes his rhetoric makes you wonder.

For Yom Kippur: Did You Hear The One About...?

During Yizkor on Yom Kippur, I remember my father, who always made us laugh and I also remember my best friend Carla Meyers, who used to say, “In humor there is truth.”

So when I recently came across this joke in the Joseph Telushkin book Jewish Humor, I recognized the sad truth buried within a joke that causes discomfort in me because it should be so far from reality. 

The joke: A Jewish mother is walking down the street with her two young sons. A passerby asks her how old the boys are. “The doctor is three,” the mother answers. “And the lawyer is two.”

We can laugh at the joke, but I do believe that we are ready to move beyond the thinking behind it.

JFN Seeks Jewish Resources On Disability

The Jewish Funders Network disabilities peer network, made up of funders who are working to build more inclusive and supportive communities, is commissioning a guidebook on how to use Jewish texts to talk about disability rights and inclusion. JFN plans to distribute the guide to Jewish and international human rights communities.

Jewish Funders Network

Psalmic Muse

Keeping in mind the Chasidic custom of reciting Psalms during the days leading to Yom Kippur, now would be a perfect time to head up to the scenic Derfner Judaica Museum for Archie Rand’s visual renditions of Psalm 68. 

Archie Rand, Psalm 68:30. Courtesy of the Derfner Judaica Museum

Roosevelts

Watching Ken Burns' excellent PBS series about the Roosevelts pointed out how some things haven't changed over the past 80 years.

In the installment about the 1930s the Republicans were opposed to setting a federal minimum wage and maximum working hours while protecting the interests and influence of the wealthy at the expense of the workers.  The party is still anti-union and anti-immigrant.

They also opposed Social Security and still do but now they call it "privatization" of the program.

Some things have changed, however.

Obama Sets Record Straight On Israel-Arab Conflict

President Barack Obama told the United Nations and the world today what Israel and the rest of us have known and have been saying all along:  The Arab-Israeli conflict is not the cause of instability in the Middle East. Rather it has been a convenient excuse for Arab leaders to fail to give their own people freedom and respect their basic human rights. 

Here's what the President said:

My Vision For The New Year

The leaves are changing.  The air is crisp, with a hint of a chill.  The sweaters and long pants are coming out of storage.  No doubt about it.  Fall has arrived. 

And with the change in season will come changes in routine, changes in activities and changes in expectations.  All the things that fill the heart and gut of a special needs parent with fear and dread.

My son Gabe is six years old, and he has autism.  He is charming, and funny, and very very smart.  He also exhibits behavior at times that is unusual, challenging, and unpredictable. 

Supporting Israel With Art

Few subjects have troubled Jews across the globe this past summer as much as the recent conflict in Israel. The violence  portrayed on the news stimulated a consequential outpouring of support from Jewish communities worldwide. But an art group based in Brooklyn is showing support through a unique means: a spiritual defense.

Leah Raab. “Huddled in the Tunnel. Courtesy of the Creative Soul
Syndicate content