It must be nice to live in a world of Jewish absolutes. Denizens of the black and white Jewish world experience no discomfort. For them life is simple. Neither the extreme left nor the extreme right has any doubts. Their belief system permits no dichotomies, allows for no flexibility, and frowns on compromise. This is especially true of religion, and politics. More so when they are combined.
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?
A controversial vote at the University of California, Berkeley, and Holocaust commemorations around the country are keeping Jewish students active in the days between Holocaust Memorial Day and Israel Independence Day.
Special to the Jewish Week
Berkeley Student Senate Uphold Veto of Divestment Measure
After nearly eight hours of debate that ended at 7:30 this morning, the Associated Students of the University of California, Berkeley (ASUC) Senate upheld a veto by President Will Smelko of a bill passed in support of divestment from companies with ties to Israel’s military.
If the current administration in Washington is sincere in its stated goal of working aggressively to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the days and months ahead will be even more difficult and confusing than the past few weeks have been.
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
Special to the Jewish Week
Following last week's somber ceremonies marking Yom Hashoa, Israel will, on this coming Monday, observe its annual Yom Hazikaron, a solemn memorial day for her fallen soldiers. Rare is the family in Israel that does not know someone who has died in Israel's defense, or have a family member who has. And then, on Monday evening, the celebration of Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israel's Independence Day, will begin.
I worry that with each passing year in this country, Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is quietly and gradually becoming obsolete.
You don’t need an actuary to know that the number of survivors of the Holocaust, which took place between 65 and 71 years ago, is declining rapidly, and thus the authentic voices of those who lived through the horrors are diminished every day.
Far from letting recent events in Israel dampen his mood or keep him away from this year’s Salute to Israel Parade, Marc Fein, a senior at Yeshiva University, suggested that now was an especially important time to show his love and support for the Jewish state.
Standing in front of the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, near the start of the parade route, Fein said that, if anything, he believed that concerns over Israeli security “galvanized support to a certain degree. People have realized the existential threat to Israel.”
On the eve of Israel Independence Day in 1967, Dov Lichtenberg went with friends to the Israel Song Festival in Jerusalem. There, Naomi Shemer’s new song, "Jerusalem of Gold" was first performed by an unknown young singer named Shuli Natan. Later, after midnight, the 25-year-old student received word of his mobilization for army service from a colleague at the university. "It’s not a drill; it’s a real war," he said to the person who handed him the order.
They were showing the flag a lot in Israel this week. And a lot of flags.
Preceded by Yom HaZikaron, the annual day of remembrance for the soldiers who have fallen in Israel’s defense, Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, marked the country’s 60th birthday.
There were fireworks and torch lightings, concerts and speeches, a bike race and Bedouin festival, TV documentaries and parachute shows.
And it all began with the raising of the state flag at Mount Herzl.