Two seemingly unrelated events that occurred recently made me think about how related they actually were. One was the death of the great Bible scholar Moshe Greenberg in Israel last month; the other was the publication of a new biography of the prominent American Zionist leader Abba Hillel Silver. Greenberg was born in 1928 and made aliyah in 1970; Silver was born in 1893, and though he helped found the State of Israel, he never settled there. Greenberg probably knew of Silver’s activities, but it’s unlikely the two ever met.
The war on terror has spread to America’s federal prisons — and Jewish inmates appear to have become unintended victims.
Fearful that some religious books — particularly those of Muslims — might promote “violence and radicalization,” the federal Bureau of Prisons has removed all but 150 books per religion from its prison chapels. As a result, Jewish inmates who have long had access to hundreds of Jewish books, complain that now even the Torah is denied to them.