If Mitt Romney is elected president next week, Bibi Netanyahu will finally exhale, with a sigh of relief. The Israeli prime minister can feel confident that he will not be pressured to make peace with the Palestinian Authority anytime soon.
On the Israel-diaspora front, surprising good news and, unfortunately, not-so-surprising bad news.
First, the bad news. The arrest and harassment of a woman reciting the Shema prayer aloud during Rosh Chodesh services this past week at the Western Wall is nothing less than shameful — an act that Jews of all denominations and beliefs should view as an embarrassment and outrage.
Maybe I’m just jealous of the free offers being made to young Jews today, but part of me worries that down the road, these well-meaning programs and proposals — like trips to Israel, High Holy Day services, books for children and Shabbat meals — may have a negative effect on a generation that is being coddled and spoiled Jewishly.
The last time the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees met in the playoffs before this week, I spent a few surreal moments schmoozing with George Steinbrenner in his owner’s box in Yankee Stadium, trying very hard not to let on that I was a fervent Orioles fan hoping his team would lose that day — and every day after that until the end of time.
When it comes to hardware stores, you can count me as a One-Day-A-Year Jew — and that day occurs just before the holiday of Sukkot, when I focus on putting up our family sukkah in the backyard. Thank God it only has to stand for eight days.
Part of the wonderful rhythm of the High Holy Days season is that we go directly from the cerebral solemnity of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur to the hands-on, harvest-inspired, outdoor-focused festival of Sukkot, recalling the wanderings of the ancient Israelites in the desert those 40 long years.