A growing number of American Jews have been following with increasing outrage the plight of the Women of the Wall, the small group of activists in Jerusalem seeking to pray as a group at the Kotel (the Western Wall) in prayer shawls, kippot and tefillin.
As I write that descendants of prominent Nazis have chosen to live in Israel today, and that some of them – with surnames like Goering, Goebbels or Himmler -- are converted to Judaism or in process, I realize that readers will reread this sentence to make sure they didn’t misread.
Today, Israel’s 65th Independence Day, it is appropriate that we stop and take pride in the many strengths of this young nation, and what its existence and growth has meant for Jewish people not only in Israel but around the world. 2013 offers much for LGBT people to take pride in compared with 1948.
My sister in Israel is fond of saying that her least favorite Shabbat of the year (tongue firmly in cheek) is when we recite the blessing in anticipation of the new Hebrew month of Nisan (meaning, of course, imminent Passover and all that entails). Conversely, her favorite Shabbat is when we recite the blessing in anticipation of the new Hebrew month of Iyar (meaning, of course, the end of the Passover season, and imminent celebration of Yom Ha’atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day).