Forty-three years ago this month, our nation watched the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The images were seared into our minds, along with the sense that our nation had lost a beacon of hope in the ongoing struggle for racial and economic justice. Though he had lived to see many important advances and constitutional guarantees for all Americans regardless of race or creed, Dr. King was murdered before he had made much progress toward another vitally important goal: economic justice.
“Tell the congresswomen not to come to Israel at this time,” the Foreign Ministry official announced to me in the spring of 1983. “The week of Passover is not convenient for us at the Ministry, and anyway, these are just habanot micongress [the girls from Congress]. “ Moreover, the official complained, the three, all Catholics, wanted to attend a seder. “Where will we find them a seder?”
‘In every generation each person should see themselves as if they personally were part of the exodus from Egypt.” So says the Talmud (Pesachim 116b), but what does that really mean? Is it possible to do as most classical commentaries suggest — engage in a psycho-spiritual transformation which crosses the boundaries of time and space, to actually see ourselves as if we are leaving Egypt?
By disparaging the U.S. government’s support of demands that Poland compensate Jews for property stolen from them during the Holocaust, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski exacerbated the firestorm created by his government’s peremptory decision to walk away from long-promised restitution legislation for spurious economic reasons.
Since the beginning of January, I have been on a tour of North America and have seen over 400 Conservative rabbis face-to-face or conducted extensive phone interviews with them.
What am I looking for?
I have been reaching out to my colleagues with the question: “As a rabbi, what are you trying to accomplish in your community? How does your Torah inspire your community to bring change in their lives and the world?” In the aggregate, their stories are a lens on the Conservative movement today.
As Israel Apartheid Week launched at schools across the country last month, StandWithUs, an Israel advocacy group, had a message: pro-Israel students needed to fight.
The Israel advocacy organization’s statement described the campus Israeli-Palestinian climate in bellicose terms, calling IAW a “hate fest,” and advocating a “hard-hitting, aggressive response” on some campuses. It reassured readers that StandWithUs has “a big arsenal of materials for students” countering anti-Israel activities.
In the wake of the murders in Itamar, the rocket attacks on the south of Israel and the bombing in Jerusalem, the banner of Jewish victimhood has been raised once again. It has long been axiomatic in the Middle East that “to the victim belongs the spoils,” and in the past such horrible attacks have given Israel’s defenders an opening, however brief, to appeal to the world’s conscience. But lately it’s been harder for Israel to do that, in part because, at least until now, the rate of terrorism had plummeted.
In January 2008, Israel's then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President, Shimon Peres joined with automotive CEO Carlos Ghosn, and Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi in Jerusalem. The summit had a simple, yet staggering, purpose: to announce that Israel intended to get off oil.
By disparaging the US government's support of demands that Poland compensate Jews for property stolen from them during the Holocaust, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski exacerbated the firestorm created by his government's peremptory decision to walk away from long-promised restitution legislation for spurious economic reasons.