On ultra-Orthodox Israelis wearing yellow stars in protesting alleged bias.
Isaac Steven Herschkopf
Special To The Jewish Week
San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square is a Mecca for tourists. Predictably it also attracts entrepreneurs interested in revenue sharing. You can hear every San Francisco song in creation performed on every conceivable instrument; you can have your portrait done for $15, your caricature for $10, or your silhouette cut for $5.
One aged hustler, in particular, caught my attention, in part, because he could not attract anyone else's. He was lying in a recliner. When open, his eyes were glazed, but most of the time that I observed, they were closed.
In a stunning about-face, and after decades of violence justified by excuses of being under occupation, this week Hamas has admitted that Gaza is not occupied by Israel. And yet, the United Nations, which has long been reluctant to acknowledge Gaza's change in status, is still silent on the issue.
Millions of children fall asleep every night hungry, wearing an unchanged diaper, and with no one to hold them as they cry themselves to sleep. There is perhaps no greater suffering than to feel unloved, unwanted, and uncared for by anyone. This is the story of the orphan.
“For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come” -Hamlet
Every night of our lives, we enter the dream state. Sometimes we are very aware of our dreams upon waking, sometimes not at all. I often wonder about the theological implications of our unconscious thoughts that occur while we dream. How are we to interpret these ideas and how can those interpretations help us to grow to become who we need to be?
Beit Shemesh, Israel -- For more than 10 years I have been a board member and supporter – and am currently chair -- of Gesher, an Israeli organization that seeks to build bridges between communities and create dialogue around common Jewish identity. But I would never have believed that my family would find itself in the eye of the storm with physical violence and intimidation on our very doorstep.
Opportunity to take risks and learn from them necessary for success, some experts say.
Editor and Publisher
Before there was Birthright Israel, the most successful Jewish communal effort to increase Jewish identity among young people, there was The Israel Experience, a like-minded effort — and acknowledged failure.
Jeffrey Solomon, president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Family Philanthropies, recalls that Charles Bronfman announced the launch of The Israel Experience in 1992, amid great fanfare, at the major annual convention of North American Jewish federations.
It’s more than embarrassing to have to speak out on how frightening, immoral and tragic it is for a group of adults to yell and spit at little girls on their way to school, calling them “prostitutes” and throwing dirty diapers at them. Even more so that such incidents take place in Israel — and especially that those causing the trouble consider themselves pious Jews.
The shocking behavior of a small group of haredi militants in Israel has forced me to face the difficult reality of just how much divides the Modern Orthodox Zionist community, of which I am a member, from that of the haredim, despite our sharing of an ancient text.
The history of messianism in Judaism is the history of false and failed Messiahs. Some were earnest but wrong; others were clever pretenders. But there is also no complete agreement as to what the messianic time, when it arrives, will bring. Some scholars are supernaturalists, believing that it will result in the overturning of nature. Others, most notably Maimonides, are more restrained in their vision.
I was pleased to read that many in the haredi community joined together with other fellow Jews in protesting the actions of extremists, who recently spit on, cursed and terrorized an 8-year-old girl for failing to live up to their own modesty standards (“In Beit Shemesh, Modesty Wars,” Dec. 30). This clearly demonstrates that most haredim deplore the actions that have occurred.