It is easy to blame the activists on the flotilla. They sought to embarrass Israel and drive worldwide attention to the situation in Gaza.
It is also easy to blame the Israeli military. Israel was determined to stop the flotilla. And the Israel Defense Forces apparently failed to anticipate the type of confrontation that occurred after commandos rappelled onto the Mavi Marmara.
The world splits roughly between those who denounce Israel from a religious or ideological base, and those who denounce Israel because they are tired of defending Western civilization to which they are heir but aren’t sure why they should care (and those who bash Israel as a cover for their own anti-Semitism). The tired and the impatient might be slightly moved by better PR on Israel’s part, and OK, why not? But the others don’t care, and those are the ones Israel fights.
We are awash with insight. There is no shortage of books, pundits, philosophers, clergy, psychologists and psychiatrists, ethicists and counselors who offer the distilled wisdom of the ages. How much easier to seek wisdom than it is to change!
It is painful to see the hurt of my non-Orthodox friends as they react to the [Knesset conversion] bill proposed by Member of Knesset David Rotem (“MK, Non-Orthodox Clash On Conversions,” May 7). I have a simple suggestion that may reduce these problems in the future.
So now we have the editor of a major Jewish newspaper actually making the case that a Dawn Festival in San Francisco is simply another way of celebrating the holiday of Shavuot (“Shavuot’s Big Tent,” Between The Lines, May 14).
Shavuot, like Passover, Yom Kippur, etc. is a Jewish religious holiday — it is not a comedy club for gays or a rock concert. And if next year some group of nominal Jews decides to slay and eat cats to celebrate Shavuot, will that be just another good option?
Francine Klagsbrun (Opinion, May 14) both misunderstands Orthodox Judaism and unintentionally strengthens the Rabbinical Council of America’s rationale for stating that “regardless of title” a woman cannot be a member of the Orthodox rabbinate.
Judaism, in the eyes of Orthodox Jews, has always encompassed much more than codified laws. It includes the judgments of a broad consensus of rabbinic leaders about what is Jewishly proper, particularly when Jews are faced with new social or political circumstances and movements.