Moses says to the Israelites, “When you enter the land that I am giving you” (Numbers 15:2). Yet he is speaking to a generation that will not in fact enter the land. They will die in the desert. Rashi tells us that he is giving an assurance of eventual entrance, but what assurance can there be to those who will not live to see it?
Ari Shavit hopes his new book will revive an honest, painful, conversation on Israel.
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Ari Shavit, the popular Israeli newspaper columnist for Haaretz, seems to be everywhere in the American media these days, talking about his newly published and highly praised book, “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.” That’s a good thing for those of us who believe that the better Israel is known and understood, flaws and all, the more it will be appreciated and supported.
Approaching this holiday weekend, as we ponder the next steps in the troubled U.S.-Israel relationship, we’re reminded of the story of the hen and the turkey checking the farmer’s menu the night before Thanksgiving. It called for a grand luncheon the next day of “scrambled eggs followed by the traditional festive meal.” Sadly, the turkey turned to the hen and said, “From you he wants a contribution; from me he wants a total commitment.”
One easily can get lost in the debate swirling around the interim — and I emphasize the word “interim” — agreement, signed last weekend in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 nations. If you are looking for a definitive answer about whether it is a good agreement, as administration officials assert, or a very bad one, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes, you have come to the wrong place. I am far more focused on the comprehensive agreement to come, hopefully, in six months.
JTS chancellor: ‘Complacency’ and ‘despair’ … ‘are forbidden;' ‘both are distractions from the task at hand.’
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I’ve spent the better part of my adult life as a scholar of American Judaism, with a special focus on figures at the center of Conservative Judaism, and I’ve spent most of those years enjoying the benefits of Conservative Jewish institutions, conversations and communities.
While I was reading Heather Robinson’s editorial (“Jewish-American Women And Intermarriage,” Nov. 8) it reminded me of the sad love story, “Splendor in the Grass” starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. The young couple was prevented from ever getting married due to parental disapproval.