Blogs

Ack, Rosh HaShanah Is Only A Week Away!

Oy va voy, the High Holidays are a week away and I still don’t have plans! (And, while I haven't lost my mezuzah, I still have to put it up.)

Well, I have tentative plans, but no tickets or reservations, as of yet. That may change tomorrow night, after I go to an open house at the Reform temple I’ve been pretty sure, but not 100 percent sure, I want to join.

Update: Jewish groups react to Rabbi Yosef

Update: Now we've heard from the Conservative movement. In a statement, the Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Assembly and eight other movement groups said this:  "As leaders of the Conservative/Masorti movement, we deplore these recent comments of Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that, like many of his comments over the years, constitute irresponsible incitement to violence.

Reform movement to Justice Department: protect Muslims

As invective about the proposed Islamic center in Manhattan gets uglier, the Reform movement has joined with several other faith and advocacy groups in calling on the Obama administration to take stronger measures to “protect millions of American Muslims” and to take stronger steps to protect r

Once I Built A Railroad (And The Family Farm) - Catskills Dairy Farms Dying In The Depression

As another summer comes to an end, what is also coming to an end is dairy farming in the Catskills. There was once a time when a trip on Route 17 was one in which the mom or dad would tell the city child, "Look at the cows!" Those days are almost over, killed by a combination of thoughtless legislation, poor regional leadership, and economic deflation that has forced one farmer after another in the region to sell the family farm, or relocate.

Saying Sorry with Social Media

Last Yom Kippur, I delivered a sermon explaining how Jewish people have begun "doing teshuvah" -- seeking repentance from others -- through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. A week before Yom Kippur the religion editor of The Detroit Free Press, Niraj Warikoo, called to find out what I'd be speaking about on the Day of Atonement.

Is Tweeting Teshuvah a Cop Out?

On Vacations

I'm told that if a blogger fails to post several times a week, he or she might as well close up shop. Never mind that without the occasional vacation it becomes harder to post anything coherent and engaging, let alone do so prolificly. And so, even while touring the Carribean on a cruise ship (in my mind while sitting at home in my den) your blogger faithfully refreshes the Continuum, albeit with a repeat, reposted from last summer. Just as relevent today, if not more so.

Hateful Words From A Rabbi

The sermon delivered by Rabbi Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas Party in Israel, and broadcast in part on Israel Radio on Sunday, is an embarrassment to all Jews.

Referring to the leader of the Palestinian Authority and his followers, the rabbi said that “Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from the earth.”

What saddens me is that this sentiment comes from one of the most influential rabbis in the world, and that few of his colleagues have spoken out against such hateful rhetoric.

Is Your Date FDA Approved?

It dawned on me the other day that dating is a totally unregulated industry.

I mean, where is the FDA when you need them?

Which is another way of saying, why did the guy I once went out with who spent more time chatting up his cell phone than actually talking to me not come with a warning label?

Ovadia Yosef and the silence - so far - of American Jewish leaders

Update: in this blog, I asked what Jewish leader would be the first to condemn Rabbi Ovadia Yosef''s death wish for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people.  Answer: Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  This just in from Foxman:

Israeli-Palestinian talks impending: does Obama have something up his sleeve?

A major Israeli-Palestinian summit in Washington is only hours away, but you'd hardly know it by the sparse media coverage and the relative paucity of comment from an administration that is working hard to keep expectations in check.

Looking through my in-box, there are lots of statements and briefings from the White House and State Department – but only a smattering of news about the talks, which will begin at the State Department dinner on Wednesday night.

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