South African leader's long relationship with community veered between supportive and hostile.
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Nelson Mandela’s amazing attitude of reconciliation after his release in 1990 from 27 years in prison reassured very nervous South African Jews — and whites generally — that after living with “packed suitcases under the bed” during apartheid, they had a future here after all.
He was a flawed hero. No, I’m not speaking about the biblical Abraham, who passed his wife off as his sister, or Jacob, who won his birthright by deception. I am speaking of Yitzchak Rabin, former prime minister of Israel, whose yahrzeit we commemorated this week.
The White House on Friday posted this preview of President Obama's Middle East trip this week, by Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser.
Taken with a couple of major league newspaper pieces, it adds up to a White House quid pro quo bid to the Israelis: We'll make pleasant noises about the Jewish connection to the land, you make pleasant noises about peace.
He is, subject to the findings of a jury that he is guilty, or of a judge that he is certifiably insane, a mass murderer, a demented college dropout who walked into a movie theater near Denver recently, armed to the teeth and armor-protected all over his body, and opened fire, committing one of the greatest killing sprees in modern American history.
He is, by anyone’s estimation, a real creep, appearing in court for his first post-shooting appearance with a shock of carrot-red dyed hair and an attitude of profound, blank-stare indifference.
Falling as it did this year so close to the seventy-third anniversary of Kristallnacht, when German and Austrian houses of worship literally went up in smoke and flame, I feel as if I personally haven’t paid enough attention to the sixteenth anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
At this time of year, I am often greeted by friends and congregants with some version of “this is your busy season, isn’t it?” Accountants like to say that this is “The rabbi’s April.” The teller at my bank this morning, an Indian woman, said benignly, “you have some holidays coming up, don’t you?’