Now that the interim deal with Iran is already signed, Netanyahu's infamously harsh rhetoric needs to be re-evaluated.
I returned from Israel during the week of Vayislach, when we read the story of Jacob’s famous nocturnal wrestling match and the painful story of Dina, his daughter. The midrash, in explaining why Jacob speaks of his 11 children when in fact he has 12, tells us that Jacob locked his daughter in a chest so Esau wouldn’t see her. “And for that, Jacob was punished. … For perhaps she would have led him back to the right way.”
Of late, it’s been depressing to be a Conservative Jew. News of demographic and organizational challenges have fed a frenzy of articles delighting in our imminent demise.
As the beginning of Chanukah and end of the year approach, where does lsrael stand?
For those of us who follow the careers of Jewish ballplayers — a small, eccentric niche of fandom — checking the Jewish Baseball News Web site is an essential part of our sports routine.
They want to brandish a new stick against Iran, but hawks in Congress aren’t going to use it — yet. For all the disappointment they expressed following the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, skeptics in Congress appear to be willing to give the agreement brokered by the Obama administration space to breathe — albeit with tough new punitive measures in place should Iran fail to live up to its end of the bargain.
With an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in place, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu each face formidable challenges ahead.
Chanukah and Thanksgiving don’t line up very well for me. Chanukah celebrates an unlikely military victory, of the “few against the many.” The closest rough equivalent to Chanukah in the American tradition is probably the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781. Had our government been established and centralized at that point, it might have actually issued an edict for days of praise and thanksgiving to God for salvation from the predatory British. It had been a long war.
Our lives are full of value judgments. We learn to make decisions on these issues when dilemmas relating to our society, our religion, our culture or ourselves arise. While it is easy to declare loyalty to a particular value, it is very difficult to decide which value to prefer when two or more come into conflict. But it is when these situations do arise that the moral position of our society becomes apparent and our core values are revealed.
What if Chanukah wasn’t Chanukah? What if, instead of recalling the Maccabean victory over the Seleucid rulers of Judea in the second century B.C.E., the conflict was remembered as a tragic failure? How would a Jewish loss have impacted Judaism? How would it have impacted the political and religious development of the Middle East
Rabbis Adam Kligfeld and Ari Lucas answer probing questions about the challenges and complexities of the Chanukah story.
Many years ago, when my mother downsized from her roomy suburban condo to a smaller, high-rise version in downtown Denver, she had to cull the storage herd. Among the files that didn’t make the cut was a packet of my early literary oeuvre, which she sent to me.
Fifteen years ago, Stephen Sass and his husband, Steven Hochstadt, consecrated their commitment to each other during a religious marriage ceremony that took place during Chanukah. The timing was intentional.
The freedom food of chocolate should star in desserts for Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Puritans seeking asylum in North America and Jews hiding from the Inquisition in New Spain (Mexico) had their first encounters with chocolate in the 17th century. Chocolate paves the religious freedom trail.
In late March 1945, a young Czech Jew hiding in Budapest organized a Passover service for escapees from the Nazis and for those working in the rescue efforts. Most of the people who gathered that day had worked and lived together in hiding.
Life has come full circle for W. Michael Blumenthal, former U.S. Treasury secretary under President Jimmy Carter. Born into affluent circumstances in Germany in 1926, Blumenthal fled the country with his family at age 13, abandoning all their possessions to escape Nazi persecution of the Jews. Today, he rubs shoulders with Germany’s highest-ranking politicians as president and chief executive of the Jewish Museum Berlin, the largest such museum in Europe.
Rumors of the Conservative movement’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, according to Arnold Eisen, chancellor of the New York-based Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), the movement’s de facto intellectual center.
The last remnants of Iraq’s once-vibrant, 2,500-year-old Jewish community left the country long ago. (Only five Jews remain, according to a recent New York Times op-ed.) But some Iraqi Jewish manuscripts, community records, and holy books may soon be sent back, much to the chagrin of Jewish Iraqi expatriates.
A giant risk is being taken with The Wallis — as the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills is being called, and for which the 1934 Beverly Hills Post Office on Santa Monica Boulevard, between Canon and Crescent drives, has been rehabbed to pristine beauty.
Perhaps no single Bible story is quite as familiar as the fateful encounter in the Garden of Eden between God, Adam and Eve, and that damned snake, an episode that entered Western theology as “the Fall.” It may appear to be a kind of biblical fairytale, but Ziony Zevit reveals the remarkable richness of meaning that can be extracted from the spare text in his new book, “What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden?” (Yale University Press, $30), a model of biblical scholarship that is also wholly accessible to the general reader.
There are assorted good reasons to program a klezmer night around Chanukah, and brisk ticket sales is only one of them. “Klezmer is a hugely important part of the Jewish language and culture,” said Dale Franzen, director of the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, in assessing the Eastern European music genre that touches on political and cultural themes.
A Chanukah miracle couldn’t hurt as the Clippers face off against the top-ranked Indiana Pacers. Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Cantor Nathan Lam opens the game with the singing of the national anthem. There will also be a menorah lighting, a Q-and-A session with rabbis and a special halftime performance by the Body Poets. Add in kosher food and a free T-shirt, and this Chanukah celebration is bound to be a slam-dunk.
As soon as the train leaving the Warsaw Ghetto made its first stop, the 100 Jews packed into the cattle car with 19-year-old Sol Liber knew they were headed east to the Treblinka death camp. “Half the train was getting crazy,” said Sol, who recalls standing back from the tiny window in his car to let more air reach his older sisters, Tishel and Shayva, who were fainting.
Rob Eshman is right to question George W. Bush’s decision to address the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (“Why Bush Was Wrong,” Nov. 15), but I feel there is another issue that he should have addressed in this context: the Jewish position toward Evangelical Christian movements.
Joseph, the once-favored child of Jacob, rises up from slave and prisoner to become Pharaoh’s right hand. He assumes responsibility for a far-reaching 14-year business plan to ensure that after seven years of plenty, Egypt would be prepared to endure the seven years of famine.