'There are no villains in this story.” Those were the calming words of Natan Sharansky, renowned human rights champion and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
If praying with tallis and tefillin was all that Women of the Wall (WOW) wanted, they would be satisfied with the Sharnsky compromise of a third section for all other forms of Jewish worship (“Stone-Walling,” May 24). If they accepted that, they would also be allowing the Orthodox to have a place where they could pray the way they wanted to. The 2,000-year history of ritual and prayer at the Kotel should be allowed to continue and have its place as well.
There comes a time in any successful movement for change or reform for cashing in, and it is often a time of crisis. Getting so close to achieving a goal, one has to struggle with two challenges: the temptation to overreach — and pass on a deal that might be the best realistic one — and the difficulty of having to accept the less glorious (and more mundane) missions of a reformed reality.
Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who now heads the Jewish Agency for Israel, led more than 10,000 people in the March of the Living in Poland on Yom Hashoah.
"We have come here today to remember. But it is easy to forget," Sharansky said at the beginning of the march at the Auschwitz concentration camp on Monday, Holocaust Remembrance Day. "It is easy to say that the lessons of Auschwitz have been learned. It is easy to say those two magic words: Never again. The hard part is giving those words meaning. That is our challenge. That is your challenge."
Natan Sharansky's previous book, "The Case for Democracy," changed the world. It inspired a generation of U.S. policymakers and influenced President George
W. Bush in his decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein. So when Sharansky's second book, "Defending Identity," came out this month, I thought I'd better read it, quick