This prayer was written to recite for the victims and survivors of the August 5, 2012 shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Rabbi Naomi Levy, spiritual leader of Nashuva, wrote the prayer on behalf of the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly, which distributed it to congregations around the world.
Almost as soon as she heard the news about a deadly shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Elana Kahn-Oren’s phone started ringing.
Religious groups are calling for tolerance after six people were killed in a shooting attack at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
The World Cheese Co., producer of Haolam and Miller’s kosher cheese products, issued a voluntary recall of some shredded cheese packaged in a Wisconsin plant.
Former senator Russ Feingold has taken himself out of contention for both a Wisconsin Senate seat and a run for governor.
This week, in Parashah Shmini, we learn the laws of Kashrut. We often think of Kashrut as a hoq, a mysterious commandment that we follow only because our Torah says that God wants us to. But Kashrut is also a mishpat, a commandment informed by values and virtues that we can comprehend; in this case, an abhorrence of cruelty. Not only may we not eat, and thereby develop a thirst for, blood; we may not slaughter in a cruel way, because we care about tzar baalei chayim, the suffering of living creatures.
Purim spoof cover
During his 1948 presidential campaign against underdog Democrat Harry S. Truman, Republican Thomas E. Dewey was on the campaign trail. As a crowd surged toward the back of his train, an irritated Dewey told the crowd, “That’s the first lunatic I’ve had for an engineer. He probably should be shot at sunrise, but we’ll let him off this time since nobody was hurt.” Lee Tindle, the 54-year-old engineer, told a reporter, “I think about as much of Dewey as I did before, and that’s not much.” Democrats chalked “Lunatic Engineers for Truman” on train after train, and hounded the candidate with references to it until the end of Truman’s winning campaign.
Traffic Going in Both Directions on J Street. I would like to add my congratulations, to the many he has already received, to David Suissa for again having written an excellent, incisive and rational article, “J Street Needs Another Lane” (March 4) to complement his “Israel Never Looked So Good,” which generated a significant response.
Late on the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire erupted at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on the top floors of a modern, fire-proof building at the corner of Manhattan’s Washington Place and Greene Street, near Washington Square Park. In the bedlam precipitated by the flames and smoke, more than 200 panicked employees jammed the only open exit; a company policy aimed at eliminating employee theft locked a second exit door. They overwhelmed the one inadequate working elevator, and the single fire escape collapsed. Those trapped inside rushed to the window ledges and, with flames licking at their backs, leapt. They fell to their deaths on the pavement below within sight of thousands of witnesses.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that took place in New York City a century ago is now being memorialized in programs across the country. It took that fire on March 25, 1911, and the deaths of 146 innocent garment workers – mostly women, mostly Jewish, mostly immigrants – to bring about meaningful safety regulations, and to respect the call of workers struggling to secure the benefits of union membership. Many of our grandparents and great-grandparents played a critical role in building a strong and vibrant labor movement with the hope that it would endure and remain a permanent feature of American life. Through their actions and their struggle, our lives and the lives of most Americans were made better. Today, those hard-fought gains are under threat in communities across the United States.
Rose Schneiderman was a Jewish immigrant from Poland who lived in New York City at the turn of the last century and campaigned for workers’ rights, better wages and secure safer working conditions. She served in FDR’s brain trust and was a co-founder of the ACLU. During the fight for women’s suffrage, Schneiderman famously wrote, “What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist. The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”
More than 100 Jews from all three Madison synagogues gathered Feb. 25 to celebrate Shabbat with services in the Wisconsin State Capitol. Four Madison rabbis led the services for the community members who had crammed into the North Gallery. Below us, the Capitol Rotunda was teeming with energy -- protesters from all over the state were waving signs of opposition to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget repair bill.
There are moments – this is one such – when I envy America’s Roman Catholic Church. I felt that way back in 1983 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a remarkable pastoral letter on war and peace, and again in 1986 with the USCCB letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy. These are authoritative documents, bold statements of the normative beliefs of the Church.
In the streets of Madison, we can hear the echoes of Torah. From Moses to Maimonides to modern day Rabbis across the country, Jews have a long and lively history of supporting the rights of working people. Rabbis Bonnie Margulis and Jonathan Biatch recently reported from Wisconsin that standing for worker’s rights is “absolutely” the Jewish thing to do. Now is a good moment to ask ourselves, why?
A growing number of Jews in Wisconsin are joining the protests in Madison against a budget-cutting proposal by the governor to eliminate most collective-bargaining rights for public-sector employees. “Judaism has long stood for the rights of the worker, beginning with the biblical injunction of Deuteronomy: ‘Do not take advantage of the hired worker who is poor and needy,’ ” said Rabbi Bonnie Margulis.
The power has gone out in a typical American town. Wait -- it’s not just the electricity. The phones don’t work, either. Portable radios are dead. Cars won’t start.
Gabe Carimi already knows that Yom Kippur won't fall on a Sunday for at least the next 20 years.
The speech that Russ Feingold gave to end his career in the U.S. Senate was much like his career itself: by turns crystal clear, obscure, ornery, defiant and gracious -- and quoting a fellow Great Plains Jew to boot.
STRIVE, an intensive work-readiness program, is modeled after an initiative of the same name that began more than 20 years ago in New York's Harlem in an effort to help women on welfare overcome their severe difficulties in finding and keeping meaningful jobs.