On each of the first three days of the coming week there will be a talk by guest speakers on Jewish topics in East Midwood and Park Slope: Brooklyn: Three Jewish talks this week - New York NY | Examiner.com
"Kinship is a central theme in Israeli writer Dror Burstein's novel Kin, which is published today in Dalya Bilu's English translation by Dalkey Archive Press. The book portrays the inner life of Yoel, a senior citizen, widower, and adoptive father who decides to find his adult son Emile's biological parents and reunite him with them."
Kinship is a central element in Judaism along with the revelation at Sinai, the Torah, and observance of laws derived from the Torah. Performing traditional customs and rituals connects us to earlier generations of Jews. Our identity is in part defined by our genealogy going all the way back to the patriarchs and matriarchs. Indeed so important is this genealogy that conversion to Judaism ritually severs the convert's previous genealogy, and he or she is ritually referred to as a son or daughter of Abraham and Sarah.
Also see my New York Journal of Books review of "Kin": http://goo.gl/gAtWg
"Studies suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness..." This resembles a traditional Jewish belief that in the first week after burial the soul of the deceased is in a confused state and wanders back and forth between the burial plot and his or her most recent place of residence.
"For Heschel the most significant mitzvot are
Feeding the poor, ending war, marching with MLK.
These are spiritual acts, not just political.
These are the acts for which we were created.
"Heschel’s God was very personal, but we must do the work for God."
Originally posted by rabjeff at Arthur Green on Abraham Joshua Heschel and Hasidism
( Read more... )
This morning I delivered a Davar Torah on Parashat Ra'eh, the weekly Torah portion, at Park Slope Jewish Center in Brooklyn. My talk's sources include Deuteronomy 11:26 -12:28, Max Vogelstein's book "Fertile Soil: A Political History of Israel Under the Divided Kingdom," and "A Homily on Political Messianism," a blog post by my American-Israeli cousin Sam Shube. Here is the text of my Davar Torah:
Boy donates bar mitzvah money to help 'Liberty' musical make it to Broadway
Wednesday, April 6th 2011, 4:00 AM
Adams for News
Jesse Naranjo (c.) stands with his mother Rachel, father Rodrigo, and sister Sophia. He donated all of his bar mitzvah money.
"A lot of people aren't familiar with the story of how the Statue of Liberty came to the U.S., and I learned about it from this musical, not from school," Jesse said.
At some point in the near or not-distant future, the State of Israel will face the question of nuclear retaliation. Consider the following not unlikely scenario: A nuclear-armed nation, or nuclear-armed terrorists, detonate enough nuclear devices to destroy utterly the land of Israel and most of its people, rendering it uninhabitable.
Israel has been called “a one-bomb state” in that a single megaton-sized bomb detonated in Tel Aviv could accomplish such destruction. Many prefer to live in denial of this possibility. The people of Israel don’t have this luxury. If you don’t think they’ve war-gamed this possibility, think again. Many focus on Iran’s potential nuclear weaponry and the statements of Iranian leaders such as Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani that Iran would “welcome” a nuclear exchange with Israel because while it might lose 15 million people there would be a billion and half Muslims left on earth and no Jews in what was once Israel. But there is less focus on the current reality of the so called “Islamic bomb”—Pakistan’s 60 to 100 nukes, now ever more vulnerable to takeover by Taliban al-Qaida sympathizers. Seizable by or salable to terrorists.
What happens if it happens? A “second Holocaust”? One thing we can be fairly certain of: Israel will have the capacity for nuclear retaliation. Israel has purchased and put into operation at least three German-manufactured (!) long-range “Dolphin class” submarines, capable of being fitted out with nuclear weapons.
There has been all sorts of information and disinformation about the disposition of these subs, but most analysts seem to believe they are cruising the waters of the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea, within range of the most likely targets. And, many believe, they are armed with nuclear-tipped Harpoon cruise missiles. Ready to retaliate.
This is complicated by the potential of an attack from a terrorist “bomb with no return address,” smuggled across any one of three borders, or lobbed in from off shore. Whom to retaliate against? And is retaliation moral under Jewish law?
From How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III by Ron Rosenbaum. Copyright © 2011 by Ron Rosenbaum. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Ron Rosenbaum, the author of How the End Begins , Explaining Hitler and The Shakespeare Wars, is a columnist for Slate. He lives in New York.
This is the unshakable foundation of Halbertal’s thinking: “You cannot save your life at the expense of actual targeting of innocent people.” But his thinking can lead to some surprising conclusions such as his argument that in certain cases a preemptive nuclear strike can be moral while retaliation after being struck by nuclear weapons cannot be.
Israel Religious Action Center launches ‘Freedom Rider’ campaign
to ensure gender segregation not imposed on ‘kosher’ lines.Tuesday, January 11, 2011Michele ChabinIsrael Correspondent
Jerusalem — Gratified though they are by last week’s High Court decision to ban “mehadrin” buses that separate passengers by gender, Israeli activists fear that the companies that run these lines will not always enforce it.
So they are taking it upon themselves to personally test compliance and are inviting adventurous tourists to join them.
The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) is about to launch a year-long Rosa Parks-inspired Freedom Rider program whose foreign and local female volunteers will attempt to sit in the front section of so-called “kosher” buses, which until now have been reserved for men.
By Edgar M. BronfmanPublished December 08, 2010, issue of December 17, 2010.
In this article Bronfman argues that intermarriage presents an opportunity rather than a threat and advocates outreach to the intermarried. Several of the comments below the article provide anecdotal evidence that supports Bronfman's points.
Hanukkah Lamp, Palestine (Israel) c. 1880-1930. Chiseled and painted limestone.
In "A Hanukkah Project: Daniel Libeskind's Line of Fire" 40 hanukkiot (Hanukkah menorahs) selected by curator Susan Braunstein from The Jewish Museum's permanent collection of over 500 hanukkiot are displayed on a stand designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.
Do you have ninety minutes a week to dedicate to Jewish study? For the next four Mondays Mechon Hadar offers free classes on Monday evenings:
Read the entire article and view a sample lecture on examiner.com.
Forward writer Gal Beckerman will speak at several events this week and next to promote his new book "When They Come for Us, We’ll be Gone - The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry," as will Daniel Gordis, author of "Saving Israel - How the Jewish People Can Win a War that May Never End."
And then Noa corrected herself. She said, "No, Mom, hope will find you." I gasped when Noa said "hope will find you." I lost my breath. Because I had been trying for so long to hold onto hope or to grasp for hope, but my wise child was telling me I didn't have to try so hard or hold on so desperately. She was telling me to relax and let hope in, like a kind of grace. Noa was telling me hope was looking for me. That hope would track us all down.
Shulamit Izen at Brown University’s Hillel
In A Flood of Homophobia, a Davar Torah on Parashat Noach, Rabbi David Mitchellresponds to the recent spate of young gay men taking their own lives (including Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge) by asking us, as individuals and the Jewish community collectively, what we are doing to prevent such tragic deaths. His answer is not nearly enough.
I encourage my readers to read Rabbi Mitchell’s Davar Torah as well as my June 2009 article Neighborhoods 101: How inclusive and welcoming toward LGBT Jews is your shul?and think about what you can do to make young gay Jews feel welcome and accepted in our community.
For more info: David Cooper