Monthly Archives: September 2014

Overwrought over ISIS—by Peter Eisenstadt

Overwrought over ISIS
Peter Eisenstadt
September, 10

This, from the New York Times this morning. ISIS has created “perhaps the most turbulent moment for the Middle East since the split centuries ago between Sunnis and Shiites. “ The usually level-headed Daniel Kurtzer, former US ambassador to Egypt and Israel added, ““I don’t think there has been anything like this since the 7th century.” Really?

Have Ambassador Kurtzer or the reporters for the New York Times ever heard of Genghis Khan and the Mongols, Tamerlane, the Crusades, the Ottoman Turks, the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt, World War I, the Iran-Iraq War, the two American invasions of Iraq, and the various wars, on which I am not expert enough to list, of the Fatimids, the Mamuluks, the Ayyubids, and so on, etc? read more

What Happens in a Casino Elevator Doesn’t Stay There—by Ayala Emmett

What Happens in a Casino Elevator Doesn’t Stay There
Ayala Emmett
September 9, 2014

A vicious assault on a woman in a casino elevator in Atlantic City took place in February 2014. Several months later on September 8, the attack in the elevator was on our TV screens: a woman treated like a punching bag, receiving a knockout and her unconscious body pulled out like a garbage bag. A Ravens’ star Ray Rice attacked his girlfriend Janay Palmer, knocked her down and mopped the floor with her limp body. read more

DINAH daughter of Jacob and Leah—by Barbara D. Holender

daughter of Jacob and Leah
Barbara D. Holender

Why don’t you kill me and be done with it?
My big brothers, my protectors–
Where were you when Shechem took me?
I cried out for you.

My father has four wives;
not one of them warned me of such things.
I have twelve brothers;
not one watched over me.
I have no sister
so I went to see the daughters of the land,
and Shechem found me. And forced me.

Where were you all those days
he kept me in his house?
I told him you would kill him,
but when you did not come, and he grew kind
we fell in love, and then I said
I hoped you would be friends. read more

An Open Letter to American Jews—by Israelis for a Sustainable Future

 An Open Letter to American Jew

Israelis for a Sustainable Future
September 1,  2014

Israelis For a Sustainable Future is a group of Israelis living in New York, who reached out to each other spontaneously, during Protective Edge, in order to somehow respond to the horrific news coming out of Israel and Palestine. We decided to reach out to the American Jewish community because we recognized that our voice, the voice of Israelis who object to the occupation and the endless military campaigns, is not heard enough, and we saw an opportunity for dialogue. read more

Every Parasha is as meaningful as the entire Torah: D’var Torah for Parshat Sh’lach L’Cha– by Doug Gallant

Every Parasha is as meaningful as the entire Torah
That’s why the Sages passed down the message to us that ‘Torah truly is Eternal’

D’var Torah for Parshat Sh’lach L’Cha
Doug Gallant

My Torah portion this morning is Sh’lach L’cha, which contains the story of Moses sending spies to the land of Canaan to find out about the land and its inhabitants.

The power of recognition is a fascinating feature of our minds.  One of our great problems in life is the fact that we often do not recognize the world around us for what it really is. For many reasons we allow ourselves to be deceived; in fact, it might be incredibly difficult to see things in a clear way. Then, sometimes, we suddenly recognize the truth. Immediately everything looks different. read more

Pope Francis in Palestine and Israel

“I have a huge crush on the Pope,” I announced to my coworkers in our Hebron apartment* over supper last fall. “I suppose that’s weird, being Mennonite and all, but…”

“No,” my teammate said, “I’m Muslim and I have a crush on the Pope.”

Even my Jewish husband—who was at first skeptical of Pope Francis because of his silence as Archbishop in Argentina during the 1970s-80s when the U.S.-backed junta was torturing and murdering thousands of Argentineans—has admitted he has been a drastic improvement over recent occupants of the Papal See. read more