Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Vulnerability

 In his magnum opus, Ha’amek Davar, Rabbi
Naftali Tzvi Berlin, (also called 
Netziv, 1817-93), the last leader of the illustrious  yeshiva of Volozhin, Russia, asks why the
first book of the Torah, Bereshith  is
also called: Sefer Hayashar, “the book of those who are upright”. In his own
unusual way, Netziv responds that this is due to the fact that the three
patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaacov, the main figures in this book, were
men of uncompromising straightforwardness, justice and mercy.

Rabbi Benzion Uziel: Women in Civic Life

Until the early twentieth century, women in most countries
had limited roles in civic life. In 1917, for example only
five countries in Europe allowed women to vote—
Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Soviet Russia. The women’s suffrage
movement in the United States and Europe was ultimately successful
in gaining the vote for women, but victory came only after a period of
protracted social and political agitation.

Interreligious Bridges and Barriers

My passion for interreligious engagement1 is due in no
small measure to my family’s journeys. I am the grandson
of immigrants who fled persecution in Eastern Europe
and settled in Chicago. Their contacts with Christian neighbors were limited
and not especially positive. As youngsters growing up in Chicago, my
parents learned firsthand about anti-Semitism and the dangers of taking
shortcuts through unfriendly neighborhoods.
I grew up in a middle-class Chicago suburb with both Christian and


This is the story of one Jewish family's confrontation with the Holocaust--a Sephardic family from the Island of Rhodes.