Articles

Praise and Praiseworthiness: Thoughts for Parashat Pekudei

“And Moses saw the entire work [of the Mishkan], and behold, they [the Israelites] had accomplished it; as God had commanded them, so had they done; and Moses blessed them.” (Shemot 39:43)

The great 18th century economist and thinker, Adam Smith, distinguished between praise and praiseworthiness. In his book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” (III.I.32) he noted that “the love of praise is the desire of obtaining the favorable sentiments of our brethren. The love of praiseworthiness is the desire of rendering ourselves the proper objects of those sentiments.”

The Endangered Next Generation of Israeli-American Jews

Close to a million Israelis live in countries other than Israel. The majority have settled in the United States and Canada for the long run, teaching at universities, running business, and becoming entrepreneurs. Most identify as secular and send their children to public schools. Although they maintain a vague Israeli identity, most of the children call their current country of residence home.

Being Jewish on Campus

What is it like on campus to be Jewish and a lover of Israel, as a student, as a faculty member? When one reads reports in many Jewish media sources it sounds grim. How bad is it? Is it really bad? I here offer reflections as a long-term faculty member at a number of institutions across the country and at a branch of the University of California since 1989.