Blogs

A terrible crime recently made the headlines in Israel. A well-known rabbi, reputed to be a wonder-worker, had a large following of supporters who sought his prayers and blessings. One such follower came to him to seek a prayer/blessing so that a certain result would ensue.

SHE-LO ASSANI ISHA– A CRITIQUE OF CONTEMPORARY “BLOGGIC” DISCOURSE

 

By Rabbi Zev Farber

The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, recently reported:

(Harry Zeitlin is a Seattle rabbi and teacher, as well as a visual artist and a musician. His blog is rabbizeitlin.wordpress.com)

Jewish Guilt, at least the European/western/Ashkenazi stereotype, is a cliché that is featured in much our unique, Jewish humor, and it is often seen as a positive trait that reflects our traditional values of personal responsibility and hard work. Although it has the potential to effectively cripple us, we are rather fond and protective of it. However, it's capacity for damage shouldn't be taken lightly.

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has recently rejected the applications of several Orthodox Jewish converts who have applied to live in Israel. This rejection has been reported widely in the Jewish media, and has generated much discussion--and anger, frustration, disgust. These cases are being appealed, and we hope that these converts will indeed be allowed to settle in Israel as Jews.

The Chief Rabbinate only accepts Orthodox conversions performed under their jurisdiction and/or with their express approval. Orthodox rabbis who refuse to bend to the will of the Chief Rabbinate are excluded from the Chief Rabbinate's "approved" list.

This policy is problematic on many levels.

We've all been reading of tensions in Israel due to the "Hareidization" of standards of conduct involving women and men. Serious problems have emerged in Bet Shemesh, because some Hareidim were disparaging and spitting at a modern Orthodox girl who was dressed modestly--but not according to Hareidi norms. There has been a long ongoing battle over public buses where the Hareidim demand that women sit in the back and the men in the front. They allow no intermingling of the genders, so they impose their values on everyone else.

The Puah Institute, specializing in medical research on women's health and especially on fertility issues, recently held a conference, but would not allow female doctors to present papers or to be on panels.

EXODUS: GOD’S GUIDE ON DEVELOPING RESILIENCE

By Esta Miran, Ed.D.

(Esta Miran, Ed.D. works for Dr. Michael D. Miran, Ph.D., Psychologist PC. She has published extensively in the area of Creativity.)

The story of the Exodus has always boggled my mind. On the one hand, God is promising the Jewish people freedom from slavery. Then God actively manages the journey to freedom by obstructing the effort. God sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh asking “Let my people go.” Then God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and Pharaoh refuses to release the Israelites from slavery. This happens again and again. How can we make sense out of Exodus? God explains that he wants to show Pharaoh, the Israelites, and all Peoples His “miraculous signs and wonders.” God wants to “display His Powers.”

President Obama framed his endorsement of same-sex “marriage” as an advancement of civil rights and “marriage equality.” After all, why shouldn’t two people who love each other be allowed to marry?

Fyodor Dostoevski once wrote: “If there is no God, then everything is permissible.” Stated another way, if morality is entirely determined by human beings, then human beings can decide what they think is moral or immoral. God is not part of the equation. Thus, if humans decide that same sex “marriage” is moral, then that is their right. God has no say in the matter.

(Jack Goldstein is an active member of the Jewish community in Bogota, Colombia. He manages Lancaster House, Hotel and Conventions, in Bogota.)

Upon arriving to the gates of heaven, Moishe Pippick is received by God, who offers him a succulent meat dish to welcome him. Moishe, neither short nor lazy, and already accustomed to dodge these situations, asks: “Respected God, and who supervised the shechita?” Quite surprised, the Lord says “But if I, your God, am offering it to you! Perhaps you doubt me?” Moishe with little humility replies: “You know what? Better give me a salad.”

(Rabbi Finkelman is a member of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. He earned his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University, and has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York. He teaches literature at Lawrence Technological University, as well as adult education classes in his local Federation.)

A terrible crime recently made the headlines in Israel. A well-known rabbi, reputed to be a wonder-worker, had a large following of supporters who sought his prayers and blessings. One such follower came to him to seek a prayer/blessing so that a certain result would ensue.

SHE-LO ASSANI ISHA– A CRITIQUE OF CONTEMPORARY “BLOGGIC” DISCOURSE

 

By Rabbi Zev Farber

The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, recently reported:

(Harry Zeitlin is a Seattle rabbi and teacher, as well as a visual artist and a musician. His blog is rabbizeitlin.wordpress.com)

Jewish Guilt, at least the European/western/Ashkenazi stereotype, is a cliché that is featured in much our unique, Jewish humor, and it is often seen as a positive trait that reflects our traditional values of personal responsibility and hard work. Although it has the potential to effectively cripple us, we are rather fond and protective of it. However, it's capacity for damage shouldn't be taken lightly.

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has recently rejected the applications of several Orthodox Jewish converts who have applied to live in Israel. This rejection has been reported widely in the Jewish media, and has generated much discussion--and anger, frustration, disgust. These cases are being appealed, and we hope that these converts will indeed be allowed to settle in Israel as Jews.

The Chief Rabbinate only accepts Orthodox conversions performed under their jurisdiction and/or with their express approval. Orthodox rabbis who refuse to bend to the will of the Chief Rabbinate are excluded from the Chief Rabbinate's "approved" list.

This policy is problematic on many levels.

We've all been reading of tensions in Israel due to the "Hareidization" of standards of conduct involving women and men. Serious problems have emerged in Bet Shemesh, because some Hareidim were disparaging and spitting at a modern Orthodox girl who was dressed modestly--but not according to Hareidi norms. There has been a long ongoing battle over public buses where the Hareidim demand that women sit in the back and the men in the front. They allow no intermingling of the genders, so they impose their values on everyone else.

The Puah Institute, specializing in medical research on women's health and especially on fertility issues, recently held a conference, but would not allow female doctors to present papers or to be on panels.

EXODUS: GOD’S GUIDE ON DEVELOPING RESILIENCE

By Esta Miran, Ed.D.

(Esta Miran, Ed.D. works for Dr. Michael D. Miran, Ph.D., Psychologist PC. She has published extensively in the area of Creativity.)

The story of the Exodus has always boggled my mind. On the one hand, God is promising the Jewish people freedom from slavery. Then God actively manages the journey to freedom by obstructing the effort. God sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh asking “Let my people go.” Then God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and Pharaoh refuses to release the Israelites from slavery. This happens again and again. How can we make sense out of Exodus? God explains that he wants to show Pharaoh, the Israelites, and all Peoples His “miraculous signs and wonders.” God wants to “display His Powers.”

President Obama framed his endorsement of same-sex “marriage” as an advancement of civil rights and “marriage equality.” After all, why shouldn’t two people who love each other be allowed to marry?

Fyodor Dostoevski once wrote: “If there is no God, then everything is permissible.” Stated another way, if morality is entirely determined by human beings, then human beings can decide what they think is moral or immoral. God is not part of the equation. Thus, if humans decide that same sex “marriage” is moral, then that is their right. God has no say in the matter.

(Jack Goldstein is an active member of the Jewish community in Bogota, Colombia. He manages Lancaster House, Hotel and Conventions, in Bogota.)

Upon arriving to the gates of heaven, Moishe Pippick is received by God, who offers him a succulent meat dish to welcome him. Moishe, neither short nor lazy, and already accustomed to dodge these situations, asks: “Respected God, and who supervised the shechita?” Quite surprised, the Lord says “But if I, your God, am offering it to you! Perhaps you doubt me?” Moishe with little humility replies: “You know what? Better give me a salad.”

(Rabbi Finkelman is a member of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. He earned his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University, and has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York. He teaches literature at Lawrence Technological University, as well as adult education classes in his local Federation.)