We of the tribe prefer to refer to the role of Aslan in the Narnia books as propigating the Messianic Archetype. No need to be more specific than that.
Norwegian Lawmaker: Give BDS the Nobel Peace Prize – Tablet Magazine
Source: Norwegian Lawmaker: Give BDS the Nobel Peace Prize – Tablet Magazine
Bjornar Moxnes may not be an anti-Semite, but there should be an equally blistering pejorative for those who provide cover and legitimacy to the anti-Semites.
BDS, whatever the positive intentions of the duped innocents that make up its peripheral membership, is aught more than a front for forces who wish to see the Jewish state, and the Jews who make it up, pushed “into the sea.”
(And let us make no mistake: “into the sea” is not meant to suggest pushing us onto boats, ships, or paddle-boards. It is a euphemism for drowning us in the waters of the Mediterranean and dancing on our washed-up bodies.)
It does not surprise me that the frozen wastes of Northern Europe continue to spawn anti-Semites seventy years after the collapse of Nazi Germany, nor does it surprise me that a few of these ice-encrusted neanderthals find their way into government.
What does surprise me is that the otherwise intelligent people of Norway would fail to see through the blatant agitprop that BDS continues to spew, and would fail to inform themselves of the true intentions of Israel’s opponents.
Killing Us Softly
Overall, the intermarriage rate is at 58 percent, up from 43 percent in 1990 and 17 percent in 1970. Among non-Orthodox Jews, the intermarriage rate is 71 percent.
Source: Pew survey of U.S. Jews: soaring intermarriage, assimilation rates | Jewish Telegraphic Agency
The facts, ugly as they are.
If you care about Judaism in the least, don’t intermarry.
Our Core Question
The critical question that concerns us all: is Halacha fixed, evolving, or irrelevant?
Some will answer “Halacha is fixed.”
Others will answer “Halacha is evolving.”
Some will even answer “Halacha is irrelevant.”
And there are many Jews still who will answer “What is ‘Halacha?’ ”
Your answer will determine where you sit come Rosh Hashanah, methinks.
“The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.”
— Woody Allen
Allow me to offer a modified counterpoint to Mr. Konigsberg’s pithy quote.
The Jew’s job is not to succumb to Woody Allen’s despairing vision of an empty existence, but to create meaning in our lives and by example light the way for others.
Given the choice of a full day fast and eight days without chametz, I would take the latter.
Some fasts are easier than others, but as far as I know, no fast is easy.
A warning for my fellow tribesmen traveling from or in Asia during Pesach:
Asian airline caterers haven’t figured out Passover yet. That makes for some very hungry Chol Hamoed flights.
Trust me, I know.
The Bibi Gap
Gap between parties’ support of Israel at highest since 1978, survey shows; more conservatives view Netanyahu favorably than Dems
Source: 74% Republicans, 33% Democrats back Israel over Palestinians — poll | The Times of Israel
The problem here is not whether the world supports Benjamin Netanyahu. The problem for Israel, and by extension, for every Jew on the planet, is that the longer Bibi stays in office, the less people can tell the difference between Israel and Bibi.
Are we as a people ready to place the continued existence of our homeland on the same fragile little boat as a single man’s political career? Or is it time for the people of Israel to find a leader who can defend Israel with one hand and reach across to the rest of the world with the other?
Anyone who loves Israel must understand that without the world’s support, the days of our beloved land as a Jewish political entity are numbered, and that the day when the continued existence of Jews and Judaism on earth is once again at the mercy of others is nigh.
Jews in the High Castle
“I don’t plan on dying Frank, but I can’t live in fear.”
“I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy. I struggled with it for a while. But this is who I am, this is who my ancestors were. I’m not going to let them take that away from me.”
“One thing I realized about my people is that we have a different sense of time. These may be dark years, but we’ll survive. We always do. You’ve just got to find something to hold onto.”
“The Man in the High Castle.”
Torah in the High Castle
“You may not understand this. I live by a 5,000 year-old book. I ask it questions as if it were alive. It IS alive. It tells me you have a purpose. It says a superior person in an inferior position, accepting a task graciously, brings good fortune to all.
We must all have faith in something, Miss Crain. We cannot see ahead alone.”
“The Man in the High Castle”
A rejoinder I frequently offer to those who would discredit our faith on the basis of a perceived conflict between religion and science:
Speaking for Judaism, the truth in Torah lies at levels far deeper than its objective historicity.
Are we witnessing a counter-halaska? Or have we simply reached the absolute limits of liberalization?
Social Media Inventory, Part 1
First of two brilliant and thought-provoking posts by Rabbi Adar on ensuring that our behavior online is in keeping with Torah.
Image: A checklist and tools. Photo by stevepb via pixabay.com.
How does my behavior online stack up against the values of Torah? This is an environment of words and images, and our tradition has a lot to say about the use of words and images. Take this inventory to do a personal review:
Nitai of Arbel says: “Distance [yourself] from a bad neighbor, do not befriend an evildoer and do not despair of punishment.” – Pirkei Avot 1:7
How do I spend my time online? Do I use this resource to learn and to converse with people who are a good influence on me? Or do I waste valuable time on worthless activities? Is there anything I do online that I feel I must keep secret? Is there anything I would be embarrassed to have come to light?
Every argument that is for [the sake of] heaven’s name, it is…
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Term of the Week
“Scientism: the ideologically-charged fallacious belief that science is the only legitimate path of intellectual inquiry.”
My riff on Rod Dreher’s definition from his column.
A telling 19th century painting of the Western Wall
Source: 19th century painting of the Western Wall – Features – News – Arutz Sheva
A picture is worth a thousand words, a testimonial that there were Jews living and worshipping in Israel long before Theodor Herzl ignited the torch of modern Zionism.
Politics aside, though, the scene is of itself a thing of beauty.
Daniel Trilling’s “In Weissensee”
Ilya B., my great-grandfather, is buried in the Jewish cemetery at Weissensee in Berlin. He was born around 1880, into a middle-class family in Kiev, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Like many Jews in Kiev at the time, he spoke Russian, not Ukrainian. Russian was the language of power, essential for minorities […] — Daniel Trilling
Source: In Weissensee « LRB blog
A hauntingly beautiful essay.
An Inconvenient Truth
Source: Palestinian rockets killed more Gazans in 2014 war: Amnesty | Daily Mail Online
Hamas rockets killed more Gazans in 2014 than Israeli munitions. And let’s not even get into the whole issue of terrorists cynically and cruelly using their own people as human shields.
Israel is not perfect, but I’ll take imperfection over malevolent evil any day of the week.
Another person, a Christian, said to me, later, “I’m sick of churches these days. Everything is geared towards ‘meeting your needs.’ They have so many ministries and programs for every possible group, and don’t get me wrong, a lot of them do real good. But the overall effect is to train us to expect to be catered to. If somebody isn’t meeting our needs, then somebody is failing us. That’s the mindset. But that’s not Christianity. It’s supposed to be hard! It’s the Cross!”
Source: ‘You Can See It All Over. It’s Unwinding’ | The American Conservative
This from Orthodox Christian writer Rod Dreher.
A question for my fellow Jews:
Raise your hand if you see this same sort of tendency in your synagogue, yeshiva, or shul.
A religious leader should not pander. A religious institution should not lower itself.
A religious leader should lead. And a religious institution must aspire to the highest standards while offering help to everyone to reach those standards.