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.”

Mark Sampson
“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.”

Nobosuke Tagomi
“The Man in the High Castle”

Not Yet Time for Vegetarianism

“[Rav Kook wrote that] the mitzvot light the way to the perfection of the future – a time when the animals will have been transformed into humans, and humans into angels. Thus kashrut is mean to prepare us for vegetarianism, a great step forward in the moral perfection of the human race – but must not be done before its time, for the complacency and self-satisfaction it might bring. Indeed, he wrote, one could imagine a bloodthirsty tyrant who prided himself on his vegetarianism, eerily presaging Hitler.”

Yehudah Mirsky

China’s Morality

“China lost its Middle Kingdom with the end of Ming Dynasty. Lost its Han ethnicity with the conquest by the Qin Dynasty, lost its face with the Cultural Revolution, and then lost its morality with economic reform.”

Cheng Li
Senior Fellow and Director, John L. Thornton China Center
The Brookings Institution

Shoah and Understanding

The more you study the Holocaust, the less you understand. I spent a lifetime studying it, and I still cannot understand. There were string quartets playing in Auschwitz-Birkenau while a million and a quarter human beings were gassed, burned, and turned to ash. What happened in Auschwitz in the Holocaust was a terrible demonstration of the limits of civilization to civilize if we do not fear God and see His image in every human person.

via Rabbi Jonathan Sacks | February 13, 2015 | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly | PBS.

The European Left and False Equivalence

Both Jews and Muslims deserve to live their lives in Europe. But only Jews are being murdered on the streets of European capitals simply for being Jewish. That The Guardian and Simon Tisdall believe that there is some false equivalence between Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe demonstrates just how warped their ideologically inspired view of this serious situation is.

via Copenhagen terror: They just don’t get it | Simon Plosker | The Blogs | The Times of Israel.

More than Liberty

“I was trying to explain to my kids on the drive into the city late this morning what is at stake in the gay marriage arguments, and I said that it has to do with what is the meaning of marriage, and what is the meaning of the human person. In the end, I said, it comes down to whether or not there is a standard of truth outside of ourselves to which we must conform, or whether or not the body and the world of matter is inert material upon which we can impose our will.”

via Rod Dreher
The Unraveling of the Common Good
The American Conservative

April 28, 2015

Better Atheists

“Atheism deserves better than the New Atheists, where methodology consists in criticizing religion without understanding it, quoting texts without contexts, taking exceptions as the rule, confusing folk belief with reflective theology, abusing, mocking, ridiculing, caricaturing, and demonizing religious faith and holding it responsible for the great crimes against humanity.”

— Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Remaining Firm

The ability to remain firm in our beliefs, even in the face of hardship and danger, indicates that we have fully internalized the level of holiness to which our soul aspires. According to the degree by which we have assimilated this level, we will find within ourselves the inner strength to withstand the challenges of the turbulent sea that rages around us.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook

“Outrageous though it is to use a noble idea as the cloak for evil, it is still worse to assail the noble idea itself because it can thus be used.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1894

More on Faith

“Faith is the human response to the phenomenon that defines the human condition, the constitutive uncertainty of our lives as we walk toward the undiscovered country called the future.”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks