It’s been a rough couple of days, for reasons I may explain another time, but I was cheered enormously this morning by a report from my sister about her daughter (my five-year-old niece), who is clearly receiving an excellent religious upbringing.
Unlike her younger brother (not to mention her Aunt Erika!), little R doesn’t fall asleep very easily, and often chats with her various stuffed animals before drifting off. Last night, as my sister paused outside my niece’s bedroom door, she heard R holding the following discussion with “Bunny” and peers:
“So when there are 3 stars in the sky on Saturday night, then Shabbat is over. But what, do you ask, happens when you can’t see any stars at all? Then Shabbat would last forever….Hmmm. That really makes no sense.”
I think we have a Talmudist on our hands.
There is so much being written/published about what is happening in Gaza. As usual, much of it angers, saddens, and sickens me. Once again, I’m reminded why I stopped contributing to NPR, and why even CNN (with some notable exceptions, as Seth Gitell has pointed out) lets me down time after time after time.
Then, of course, there are the reliable, reassuring voices of reason. Like Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s. See Rabbi Yoffie’s piece, “On Gaza, Sense and Centrism,” in The Forward.
These have not been happy days. Last Friday morning, my family and I lost a beloved friend, our congregation’s Senior Rabbi Emeritus, Barry H. Greene. His passing was utterly unexpected. The funeral took place on Sunday. I hope to be able to share excerpts from eulogies another time. Right now, I am still absorbing this shocking event. Zichrono l’vracha.
Barry, as I was privileged to call him, would doubtless have forwarded at least one or two relevant editorials and similar items about the current difficulties in Gaza. Here is one I would have shared with him.
Unfairness to Israel in academic circles is not exactly news to me, but the latest example is. After reading this, I’m glad I’m no longer an MLA member. The list of disciplinary/professional organizations I can no longer embrace with the enthusiasm I once did because I don’t wish to support their non-disciplinary, non-professional political agendas with my membership dues thus grows.
In The Forward, Ilan Stavans translates (apparently for the first time) three prose poems by Jorge Luis Borges: “To Israel,” “Israel,” and “Israel, 1969.” Quite an interesting find.
Looking for some Chanukah lit? Check out the collection of Chanukah poems (broadly defined) available on the Academy of American Poets Web site.