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From My Bookshelf: THE HOPE: American Jewish Voices in Support of Israel

I need not tell you how absorbed I’ve been in certain current events of late–a look at the recent “Words of the Week” posts attests to that. But I have not yet shared one of the actions I’ve taken in response to those events: contributing a poem to a new anthology, the sales proceeds of which are being donated to The Lone Soldier Center (in memory of Michael Levin).

Edited by the indefatigable Rabbi Menachem Creditor, the book features an array of American Jewish voices that, as Rabbi Creditor notes, are united when it comes to “one sacred truth: Am Yisrael Chai!”. You can read more about the book via Jweekly.com, and you can take a “look inside” on The Hope‘s Amazon page.

If you are so inclined, I ask you to please spread the word about this meaningful volume. Thank you.

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Words of the Week, IV

Rabbi Avi Weiss, “Comforting the Wounding, Worrying About Family” (The Jewish Week):
“The soldiers of Israel are the soldiers I met at Beilinson [Hospital, Petach Tikvah] today. They are our children and grandchildren, decent and kind. Though today they wear their uniforms with pride, I know they would much prefer to shed them, would prefer a life–and a world–where Israel had no need for an army.”

Ambassador Ron Prosor, Speech to the U.N. General Assembly:
“There is only one way to achieve sustained quiet in Israel and build a peaceful and prosperous Gaza. Hamas must be disarmed. Gaza must be demilitarized. And the international community must divorce itself from the romantic notion of Hamas as ‘freedom fighters.'”

Anthony Reuben, “Caution Needed with Gaza Casualty Figures” (BBC News):
“In conclusion, we do not yet know for sure how many of the dead in Gaza are civilians and how many were fighters.” Continue reading ›

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Nina Badzin explains why she doesn’t write about politics/Israel–and a few other things.
  • An interesting post by Michael Weingrad on Dan Simmons, “the major science fiction writer whose work most frequently focuses on Jews.” (h/t Mosaic magazine)
  • From the Jewish Ensemble Theatre in West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: “Though submissions are CLOSED for the 2014 play festival, we are currently taking submissions for the 2015 New Play Festival. Scripts should be submitted in hard copy only, along with a $10 processing fee payable to JET and a stamped self-addressed envelope if return is desired.” (h/t Theatre Funding Newsletter)
  • Eminent author Marilynne Robinson recently visited Israel. Beth Kissileff spoke with Robinson about her trip–and her views about the BDS movement.
  • I’ll admit it: I’m more than a little jealous of the 36 high school students mentioned here.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week, III

    More excerpts from noteworthy news items.

    Jodi Rudoren, “Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza Conflict” (The New York Times):
    “[T]he difference between roughly half the dead being combatants, in the Israeli version, or barely 10 percent, to use the most stark numbers on the other side, is wide enough to change the characterization of the conflict.”

    and

    “The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.” Continue reading ›

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    Words of the Week, II

    Another collection of noteworthy words:

    Shimon Ohayon, “No Jews = No Outrage” (The Times of Israel):
    “The feigned outrage on the streets of Europe is a peculiar cocktail of hypocrisy, ignorance and above all, hate.”

    Noa Tishby, “Artists Without Borders. Or Facts.” (Jewish Journal):
    “So if you prefer acting or partying to fact-checking that’s fine, but please just stick to that. With power (and millions of Twitter followers) comes at least some responsibility.”

    Jeffrey Goldberg, “What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?” (The Atlantic):
    “People wonder why Israelis have such a visceral reaction to Hamas. The answer is easy. Israel is a small country, and most of its citizens know someone who was murdered by Hamas in its extended suicide-bombing campaigns; and most people also understand that if Hamas had its way, it would kill them as well.” Continue reading ›

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