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Words of the Week

“The lesson I learned in Charlottesville was simple: when the racist- neo-Nazi- ‘alt-right’ gathers in your backyard, it is up to us to SHOW UP and make it known that they are not welcome. There is no room here to be passive. If we do not speak out and speak up now, the consequences can be even more devastating than what has already taken place.

Hineni– I am present. You should be too.”

Source: Shoshanna R. Schechter-Shaffin, “Charlottesville 2017: When the Nazis Come to Your Backyard – It is time to SHOW UP” (eJewish Philanthropy)

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Words of the Week

“Around our table sat Americans and Israelis; Ashkenazim and Mizrachim; secular, Orthodox, and just plain traditional Jews. We were all family. And so, despite its unconventional nature, I felt that our little reunion was a fitting way to spend Shabbat Tisha B’Av. In fact, it seemed like a glimpse of the World to Come, a time when all Jews unite as one people, with one heart.”

Source: Rebecca Klempner, “A Tisha B’Av Of Joy?” (Jew in the City)

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Words of the Week

“Furthermore, anyone who is a true student of the Middle East, including Jews (of which I count myself as one) who deeply empathize with the Palestinian narrative and yearn for a way for these two peoples to find the path to a compromise that honors multiple narratives and needs, knows that it is a gross simplification and distortion of both history and current affairs to present that situation as one in which the Palestinian people are the victims of the Israelis are aggressors. The reality is far more complex and involves international players who have manipulated the situation and not only the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Source: Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz, “Intersectionality and the Limits of Ideology” (Rabbis Without Borders)

(Yes, I realize that an edit is needed. But I think you get the gist of what she’s saying.)

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Words of the Week

“He always offered me tea but never anything to eat, as though the onion and bread were part of a ritual reserved for him alone, a Jew from Lvov who had lost everything but the taste for bitterness and dry bread.”

Source: Dalia Rosenfeld’s “The Worlds We Think We Know,” in the short-story collection of the same title, which I am reading now.

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Words of the Week

“On the other hand, Israel is meant to be the state for all of the Jewish people. It is meant to be a place where all Jews can feel at home, can pray freely and practice their religion the way they want, with respect and dignity. It was one thing when the cabinet passed the Kotel deal in 2016 but then got stuck with its implementation. At least it seemed on the surface to be trying to move things forward. Now, the message to millions of Jews around the world is that Israel simply doesn’t care about them.

Reform and Conservative Jews throughout the US already feel like second-class citizens when it comes to ritual in Israel like conversion and marriage. By annulling the decision to create a prayer space that all Jews can call home, the government is leading this relationship toward an even greater divide.

For years, Netanyahu has told the Israeli public that there is no one better than him who understands America and American Jewry. Today we finally understood what that means – he doesn’t really care about them.”

Yaakov Katz, “Shameful Day for Israel as It Freezes Plan for Pluralistic Prayer Site at the Kotel” (Jerusalem Post)

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Words of the Week

“In my travels and talks and meetings, I am constantly running up against this problem. When people are polite, they often tell me how ‘difficult’ supporting Israel in their communities has become, because of the settlements, or because of offensive statements by Israeli politicians. The problem is a sincere one, but it is a structural one, and will not go away so long as (i) American Jews relate to Israel as principally a political cause rather than a civilizational force, (ii) American Jews relate to some policies and not others as resonating to the core of their own identity as Jews, and (iii) American Jewish politics are so different from Israeli politics, which is unlikely to change.

And that’s when they’re polite.”

Source: David Hazony, “Israeli Identity and the Future of American Jewry” (The Tower)

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