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Jewish on Earth

G-d is in the summer camp

TO those who say we never see miracles or talk directly with G-d anymore, I say, “Nonsense.”

We constantly stand in their presence; we just fail to appreciate them.  We fill our lives with distractions, and only notice miracles that hit us over the head, like tornadoes, volcanoes and earthquakes, or childbirth, infatuation and skydiving.

It’s like Mel Brooks describing how the concept of G-d originated (in “The 2,000 Year Old Man”): after lightening killed the terrifying tyrant Phil, Brooks says, “We looked up at the sky and said, “There’s something bigger than Phil.”

Last Updated ( Friday, 01 July 2011 11:35 )

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Everything is local

The primary emphasis of Western religions is to celebrate events that occurred in one place — the Land of Canaan (a.k.a. The Land of Milk and Honey, Judea & Samaria, Roman Palestine, etc.). That focus on one locale provides a counterintuitive lesson for our now-globalized world: everything is still local. It’s where we live, work, politic, make policy, educate ourselves, shop, gather, sleep and practice our religions. Yes, much of what we do today is linked to, or depends on regional, ...
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Making Earth Day meaningful

THIS year Earth Day fell on the Friday of Pesach. It was successful: the earth is still here. Of course, the earth was here before humans arrived, and will be here long after they’re gone. However, I vote for delaying our exit. How about you? When I wrote this column, most of us were complaining about eating the bread of affliction. Complaining is good — it’s the first step toward creating change. At the seder, we celebrated our progress since leaving poverty and affliction in ancient Eg...
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Three commandments of environmentalism

WE skeptical humans have always greeted novelty with suspicion. We prefer what makes us feel safe and comfortable, not what challenges us. That’s why concepts like global climate change, carbon trading, waste-free business and social equity confound us. It’s easier and more comforting to believe that climate change is a hoax, carbon cap and trade hurts business, we’ll always create waste, and some people deserve (a lot) more than others. But imagine 3,300 years ago when we Hebrews were ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 April 2011 11:21 )

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Appreciating what we have

PERHAPS Israel should change its national anthem from “Hatikva” to “Dayenu.” For the Jewish State, so dependent on the support of powerful allies, a song that expresses thanks and delight for every new blessing seems more appropriate than a patriotic, historical, sentimental national anthem. But as the Middle East is all about chest pounding and historical pedigree, Hatikva may fit the bill better. It’s solemn, and people take it seriously. The problem is, no country’s national anth...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

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At Yom Kippur, dreaming of a white yontif

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Israeli NGO delivering aid to Christian, Yazidi refugees in Iraq

Marcy Oster IsraAID, an Israeli nongovernmental relief organization, is delivering urgent humanitarian aid to Christian and Yazidi refugees who have fled to Iraq’s Kurdish region. ... [Link]

Hasidic candidate loses in New York statewide race

Julie Wiener A man believed to be the first Hasidic candidate to run for any statewide office conceded in a close race for the New York State Assembly. ... [Link]

AJC urges Bolivian president to stem rising tide of anti-Semitism

Marcy Oster The American Jewish Committee called on Bolivian President Eva Morales to halt the rise of violent anti-Semitism in his country. ... [Link]

1,200-year-old Jewish prayer book on display in Jerusalem

Julie Wiener A Jewish prayer book believed to be the world’s oldest will be exhibited in Jerusalem for one month. ... [Link]

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