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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

British man gets jail time for sending lawmaker anti-Semitic tweet

Julie Wiener The tweet to Labour’s Luciana Berger carried the hashtag “Hitler was right.” ... [Link]

Poll: Majority of Denmark citizens want circumcision banned

Julie Wiener The survey was released on the eve of a parliamentary hearing to discuss a possible ban on circumcision, something that two parties support. ... [Link]

Palestinian-American student alleges anti-Muslim assault at Brooklyn arena

Marcy Oster She claims the group of assailants included the executive director of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA, who was punched outside the Barclays Center after the game. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: Rabbis bearing witness in Ferguson

mbrodsky A Minneapolis rabbi went to the anguished Missouri city with the intention of teaching protesters and police a new path for justice, a promise of racial healing. But once there he realized he had the ... [Link]

Netanyahu slams Abbas over deadly rail attack in Jerusalem

Marcy Oster The driver of the car that crashed into a train station, apparently intentionally, was a Hamas member, the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman said on Twitter. ... [Link]

Infant killed, 8 hurt in suspected terror attack on Jerusalem light rail

Marcy Oster The driver of the car that crashed into a train station attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot by police. ... [Link]

Hagel, meeting with Yaalon, reaffirms U.S. commitment to Israeli security

Marcy Oster U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reaffirmed the “deep commitment” of the United States to Israel’s security at a meeting with his Israeli counterpart. ... [Link]

Haredim’s refusal to sit next to opposite sex delays Delta flight

Marcy Oster A Delta Airlines flight to Israel was delayed after haredi Orthodox men and women deplaned rather than sit next to members of the opposite sex. ... [Link]

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