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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

Get your kosher dogs at Dodger Stadium!

Lisa Keys The hot doggery, which opened Tuesday, was a welcome development for Dodgers fans and observant Jews alike. ... [Link]

White House briefing of AIPAC activists ends in communication breakdown

Ron Kampeas Did AIPAC cut off questions, or did Obama’s officials use up their time? ... [Link]

After years of trying, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are expecting first child

Gabe Friedman In a post on his personal account, the Facebook founder revealed that he and his wife had tragically tried to have a child for years without success. ... [Link]

Judge upholds sentence of mikvah-peeping rabbi

Julie Wiener The ruling Friday came in response to Rabbi Barry Freundel’s appeal of the sentence levied in May after he pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. ... [Link]

Senate panel passes energy efficiency bill championed by Orthodox Union

Gabe Friedman The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources passed a bill developed in part by the Orthodox Union that will help synagogues and other nonprofit buildings lower their energy costs. ... [Link]

Gary Ackerman, former congressman from N.Y., comes out against Iran deal

Gabe Friedman Former Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman joined the advisory board of a group backed by AIPAC, which opposes the deal. ... [Link]

West Bank settlements hit by fires in suspected Palestinian revenge attacks

Julie Wiener Dozens of residents of a West Bank settlement were evacuated from their homes after inhaling smoke from a brush fire suspected of being set by Palestinians. ... [Link]

Jewish terror draws Netanyahu’s focus homeward

Ron Kampeas The flow of Iran messaging from the Prime Minister’s Office was interrupted by Netanyahu’s fierce condemnation of a deadly arson attack in the West Bank. ... [Link]

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