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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

Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

Ron Kampeas The island nation’s Jewish organizations can be much more in the open with the historic deal that freed Alan Gross and reopened U.S. ties to Cuba. ... [Link]

Alan Gross credits Jewish efforts for his release from Cuba

Uriel Heilman The Jewish-American contractor offered special thanks to the Washington Jewish community. ... [Link]

Despite passionate reactions, EU ruling on Hamas is a small legal glitch

Cnaan Liphshiz Hamas is no longer on the EU terror list, but that’s more for procedural than ideological reasons. And it will likely be reinstated soon. ... [Link]

Dieudonne seeks accord with France’s Jewish community

Cnaan Liphshiz The French comedian, following years of punitive measures for inciting racial hatred against Jews, says he wants to meet with French Jewish leaders and “move forward.” ... [Link]

European Parliament passes resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood

Cnaan Liphshiz The nonbinding measure says recognition should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks with Israel. ... [Link]

Alan Gross released amid U.S.-Cuba rapprochement

Ron Kampeas The Obama administration insisted the agreement to release the Jewish-American contractor was technically separate from sweeping changes in policy toward the island nation, including a return to full ... [Link]

Australian commission to probe how Chabad handled abuse claims

Ron Kampeas Some of Australia’s most senior Orthodox rabbis have already been subpoenaed to supply documents ahead of the hearing starting Feb. 2 in Melbourne. ... [Link]

Kerry: Talk of U.N. statehood recognition for Palestinians ‘premature’

Ron Kampeas Palestinian officials said they hoped to advance a statehood recognition resolution this week through the Security Council. ... [Link]

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