Intermountain Jewish News

Nov 25th
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Conservative Lens

Europe is making a fatal mistake

Allowing millions of Syrians and others from the Muslim Middle East into Europe will end up a catastrophe for Europe, and therefore for the West.

This may be the most difficult sentence I have ever written. Little seems more obviously moral than to allow these beleagured Syrians, Iraqis and others to flee from hell into heaven. Therefore, arguing against allowing large numbers of them into Europe (and the US) seems to be advocating for something that is heartless and just morally wrong.

View from Central Park

The broken etrog

This summer I re-read one of my favorite Israeli authors, S. Y. Agnon. Of course, in order to receive the full delight and experience of this Nobel Laureate's writing, you need to read him in the original Hebrew, or at the very least in a proper translation. His mastery and affection for irony and contradiction are executed with the perfection of the craftsman par excellence that he is. His writings, almost like a Biblical commentary, are mutilayered with the obvious and the covert. His stories...
View From Denver


AND I want you to know that there is a real problem out there, overtaking every facet of literature — high brow, low brow, middle brow, in print, online, Twitter, Facebook, non-fiction, everything. And I just can’t make my peace with it. And, I mean, it’s really disturbing to a person who at least aspires to write well and to read well. And to read well? And, yes indeed, it’s a pleasure to read something that is well written, even if it is only an objective news report. And I just can...
View from Central Park


The melodies of the Days of Awe engulf me. Long before arriving to shul for formal prayers, I am preparing myself with the tunes and melodies, singing them to myself. Often I occupy myself with the fruitless exercise of imagining grafting melodies from songs I love onto snippets or sometimes whole prayers from the liturgy — it’s fruitless because I am not leading the prayers. I just enjoy doing it for the sake of it. Then there are those wordless niggunim, melodies that stir the heart and w...
View From Denver

There is no heredity in challah — a travelogue

Rosh Hashanah is different for a mother of a young family — and for any other adult in the house. The solemnity, the seriousness, the deep contemplation, the oscillation between hope and unworthiness, are all broken by a baby’s cries, a toddler’s antics, a sweetly drawn cut-out with the colors of a bee and a small plastic container attached for honey. So it rotates. Long hours in shul. Powerful words of prayer. Elevating melodies. And . . . a beautiful little stool with inlaid blocks spel...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Meet Oren Hazan, Israel’s most scandalous lawmaker

Ben Sales Allegations against the freshman lawmaker have run the gamut from drugs to sex to bigotry. ... [Link]

How the Chabad rebbe helped create food stamps, and other Jewish Medal of Freedom stories

Ron Kampeas While Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson didn’t receive any credit at the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony, Judaism got plenty of love. ... [Link]

For Jimmy Carter’s chief of staff, being Jewish was a family secret

Gabrielle Birkner For Kathleen Jordan, finishing the memoir of her late father, Hamilton Jordan, was a labor of love, a way to process her grief and an exercise in embracing her own Southern identity. ... [Link]

Met Council’s Rapfogel released to minimum-security prison with view of Central Park

Julie Wiener For 10 days Rapfogel will be restricted to a minimum-security facility across the street from Central Park, then will be allowed to leave during the day to go to work. ... [Link]

Bishops in England and Wales call for Vatican to revise liturgy concerning Jews

Julie Wiener The chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations said the current wording of the prayer has caused “great confusion and upset in the Jewish community.” ... [Link]

Op-Ed: Why Conservative Judaism should accept patrilineal Jews

Uriel Heilman When a couple with a patrilineal Jewish partner gets married, do we want a Conservative rabbi standing with them under the huppah, a rabbi from a more liberal movement or no rabbi at all? asks the exe... [Link]

Iran’s Khamenei reiterates support for Palestinian uprising

Julie Wiener “We will defend the movement of the Palestinian people with all of our existence, and in any way and as long as we can,” the country’s top Muslim cleric said. ... [Link]

Obama administration: Still a ‘big no’ on supporting settlement building

Ron Kampeas A spokesman would not confirm whether Secretary of State John Kerry asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow Palestinian building in the West Bank. ... [Link]

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