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Selective memory

“Is there any person who would want everything he ever did or said in private to be remembered?” — Rabbi Ron Y. Eisenman

THE additional (“musaf”) prayer of Rosh Hashanah contains three sections not found in any other Jewish prayer during the entire year: “Kingship,” “Remembrance” and “Shofar.” This past Rosh Hashanah, I heard Rabbi Ron Y. Eisenman ask: Doesn’t the Remembrance section seem out of place?

The other two sections seem directly pertinent to Rosh Hashanah. The holiday is all about G-d’s “kingship,” His power and judgment of the entire universe. (Rosh Hashanah, parenthetically, is the true universal Jewish holiday, on which the lives of all of humanity, not just Jews, are judged.) And “Shofar”? Obviously pertinent, for the sounding of the shofar — that elemental, mysterious ritual — is the essence of Rosh Hashanah, the mitzvah unique to the day.

But look at “Remembrance.” Its verses make it perfectly clear that no action of any human being is ever forgotten.

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Liberal Lens

What happened to the anti-war movement?

A mere 72 hours after President Obama delivered an encomium honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, he announced his intention to pound yet another country with bombs. The oxymoron last week was noteworthy for how little attention it received. Yes, a president memorialized an anti-war activist who derided the US government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” Then that same president quickly proposed yet more violence — this time in Syria. Among a political press corp...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 September 2013 01:54 )

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Conservative Lens

The Obama Doctrine: Call it USLKOE

Readers are undoubtedly familiar with the various “doctrines” named after American presidents. Those named after James Monroe, Harry Truman and George W. Bush are among the best known. Well, we have a new one, announced this week by Secretary of State John Kerry. It is a new doctrine of war — so new, in fact, that it is not only new to America; it is new in the annals of military history. Kerry announced that an American attack on the Assad regime for using chemical weapons would be an ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 September 2013 01:51 )

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View from Central Park

I expected more

Reading anything Holocaust-related is emotionally difficult. Reading the riveting, recently published Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding, is no different. Yet, something sets this book apart. I read it in one sitting this past Sunday. Echoing the style of another riveting book, Lawrence and Aaronsohn by Ronald Florence, Hanns and Rudolf is a dual biography, interweaving the personal stories of Nazi SS officer Rudolf Hoss (whose name is spelled in various ways) and a Jewish German turned captain...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 September 2013 01:47 )

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Dear Tzviling

How to meet Elijah the Prophet

Dear Tzviling, I have read many stories of Elijah the Prophet. I was told that great people actually had the privilege to see him. Tell me, how can I have the merit of his presence? Masha, Colorado Springs

Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 September 2013 07:04 )

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