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Are there limits to human solidarity?

Are there limits to human solidarity?

A SCENARIO in a genocide: I am part of a targeted group. The enemy demands that the group turn over a specific member of the group to be put to death. Otherwise, the enemy says it will murder the entire group.

May the one person be turned over, to be murdered, in order to save the group? Or must the group refuse and sacrifice many lives?

This terrible dilemma occurred during the Holocaust. Something similar occurs in this week’s Torah portion.

Also this: In a natural disaster — a famine, for example — is pleasure permitted? Even if one is personally protected against the effects of the disaster, must one diminish one’s pleasure out of solidarity with those who suffer?

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Reflections

A time to bring light into the world

Chanukah is a holiday with many names. Some call it the Festival of Lights, while others refer to it as the Feast of Rededication or the Holiday of Miracles. To add to the confusion, there is absolutely no consensus as to its proper spelling. If you don’t believe me, just check out the selection of Hallmarks cards wishing your family everything from a happy Hanukka to Chanukah to Chanukah and even Khanukkah! This year, since the second night is also Thanksgiving, we now have Thanksgivingkah!...

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 November 2013 10:18 )

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Dear Tzviling

Avoiding the wedding ‘plotz’

Dear Tzviling, First, the good news. Mazel Tov! My daughter is engaged to be married. And now, the “bad” news. I’m going meshhuga! [I’m a nervous wreck!] The chasunah [wedding] is taking place next month and I was up a whole night trying to make seating arrangements. Oy, what a mess. I’m ready to plotz! [I feel like I’m going to explode.] Help! Chanchie (Boro Park)
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View from Central Park

We are the candles

CHANUKAH has an enduring popularity, symbolized by the candle flames. On Shabbat, when the kindling of fire is a desecration of the day, the symbol epitomizing the observance  of the day has become the kindling of the fiery Shabbat candles in advance. Although these candlelightings are two different mitzvot, the Talmud connects them and, in fact, discusses the creation of the holiday of Chanukah in, of all tractates, tractate Shabbat.
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View From Denver

Every person a prophet

Every person a prophetMOST people can make at least of the following statements: I moved to [fill in the name of the city.] I’m not even sure why. It was the best decision I ever made. All my life I thought I wanted to be [fill in the blank]. Then I switched majors. It surprised everyone who knew me. I never looked back. I always thought I’d marry this kind of person. But then [fill in the blank] came along. The rest is history. Growing up, I thought religion was ridiculous. It’s a long story, but now I’m...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Op-Ed: Learning to argue on Tisha b’Av

Daniel Treiman We can have passionate disagreements without descending into hatred, Yehudah Mirsky writes. ... [Link]

Israel, U.S. deny account of tense Obama-Netanyahu call

Ron Kampeas U.S. and Israeli officials sharply denied an account of a tense conversation between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ... [Link]

Amid uncertainty of an open-ended war, U.S.-Israel tensions rise

Ron Kampeas Rapidly changing events on the ground in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza are accompanied by volatility in the U.S.-Israel relationship. ... [Link]

France extradites Brussels Jewish museum shooting suspect

Marcy Oster The Frenchman suspected of killing four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium was extradited by France to Belgium. ... [Link]

4 videos on the Gaza war that have pro-Israel viewers cheering

Uriel Heilman Amid the fighting in Gaza and Israel, video clips of Joan Rivers, Howard Stern, Ron Dermer and Hillel Neuer are cheering the pro-Israel crowd. ... [Link]

U.K. supermarket chain to stop carrying West Bank products

Anthony Weiss The largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom has announced that it will cease to sell products sourced in the West Bank by September. ... [Link]

Poll: Less than 4 percent of Israeli Jews believe firepower on Gaza excessive

Marcy Oster Less than 4 percent of Israeli Jews believe the Israel Defense Forces has used excessive firepower in Gaza, an Israeli survey found. ... [Link]

In U.S., Gaza conflict reverberates on air and in the streets

Uriel Heilman American supporters and critics of Israel are battling it out over the Gaza conflict — with commentary, slogans, demonstrations and some notable rants by Joan Rivers and Howard Stern. ... [Link]

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