All Israel is responsible, one for the other

As we enter Day 5 of this battle with Hamas many out there are saying “told you so”. Ever since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, 3 years ago, Hamas has used its authority over the strip to implement their version of law and order over their people, and to stockpile weapons and rockets. Rather than promote co-existence, create life, and provide hope for the Palestinians living under their control – Hamas has decided on isolation, destruction, and death. At the end of the day, everyone wants to live in peace, go to work, be with family and create life; unfortunately the time for peace has yet to be realized. We read in the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 3:1-8 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven;…A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” I think we all realize where we are today and while it is important that we seek paths for peace, the road has yet to be paved – road maps are one thing, realities on the ground another. Continue reading

Sinai on Zion

As we trace Zionism’s pulse throughout history, from Abraham to this vey point in time, we see that every generation had its Zionist expression.

In Genesis 13:17, Abraham is urged to קוּם הִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ, “Arise and walk the land…”, literally to walk on it. Thousands of years later, pioneers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s did the same. Continue reading

"Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism"

“Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“. . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely ‘anti-Zionist.’ And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God’s green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews–this is God’s own truth. Continue reading

Doing the right thing

Genesis 18:1-3 “VaYera”, and he saw/appeared…

וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו ה’ בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא וְהוּא יֹשֵׁב פֶּתַח־הָאֹהֶל כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם: ב וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים נִצָּבִים עָלָיו וַיַּרְא וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתָם מִפֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אָרְצָה: ג וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנָי אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ אַל־נָא תַעֲבֹר מֵעַל עַבְדֶּךָ:

  1. And the Lord appeared to him in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
  2. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and, lo, three men stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the ground,
  3. And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, pass not away, I beseech you, from your servant;

Continue reading

Yitzchak Rabin – 13 years

I remember the first time it hit me, the value and fragility of Klal Yisrael, Jewish Peoplehood. It was the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin (zl’) in 1995; I was studying at Haifa University. Jews from Israel to North America and around the world reacted to the assassination in shock and grief. No one knew what would be next. Soon enough questions were asked: Who did it? Was it an Arab? A Jew? What would happen to the government? Would the Peace Process survive? What would be tomorrow?! Continue reading

Whose choice is it anyway?

The times are a changing, economies tumbling here in the U.S. and around the world, geo-political movements, Iran, Iraq, Russia, wars in Africa, Darfur, Genocide, environmental crises, the changing heads of state both here in the U.S. and in Israel, and much much more.

So great are these events in our society, that we may often feel as though they are beyond our reach, it is all out of our hands – and yet our tradition suggests otherwise. Continue reading

An enlightened New Year – Shanna Tova 5769

As we reflect and prepare for our entry into another space and time, I would like to share with you some of my reflections.

The only references to this period of judgment we are entering is found in Leviticus 23:23, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of horns, a holy gathering.” and one in Numbers 29:1, “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have an holy gathering; you shall do no labor; it is a day of blowing (the horn) for you.” Continue reading