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Showing posts from September, 2015

The Greatest Threat to the Jews

​As we enter this New Year, this is a time of great fear for the Jewish people.  There is great fear around the safety of Israel in light of the Iran nuclear deal.  There are many great fears about the safety and security of the Jewish people in a world of ever-increasing anti Semitism.  Issues surrounding Israel and its policies, issues about the Jewish relationship to the Obama administration, about a two-state solution are so fraught that they have become like a poison in Jewish communal discourse.  All the things we most fear are tearing the Jewish people apart. ​Over the past weeks, we have all witnessed rabbis and Jewish leaders of all kinds not only taking sides on the Iran deal, but rushing to the ramparts to defend their stance, and also bitterly attacking anyone who disagrees with them.  On the left, I have seen vitriol against right-wing Jews like I have never seen before, lodging words like "evil" and "fascist" against them.  On the right, I have seen a …

Are Jews White?

This summer, I had a conversation with a young woman about her Jewish identity.  She told me how she grew up in a family that was very involved in her synagogue.  She went to Jewish day school.  She had been to Israel multiple times. Despite all this, she felt very far away from her Jewishness.  Now out on her own, she didn't observe Shabbat.  She simply couldn't find the relevance of Judaism as she was making her way out on her own in the world.  I asked her to tell me what she did feel passionate about.  She told me how she has been reading and thinking a lot about racial justice in our society.  What moved her was the Blacklivesmatter movement--how, in light of Ferguson, Charleston, and seemingly endless incidents of injustice against black people in our society, she felt a pressing need to grapple with the racism that is so pervasive in this country and how it affects her identity.  I asked her to explain to me more about her passion for this issue.  She explained: "A…