26 October 2010

Whose Wall is it Anyways [sic]?

An excellent article in today's Jerusalem Post gives a detailed background on the Kotel (the Western Wall) and what is going on there now, and what the stakes may be.

Feel free to follow up with the Women of the Wall site.

19 October 2010

Your Torah in the News

Via the proud grandfather of Avital and Ezri, the following quote comes from today's New York Times, in an article remembering Human Rights lawyer, Louis Henkin:

By extension, truth must include thoughts on grandchildren held by the professor and his wife, Alice Hartman Henkin, a human rights lawyer herself. A few years ago, Mrs. Henkin explained to a newly minted grandfather what it was like to be a grandparent. She cited the account in Genesis of Abraham’s unblinking acceptance of God’s commandment to sacrifice his son. “I guarantee you,” she said, “that if Abraham had been ordered to sacrifice his grandson, he would have said, ‘Buzz off.’ ”

This is what we mean, when we talk about "seeing the world through parashat hashavuah (portion of the week) glasses".  The stories of our tradition become so familiar to us, that they become the thread from which we weave our metaphors.

11 October 2010

A Light at the End of the Black Hat?

In speaking with a colleague last week, he shared his impressions of a visit to a hareidi town in Israel that is finding that, as it starts having to serve as a fully functional municipal entity, is learning that it is having to send its citizens back to work.  There are cracks in hareidi society which, despite its press, has been changing and becoming ever  more intolerant and machmir(strict).  This article from the Israeli Religious Action Center's website shows the levels of extremism and the hopeful protests from within and without.