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Showing posts from October, 2007
In Response to Matthew Taylor's "UC Must Divest From Israel's Apartheid"

In "UC Must Divest From Israel's Apartheid" Matthew Taylor spins and has misunderstood the realities in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories. It is far from clear that "normal life is impossible" within the Palestinian Territories because of aggressive Israeli policy. Fiscal and social collapse have largely been issues of failed self-governance within the PA and Hamas, and framing this anti-Israel campaign as exclusively one of human rights for Palestinians without once mentioning the terrorist onslaught against Israel in the last five years simply fans the flames of antisemitism (Jewish self hatred yet again) and anti-Zionism without sharing the burden of blame with gravity and balance.

No nation is immune to critique. No nation is perfect. But Israel's global prominence (due perhaps to the mystifying eternal Midd…
My God Doesn't Take
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

I cringe every time I recite "The Lord gives, the Lord takes, blessed be the Name of God," in the Book of Job. And I recite it often, at funerals and in mourning rituals. When my mentor Rabbi Neil Gillman challenged a class of almost-rabbis to translate the Hebrew phrase "Baruch Dayan Emet" roughly "Blessed is the True Judge", also a traditional response to hearing of a death) I refused. I don't mean it. I won't mean it. But I do say it. I recite both formulae, gritting my teeth every time, at funerals and other moments of mourning.

Loss and sadness call for ritual response, but associated Jewish rituals are typically full of words that betray even the best intentions to comfort. Do I believe that God takes people's lives or that a "True Judge" would end a life mid-course? I do not. And while when during the Amidah we recite "God who takes life and resurrects" I …