Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shavuah tov – a good new week

As shabbat ended a few hours ago a new week began, filled with the potential and possibilities in front of us each week. What will the week bring and what will we accomplish with it? We will plan, we will execute and we will change when some things go as expected and others do not.

This week’s Torah portion was Bereshit, the first portion of the new Torah reading cycle. This morning our congregation read the story of creation in Genesis 1:1-2:3.

Following lunch we discussed the juxtaposition of the creation narratives in Genesis 1-2:3 and 2-3. We examined the perspectives and styles of the texts, the role of gender in the texts, the interpretation gender roles in the stories, the “job” of the snake, the blessings (and challenges) of Eve and Adam’s decision to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Courage to Refuse nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Wow. Courage to Refuse and its founder David Zonshein were nominated for a 2004 Nobel Peace Prize!

As their website tells it,
he movement and its founder were recommended to the prize committee by two Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Captain (reserve) Zonesheine, chairman and founder of the movement: “Our nomination is a victory of Jewish Values and a triumph of the Spirit of Democracy.”

 “The movement’s nomination for such an honorable prize is a decoration for state of Israel. We are all part of a none compromising struggle for Israel’s security and the safety of its citizens, yet at the same time we vow to prevent the loss of innocent lives, to guard human rights and dignity of all those affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We will continue to protect the state of Israel, but refuse to fight beyond the 1967 borders, in the occupied territories” says Arik Diamant, the Director of Courage to Refuse. “Today the settlers of the extreme right threaten to violently resist the evacuation of the settlements. Our nomination marks the line that separates refusal to participate in illegal actions that contradict Jewish values and international law, from the refusal of those who seek to continue the occupation of another people”.

Courage to Refuse was founded in January 2002 and prides today over 600…” keep reading.


Torah Commentary for this Week – Sukkot

This shabbat is chol ha-moed (the intermediate days of ) sukkot. Rav Kook, has a brief and beautiful commentary on the fragility of a sukkah and the fragility of peace. (He also links this comment to the daily evening hashkiveinu prayer.)

His comment begins,
The Sabbath evening prayers use an unusual metaphor for peace: “Spread over us the ‘sukka’ of Your peace”.
Why refer to a sukka – a makeshift booth – of peace? Would it not be better to have a secure fortress of peace?

Read the rest here

Moadim L’simchah (may your sukkot celebration be joyful!)!

A hero

Yanis Kanidis, a janitor at the school which was attacked in Russia, gave his life for those of the children. Please go to this translation of the story in the Hebrew press and read about his heroism. He is an example of dedication, care and sacrifice.

UPDATE As Allison herself posted, there is now some dispute as to what actually occurred. I would post the newspaper entry contradicting the orignal story, but it is apparently no longer online.

Whatever this man did exactly, the tragedy of terrorism touches all who are effected and in many ways, all those inside, all those who were forced into trying to live moment by moment during such a crisis are heroes.

Thanks to the comment by Avital alerting me to the controversy.

Condolences to the people of Russia

My heart breaks for all in Russia, especially the residents of Beslau. Reading accounts and seeing picutres of the human devestation and the lives which are forever changed has given me much pause this Shabbat. Let’s all please keep them (and all who suffer from terror) in our thoughts, prayers and hearts. Perhpas through remaining connected with the pain in the world, rather than ignoring it, we can learn more about what might lead to such horrors and be able to do our individual and communal tasks to change the world and prevent this in the future.

(In case you need a link to the events in Russia, try this New York Times article.)

Muder…Senseless Murder…

Again the terrorists have stuck. This time twice within moments. At the time of posting, 16 dead with 100 injured. Where? Be’er Sheva in central Israel. Why here? Perhaps because it is a 30-minute drive from Hebron, origin of the attacks and there is no security barrier bewteen Hebron and Be’er Sheva.

Read about what happened from Ha’aretz and Ma’ariv. A blogger named Benjamin Kerstein lives not far from the site and describes the scene. (Hat tip to Kesher Talk)

May God be with all affected.

A Gold medal for Israel

Windsurfer Gal Fridman won Israel’s first gold medel EVER today in the men’s Mistral Windsurfing competition! It is their second medel ever, with the first in Barcelona, but the first gold. Fridman’s first name, Gal, means “wave” in Hebrew – how fitting. You can find coverage and many other details at articles in:

Jerusalem Post (you have to sign in)
Jewish Telegraph Agency
Ma’ariv International

Hazak, hazak v’nithazek – be strong, be strong and we will be strengthened!

UDATE – Gal Fridman dedicated his medal in memory of the athletes murdered in Munich in 1972. (I learned this from Kesher Talk.)