CHANUKAH’S LESSON FOR AMERICA 

The House of Representatives’ Select Committee on January 6 held its final hearing last Monday—the first day of Chanukah. This offers much to think about. Around 164 BCE, the Jews won a victory against their Seleucid Greek overlords. This forms the background of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. Only recently have some Jews glimpsed the…

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IS THERE AN AUTHENTIC JUDAISM? 

Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef recently stated that Reform and Conservative Jews practice a different religion. I get his point—but think he’s wrong in two important ways.  The Reform movement started in early-19th century Germany as a response to the Enlightenment. Traditional observance was seen as outdated and preventing Jews  from engaging unhindered with the rest…

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POST-THANKSGIVING THANKS 

Not everyone stuffed themselves with Thanksgiving turkey yesterday. I ate fish. I had my reasons. Getting older, Carolyn and I sometimes celebrate holidays differently. As to yesterday, our kids wouldn’t be coming over. Another couple, Joan and Joe, faced the same situation. Neither Carolyn nor Joan wanted to cook.* So we enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at…

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ARE JEWS CLOSE TO BOILING? 

The plight of German Jews in the 1930s has been likened to a frog in a pot on a lit stove. The water warms slowly. The frog’s unperturbed—until the pot begins to boil. Are today’s American Jews undergoing the same experience? In 2017, white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanted, “Jews will not replace us.” President…

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LONG LIVE BOTH KINGS 

Queen Elizabeth II has gone to her ancestors. King Charles III reigns. Life in Britain and the Commonwealth goes on. Sounds like Rosh Hashanah. I monitored Elizabeth’s death and the rituals leading up to, and including, her funeral. Admittedly, I didn’t watch all that much; Carolyn followed the events far more extensively. As to the…

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