GENOCIDE AND CONTEXT 

Today’s first day of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, arrives during a period of more than seasonal darkness. Israel continues to face the threat of Hamas (and Hezbollah) violence, a war rages in Gaza, and Jews across the globe, including the United States, contend with rising antisemitism. Of note, Jewish college students who support Israel…

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VIOLENCE AND CHOICE 

In 1992, Rodney King, a Black man viciously beaten by Los Angeles police a year earlier, asked during violent riots, “Can’t we all get along?” Last week’s Torah portion, “Genesis,” and this week’s, “Noah,” address this sorry aspect of human nature.  Gen. 1:26 states: “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after…

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AFTER YOM KIPPUR, WHAT? 

Can a gentile cartoonist say something meaningful about Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement? Indeed! In last Monday’s “Pearls Before Swine,” Stephen Pastis presented Pig confronting a problem. What has he learned from his mistakes? “That I’m stupid and make lots of them.” Will he learn not to repeat them? “Oh, that never happens.” It can, but…

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THE RABBIS AND THE CONSTITUTION 

Given the nation’s political turmoil, Rabbinic thinking can shed light on “loose construction” of the Constitution. A personal experience reinforced that concept. In 1998, I traveled to Israel with a group from New York. On the way to our hotel, we stopped at Mount Scopus for a sweeping view of Jerusalem. It struck me that…

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MORE MANDALORIAN–JEWISH PARALLELS 

Months ago, Disney+ hyped season 3 of the Star Wars-related “The Mandalorian.” A thousand people from 20 countries read my 2021 post, “The Mandalorian and the Jews.” Season 3’s Jewish connections were even stronger. “The Way” of the Mandalorians suggests Jewish law, Halacha—the way of going. Maimonides writes about the “way of the Lord” in his Mishneh Torah. The…

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