Friday, May 13, 2005

May 13, 2005 and Iyar 4, 5765


Shabbat – O – Gram

May 13, 2005 and Iyar 4, 5765


Rabbi Joshua HammermanTemple Beth El, StamfordConnecticut





Shabbat Shalom  




Happy 57thIsrael!


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Contents of the Shabbat O Gram: (click to scroll down)


Just the Facts (service schedule)

The Rabid Rabbi

Spiritual Journey on the Web

Required Reading and Action Items (links to key articles on Israel and Jewish life)

 Announcements (goings on in and around TBE)

Joke for the Week



Quote of the Week











"Whoever has seen and known from up close the most terrible cost of accursed war will forever vow to do everything he can to prevent the next generation, the children of today, the soldiers of tomorrow from [experiencing] the cost of war, so as to illuminate the future of Israel with the prospect of security and peace."


Prime Minister Sharon, at an Israeli Memorial Day ceremony





Friday Evening

Candle lighting for Stamford, CT: 7:45 pm on Friday, 13 May 2005.  For candle lighting times, other Jewish calendar information, and to download a Jewish calendar to your PDA, click on


Class dinner for our younger grades: 6:00 PM


FAMILY FRIDAY Shabbat Service: 7:30 PM in the sanctuary, featuring the Junior Choir.  This will be our last Family Friday of the season.  Outdoor services will begin next week, weather permitting.

Shabbat Morning: 9:30 AM – Mazal tov to Chelsea Eisenberg, who becomes Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat morning.  Welcome to our Tzahal Shalom Israeli Soldiers and to their TBE host families:

Temple Family - Omri Kaftzan, 24 Year OId Air Force Officer

Poser Family - Kareen Ovadia, 23 Year Old Army Officer

Zabronsky Family - Shiran Akunis, 21 Year Old Navy Officer

Jacobs/Cohen Family - Erad Bahrab, 28 Year Old Army Officer

Boyer Family - Hagai Avraham, 24 Year Old Naval Officer


The Tzahal Shalom program of the JCC brings us all closer to Israel every year.  We always look forward to greeting them at services and asking them questions about life in Israel.  We’ll have the chance to do that again this week!

Children’s services: 10:30 AM, including Jr. Congregation for grades 3-6 and Tot Shabbat Morning for the younger kids

Torah Portion: Emor - Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23

1: 21:1-6
2: 21:7-12
3: 21:13-15
4: 21:16-24
5: 22:1-9
6: 22:10-12
7: 22:13-16
maf: 22:13-16

Haftarah - Ezekiel 44:15 - 44:31

See a weekly commentary from the UJC Rabbinic Cabinet, at  Read the Masorti commentary at  University of Judaism,  JTS commentary is at: USCJ Torah Sparks can be found at UAHC Shabbat Table Talk discussions are at Other divrei Torah via the Torahnet home page: Test your Parasha I.Q.: CLAL’s Torah commentary archive:  World Zionist Organization Education page, including Nehama Liebowitz archives of parsha commentaries: For a more Kabbalistic/Zionist/Orthodox perspective from Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel, go to For some probing questions and meditations on key verses of the portion, with a liberal kabbalistic bent, go to or, for Kabbalistic commentaries from the Zohar itself, go to To see the weekly commentary from Hillel, geared to college students and others, go to For a Jewish Renewal and feminist approach go to .  For a comprehensive Orthodox viewpoint from the Israeli rabbi, Yaakov Fogelman, go to the Torah Outreach Program at  Guided meditations for each portion by Judith Abrams at

. For online Parsha quizzes from Pardes in Israel, go to


Rosner Minyan Maker

Pick a Day – or pick several – and join us for morning minyan.  Check our minyan calendar often to see which days need the most help.  If the day is colored red that means there is a yahrzeit scheduled for that day.  Also, feel free to e-mail me at to ensure a guaranteed minyan for that day, indicating the date of the yahrzeit and whether it would be OK to use your name in making that request.


We’ve had a guaranteed minyan request for a yahrzeit for next week!! Please go to the Rosner Minyan Maker to sign up!


Hospitality is essential to spiritual practice. It reminds you that you are part of a greater whole. . . .

Putting others first puts you in the midst of life without the illusion of being the center of life.
— Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro in Minyan

Morning Minyan: Sundays at 9:00 AM, Weekdays at 7:30 AM – IN THE CHAPEL

 Minyan Mastery


Now you can become more comfortable with the prayers of our morning service by heading to…


The Rabid Rabbi

Yom Ha’atzmaut and Shabbat


This Independence Day, Israelis can reaffirm their interdependence

By Rabbi Joshua Hammerman



STAMFORD, Conn., May 4 (JTA) — Israel became a state on the fifth of Iyar, 5708, or May 14, 1948. There are few other dates more identifiable to Jews.

Those who were alive will never forget that fateful day, 57 years ago, when Israel became a state. With Arab armies amassed on its as-yet-undeclared borders, with the British having sailed from Haifa that morning, Israel’s birth could not have taken place under more perilous conditions. On that Friday afternoon, with the long shadows signaling the imminent arrival of Shabbat, David Ben-Gurion entered the Tel Aviv Museum, met there by invited guests plus a large number of residents of Tel Aviv who had gotten wind of the historic decision. By 6-4, with three absent, the National Executive had approved the decision to declare a state, even though they perceived the new nation’s chances of survival as no better than 50-50.

Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence and it was signed by the delegates of the Provisional State Council. The ceremony lasted 32 minutes. The sun set but Israelis could not rest on this, the state’s first Sabbath. Armies from SyriaLebanonEgypt, Transjordan and Iraq attacked at midnight, vowing to destroy the “Zionist entity” within 10 days. But two weeks later, the borders basically held, and after a monthlong truce the Israeli counteroffensive began, leading to a clear victory.

I was not alive then, but I can imagine what that first Shabbat must have felt like. I’ve experienced that sense of foreboding and helplessness at other times, like when the first Scuds were launched during the 1991 Gulf War, or during those confusing early hours of the Six-Day War in 1967 or on Yom Kippur 1973. To fully appreciate the miracle of Israel, and to fully comprehend the weight of the decisions made by its leaders, we have to recall those existentially excruciating moments.

Understandably, Israelis typically choose to toss the stress aside on this Yom Ha’atzmaut — Israel’s Independence Day — preferring to turn the day into one humungous cookout. Yes, the holiday is preceded immediately by a Memorial Day far more meaningful than America’s, and yes there are nice patriotic touches to the day, like the International Bible Quiz. But this year at least, Yom Ha’atzmaut must be more of a day for reflection than pure, unadulterated celebration.

The calendar gives us a perfect opening to do just that. This year, the fifth of Iyar falls precisely on May 14, for only the second time since 1948. Not only that, but it falls on Shabbat.

But wait. Our calendar tells us that when the fifth of Iyar falls on Shabbat, the celebration is moved ahead two days to Thursday, so it does not conflict with the day of rest.

Now I can understand the potential conflicts Shabbat would present for parades and cookouts, but this year of all years, we should keep May 14, Iyar 5 and Shabbat on the same page. Or, to quote the Torah portion read on that Sabbath, Emor, which details the Jewish festival cycle and codifies the rhythms of sacred time, “These are the set times of the Lord, the sacred occasions, which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time” (Lev. 23:4).

Nothing is in there about cookouts or transferring commemorations to Thursday. Perhaps Israel should do what America does with July 4. When it occurs on a weekend, we slap on a Monday holiday to satisfy the unions, but we always celebrate “The Fourth” on the 4th. So Israel could declare the prior Thursday “National Cookout Day,” but keep Yom Ha’atzmaut where it is.

So what makes this year so worthy of a “Shabbat Ha’atzmaut?”

Israel is now in the process of implementing a decision almost as agonizing as the one that faced Ben-Gurion. Few Israelis have a great desire to cling to the dunes of Gaza, but fewer yet are enamored at the sight of Jews being forcibly evicted from their homes by a Jewish army, all for the sake of a security that remains as elusive as ever. There will be no national referendum on the withdrawal, but there must be a collective soul-searching in the face of threats against Prime Minister Sharon’s life and cries of treason being hurled from all sides. There must be a national time out.

Shabbat provides an opportunity to reaffirm mutual interdependence rather than national independence. On this day we abstain from dominion and disputation, replacing them with coexistence and “Shalom Bayit” — peace in the home. “Six days a week we seek to dominate the world,” wrote Abraham Joshua Heschel. “On the seventh day we try to dominate the self.”

I don’t know about the rest of the Jewish world, but on this triply sacred Saturday in May I’ll be immersed in reflection — about my thirst for peace, my love for my neighbor and the miracle of my resurrected Jewish homeland.



Spiritual Journey on the Web




          On this week of Israel’s Independence Day, no issue is raging both on political and religious levels than the question of the disengagement from Gaza.  Of course politics and religion so often intertwine in Israel – as here – and there is no shortage of opinions on the subject.  I’ve selected some from various reputable sources, reflecting a diversity of views – but sharing some “bottom lines” that must be stressed:


          1) Judaism always has stated that the “law of the land” is the law – in other words, rising up against a decision of the government is something frowned upon in almost every instance.  Read of a fascinating symposium on the subject that took place at Yeshiva U, as reported in a blog representing the settlers from Yesha (Hebrew acronym for Judea, Samaria and Gaza):  The site is worth exploring.  How to relate to a (secular) Jewish government even when you violently disagree with it is the subject of this article from an Orthodox perspective ( and of this ( Conservative (Masorti) response to the assassination of prime Minister Rabin and the attempts by some extreme religious elements to justify it on halachic grouds.


          2) The Land, while important and holy, is not an ultimate value unto itself – otherwise it would become a form of idolatry.  Further, it is by no means clear that Gaza is within the boundaries of the “holy land,” however they are defined – and they have been defined differently over the ages.  For a good summary of the Conservative view on this, see, click on “Volume 2,” then click on "The Whole Land of Israel" and the



          3) Even for those who see this plan as a disaster, it can never justify violence against current leaders, most notably assassination of a Prime Minister.  For more on this, see the Masorti response to the killing of Prime Minister Rabin, at


          4) This week it was confirmed that the date for disengagement to begin has been moved to August 15.  Whoever set the original date of mid July did not take into account the very powerful impact of the Jewish calendar on most Israelis – and especially observant ones.  To set the date right smack during the three weeks of national mourning, a time when moving is considered very, very unlucky, a time when we recall Jewish expulsions and national calamities, well, it wasn’t very smart.  To read more background on the restrictions of the “three weeks,” go to  Some of these restrictions might seem anachronistic, given the miraculous rise of modern Israel in our day, and some of them might seem downright humorous (did you know that one is permitted to stay or work in a place where they are playing music over the intercom and it is permitted to listen to a commercial that has music in the background – or that although we shouldn’t buy new clothing, if there is a special sale, it’s OK!!), but many of the settlers most directly involved take these very, very seriously.  Tisha B’Av is one holy day that receives scant attention here (because of its timing, it’s never taught in Hebrew Schools), but in Israel it’s a very big deal, especially for those more messianically-inclined, those looking for signs of God’s active involvement in Jewish history.


          We all pray that peace and security will prevail during this difficult period in Israel’s history.











 Temple Beth El of Stamford, CT

Israel Adventure

Led by Rabbi Joshua and Mara Hammerman


August 7-August 22, 2005


This unforgettable journey will have something for everyone:


·        Full children’s program with youth counselor

·        A glorious Shabbat in Jerusalem

·        Archeological dig in the Judean Hills

·        Relax at a five-star Dead Sea Spa

·        Guest speakers and meaningful encounters with Israelis from a wide variety of backgrounds

·        Western Wall Tunnels

·        Ba·        Wilderness Experience in the Negev

·        Exploring Tel Aviv and the mystical city of Safed

·        Visit to our sister city of Afula

·        Visit to an army base

·         Boat ride on the Kinneret and Kayaking on the Jordan





Required Reading and Action Items

Yom Ha’atzmaut special sections:             Ha’aretz:   

                                                                                                Jerusalem Post:

The New Israelis
As Israel celebrates its 57th birthday, it's clear that its social complexion is changing beyond recognition

Readers’ Opinions:
What’s Israeli?

Independ. Day picnickers pack parks
Over a million visit nation's forests; 1000s in Gush Katif to show solidarity.
Photo Gallery: My Israel

(Y-net) :  Two-way independence  - In many ways, Israel is the giver and the United States is the receiver, Yoram Ettinger writes

The Israeli Dream

TEL AVIV - Most Israelis still maintain their love for their land but would prefer not to live in Jewish settlements, with about 30 percent interested in making peace with the Palestinians or giving them an ... Full story

Sharon heckled at Bible quiz
We'll take 'Angry Settlers' for 500, Alex: Guards usher out teenagers who protest Gaza plan during Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's speech at Bible quiz in Jerusalem; Meanwhile, settlers march to fortify West Bank settlements  Full Story . .

In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut the Embassy is launching a new fully - animated game on the children's website:

User friendly information on Israel and Jewish history: - March of the Living at Auschwitz

PA to sound siren on 'Nakba Day' ( Will stand still for one minute to protest the establishment of Israel.

Hoteliers hope for a good summer

Berlin dedicates Holocaust memorial

Teen wins Diaspora Bible Quiz

Let's Join Our Israeli Cousins in Their Mourning - Gil Troy
On Tuesday evening, May 10, and all day on Wednesday, May 11, the entire Jewish world should come to a standstill. In honor of Yom HazikaronIsrael's Memorial Day, every Jew should light memorial candles at home and contemplate the many lives extinguished by decades of Arab assaults against Israel. Jews throughout the world should mob our often under-attended memorial services. This year - and in all subsequent years - Jewish community calendars should frame those 24 hours in black, marking this as a time when no galas are held, no fundraising takes place, no Jewish sports teams play, and theaters go dark. It's the least we can do to honor the many Israeli sacrifices for the Jewish people.
    This year, Yom Hazikaron is particularly important, because, while it is not politic to shout it out loud, Israel won this ugly war. The Palestinians miscalculated. Israelis rallied when attacked, demonstrating unexpected unity, discipline, and grit. (Canadian Jewish News)

 "The Hell of Israel Is Better than the Paradise of Arafat" - Daniel Pipes
A substantial record of statements and actions suggests that, despite their anti-Zionist swagger, Israel's most fervid enemies do perceive its political virtues. Pro-Israel expressions by Palestinians fall into two main categories: preferring to remain under Israel rule and praising Israel as better than Arab regimes. In mid-2000, when it appeared that some Arab-majority parts of Jerusalem would be transferred to PA control, Fadal Tahabub, a member of the Palestinian National Council, estimated that 70% of the 200,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem preferred to remain under Israeli sovereignty. Na'im Salama, a lawyer living in Gaza, was arrested for slander by the PA when he wrote that Palestinians should adopt Israeli standards of democracy. (Middle East Forum)

Whereabouts of Bin Laden Are Known - Interview with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon - Amnon Dankner and Ron Leshem (Maariv-Hebrew, 11May05)

  • Q: Oslo was a huge deception exercise by Arafat?
    A: I didn't see any indication with Arafat - either at Oslo or after Oslo - of any readiness to recognize our right to exist as a Jewish state. All I saw was the exact opposite. Also, the clauses in the PLO Charter were never cancelled. Already in 1995, as head of Israeli military intelligence, I began to ask a number of questions. How did Faisal al-Husseini say it?: "Oslo was a Trojan horse." I accept that that was their intention.
  • Q: What will happen the day after disengagement?
    A: It is not yet clear, it cannot be decided if it is worth it for us or not worth it.
  • Q: What about Iran?
    A: If Iran achieves a nuclear umbrella that will hover like a cloud over the entire region, then it will be more brazen and it could be that there will be regimes that will be swept along with it. Already today, Iran wants to export revolution, it wants Islamic states according to Sharia law. It is undermining the Jordanian regime, the Egyptian regime, the regimes in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia.
  • Q: Are the Iranians far from reaching a bomb?
    A: My assessment is that they are a year away, a year and a half away, from the point at which they can produce nuclear fuel by themselves. Just recently, it became clear to us that they received 12 cruise missiles - with a range of 3,000 kilometers - from the previous regime in Ukraine.
  • Q: What do we know about the murder of [former Lebanese prime minister] Hariri?
    A: All the indications point to Syrian responsibility.
  • Q: What about Osama bin Laden? How is it possible that intelligence organizations don't know where he is?
    A: No, that is not true. I don't think that they don't know where he is. There is an operational difficulty to grab him for many reasons. But it is not true that they don't know where he is.

Israel's Population Hits 6.9 Million
On the eve of Israel's 57th Independence Day, the country's population is estimated at 6.9 million residents, says the Central Bureau of Statistics. Some 5,260,000 Jews currently live in Israel, 76% of the total population, alongside 1,350,000 Arabs, who comprise 20% of the population. Since last Independence Day, 149,000 babies were born and 26,000 new immigrants arrived, including 9,500 from Russia and former Soviet states, and 4,400 from Ethiopia. 65% of Jews were born in Israel, 950,000 were born in the former Soviet Union, while 77,000 were born in North America. (Ynetnews)


What can we do about the much-discussed British Adacemic Boycott of Israel?

1) Read this article… 2) See Israel’s education minister’s response at



Brits Burning Books

May 10, 2005

Seventy-two years ago today, Nazi-inspired German university students burned the books of Jews and other "un-German" authors in Berlin. And now the British academic establishment has embraced a modern form of book-burning, one that is in some ways even more radical, as its weapon of choice against the Jewish state.

Awakening to the fact that their guild has been hijacked by a jihad aimed at eliminating Israel, some dissenting British academics are rushing to douse the torch their fellow professors in the U.K. have lit. But the pyre has been built, the dissenters may be unsuccessful in dousing that torch, and there's no telling where the flames, once set, will spread - or what else, as Heinrich Heine famously warned, will then burn.

Meeting last month, Britain's Association of University Teachers, which represents 49,000 of that country's academics, voted to boycott their Israeli colleagues at two universities, Haifa and Bar-Ilan, and to consider boycotting those at a third, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The boycott is so sweeping that it amounts to a book burning, only worse. Whereas in traditional book burnings, finished books were set alight, with other copies surviving elsewhere, the British form of the art is designed to abort the writing of books in the first place by preventing the research on the basis of which future books and papers, scientific and scholarly, would be written.

In the cases of the targeted institutions, the boycott calls on British scientists or other academics to stop participating with their Israeli colleagues in any form of academic or cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects. In practice, this means that the British academics are not to visit the targeted institutions, lecture or work with their scientists or other academics, invite those colleagues to lecture or to work with them in Britain, review papers by them for publication in scientific or scholarly journals, evaluate the merits of applications for funding by Israeli colleagues at those universities, or cooperate with those colleagues in any other way.

One of the boycotted universities, Haifa, was accused of having suppressed a thesis about a massacre of Palestinians during Israel's War of Independence in 1948. But it turns out that the university's assessment that the thesis was based on fabricated or distorted information was correct, the student himself having admitted in court to falsifying his story. The allegations against the other Israeli universities, claiming injustices against Palestinians, are equally unsubstantiated or tenuous. The boycott vote was pushed through quickly by its organizers, with little discussion. Attempts to raise objections were blocked.

The most obvious question is why the British academics never even considered declaring a boycott against academics in any of the countries that are the truly massive violators of academic freedom and human rights in the world. Why no boycott against academics in China, which regularly jails and sometimes kills political dissidents, and which half a century ago invaded and occupied Tibet, hundreds of times as large as the West Bank and Gaza put together, systematically transferring into it Chinese settlers? Why no boycott against academics in Russia, which has leveled cities in Chechnya, "disappearing" men, and raping women? And why no boycotts against academics in numerous other countries - Sudan, Congo, Zimbabwe, North Korea - that murder or torment their citizens to a degree and on a scale that dwarf anything that is claimed to happen in the West Bank or Gaza by even the most extreme critics of Israel?

Why no boycotts against academics in many Arab and Muslim countries where academic freedom either doesn't exist or is under constant attack, such as Syria, Egypt, and Iran? Why no boycott against academics in Saudi Arabia, which in recent weeks arrested 40 Pakistanis for secretly practicing Christianity in that theocracy that forbids the practice of any religion other than Islam? And why no boycott against academics in Uzbekistan, which, according to recent reports, tortures those it interrogates by boiling them alive? Come to think of it, why no boycott by British academics against themselves for living in a country that participated in what many of them consider a war crime: the invasion of Iraq?

The answer to all these questions was made evident at the convention at which the boycott vote was taken. The vote wasn't based on principle. It was based, rather, on politics. The true goal of the boycott's organizers - the elimination of Israel - was made clear by the behavior and statements of its backers. Its main British organizer, standing outside the conference hall draped in a Palestinian flag, condemned Israel as a "colonial apartheid state, more insidious than South Africa," and called for the "removal of this regime." And, after the boycott motion was passed, its main Palestinian supporter exclaimed, "The taboo has been shattered at last. From now on, it will be acceptable to compare Israel's apartheid system to its South African predecessor."

By voting for the boycott, British academics, most of them without realizing it, bought into the strategy, espoused by Palestinians and their supporters with increasing frequency and stridency, of claiming that Israel is an apartheid state, just as South Africa was, and that it's therefore illegitimate and should be eliminated and replaced by another state, Palestine. In addition to voting to declare their boycott, the academics voted to distribute to their membership a Palestinian position paper that claims that Israel carries out a policy of racial discrimination against Palestinians not only in the West Bank and Gaza but also in Israel itself, in its dealings with its own Arab citizens - a policy that, the paper says, "resembles the defunct apartheid system in South Africa." This sentiment has been expressed as well in the campaigns that have sprung up on campuses across the U.S. demanding that American universities "divest" - that is, withdraw endowment funds - from companies that do business in Israel.

In reality, there's simply no comparison between South Africa and Israel. During its apartheid era, South Africa was run by a small white minority that oppressed its black majority. Israel, on the other hand, is 80% Jewish and gives its Arab minority full civil rights, including the right to vote and to be members of the country's parliament. It also welcomes its Arab citizens into its universities. In fact, the student body of one of the universities being boycotted, Haifa, is 20% Arab - the same percentage as in the general Israeli population. Moreover, Israel is about to do something in Gaza that no country has ever done before: Totally and even forcibly extract and evict its citizens from homes and land in which they've lived for decades. And it's prepared, as it was at Camp David in 2000, to withdraw from nearly all of the West Bank.

Ironically, the boycott, by quashing research, publication, and international academic discussion, makes a mockery of the traditionally fierce commitment on the part of academics to the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, an exchange that in itself prods the creation of new knowledge - which, in the case of Israeli medical science, in particular, has benefited humanity immensely.

And, perhaps, even more ironically, the boycott comes at a time when there's a glimmer of hope that peace talks leading to a two-state solution are once again possible. The action taken by the British academics, with its roots in the goal of eliminating Israel, will hardly strengthen the hands of the peacemakers.

That some of the motivations in the British academic community for boycotting Israeli universities probably also stem from the kinds of anti-Semitic sentiments that have stained public discourse in that country in recent years makes the boycott especially dismaying.

Fortunately, some British academics, recognizing the assault on fairness, core academic values, and the prospects for peace that their professional organization has just perpetrated, are trying to reverse its decision. Thirty members of the organization's executive council have petitioned it to hold a special meeting to reconsider its decision to boycott Israel, and the meeting has been set for May 26. Whether or not these protesting academics succeed in reversing the original decision will depend on the ability of their colleagues to recognize that they and their profession have been hijacked by political forces that, at least until now, have been smarter than they are. But if the boycott isn't reversed, this modern form of book-burning will proceed in earnest, and will be used as a model for the other academic campaigns that have been established to delegitimize, and thereby eliminate, the Jewish state. The Nazi-inspired university students who burned Jewish and "un-German" books in Berlin on May 10, 1933, would have been pleased.

Dr. Reich is the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior at the George Washington University; a co-chairman of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, which defends academic freedom and human rights; a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale University. From 1995 to 1998 he was the director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.





MYTH #178 [reprint of #21]

“Arabs cannot possibly be anti-Semitic as they are themselves Semites.”


The term "anti-Semite" was coined in Germany in 1879 by Wilhelm Marrih to refer to the anti-Jewish manifestations of the period and to give Jew-hatred a more scientific sounding name (Vamberto Morais, A Short History of Anti-Semitism, NY: W.W Norton and Co., 1976, p. 11; Bernard Lewis, Semites & Anti-Semites, NY: WW Norton & Co., 1986, p. 81). "Anti-Semitism" has been accepted and understood to mean hatred of the Jewish people. Dictionaries define the term as: "Theory, action, or practice directed against the Jews" and "Hostility towards Jews as a religious or racial minority group, often accompanied by social, economic and political discrimination" (Oxford English DictionaryWebster's Third International Dictionary)

The claim that Arabs as "Semites" cannot possibly be anti-Semitic is a semantic distortion that ignores the reality of Arab discrimination and hostility toward Jews. Arabs, like any other people, can indeed be anti-Semitic.

This article can be found at

Source: Myths & Facts Online -- A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard,



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Other Jewish Sites

Data JEM – an GEM for Jewish Education! Database for  Jewish educational materials:

The best Jewish kids' site on the Web is , with games, virtual tours and “J-Pod” downloads, kids of all ages will LOVE it.   

Another superb educational site is -- you can be a self-taught “maven” on all things Jewish!

See My Jewish Learning's Talmud section for great resources on the Talmud.

See Eliezer Siegal's Talmud Page for the best visual introduction to a page of Talmud anywhere.

A Jewish Guide to the Internet:

On Jewish Vegetarianism and Animal Rights: (hey, you KNEW I’d put this one in)

How many Jewish hockey players are there? (None right now…there’s a lockout).  Find out at

Glossary of Yiddish Expressions:  )Please be patient, this page is farshtopt with information)

You can find an online Hebrew dictionary at

Nice Jewish parenting site  Jewish Gates is an amazing site, filled with material on Jewish history, ritual and culture. Go straight to the linked index at and go to town!  The Jewish Super Site; a similar site is and my personal all-time favorite, 

The sourcebook for Jewish history (all periods) can be found at

Online Texts Related to Jewish History.  All the primary sources “fit to print.”

Links to all the Jewish newspapers that are fit to print:

Israel Campus Beat – to get all the latest information on Israel relevant to students on college campuses - the best place on the planet to find Jewish Jokes

Conservative Responsa (fascinating decisions related to applying Jewish Law to our times):

               U.S. (Committee for Law and Jerwish Standards):

               Israel (Masorti – Schechter Institute):

Superb booklet for visiting the sick and for healing in general:



Want to know the real story behind living in Israel? Not the politics, the conflict, the security fence or disengagement from Gaza, but what it's like for people going about their day to day lives in a country as full of cultural and social revolutions as Israel? Then welcome to ISRAEL21c's new blog - Israelity.






Davenning Resources – compiled in part by The Shefa Network: The Conservative Jewish Activist's Network (a forum for passionate Conservative Jews to reflect together as they increase creative energy within the Conservative Movement's environments in an effort to bring a healthy non-institutional perspective to the worlds of Conservative Jews).

Audio Siddur: an unbelievable collection of Davenning audio files by Rabbi Mark H. Zimmerman. A wonderful davenning resource created by Chavurat Kol Zimrah, with the intention of enabling individuals and communities to lead
and participate in their own exuberant and melodious Friday Night Services. The purpose of this site is to promote the proliferation of Nusach and to make a Nusach readily accessible to those who have a
desire to learn and a desire to deepen their Judaism. This site is a volunteer work in progress.

Davenning Files from the DC Minyan: Several MP3 files recorded (with the great help of Kehilat Hadar), that review the Friday night and Shabbat
morning davenning, as well as detailed instructions for service leaders.  We hope these will be valuable both to those who have led before and
would like to review, as well as to those who are learning to lead for the first time.

Ellie's Torah Trope Tutor will teach you the tunes for each of the Torah cantillation marks for Torah and Haftorah, Megillah and High Holiday
Torah reading.

Navigating the Bible II offers audio recordings of all Torah readings, complete with vocalized Hebrew text, a copy of the text without vocalization,
transliteration, and translation.


A phenomenal new Israel publication. It was created by a Canadian student organization. The majority of the publication is relevant for an American audience. I highly recommend printing the publication and distributing it.








KOACH College Outreach
is a project of
The United Synagogue
of Conservative Judaism







Iyar 5765 / May 9, 2005



Omer Counter

Once Pesah is upon us, Shavuot can't be too far away. Prepare yourself for receiving the Torah with the Omer Counter prepared by Rabbi Paul Drazen,

Download the Omer Counter (PDF format)...

International KOACH Shabbat
Apply now to host a KOACH faculty member for Shabbat on your campus, Nov. 4-5, 2005

Petition on the Crisis in Sudan
In response to the ongoing genocidal campaign in Darfur, including the deaths of more than 200,000 people, a petition is being circulated.

Learn more and download a blank petition form.

Opportunities On Our Home Page:

·         USY Summer Staff Openings


New Poll: Political Leanings
Are you right, left, moderate or apathetic? Take this month's poll.

Poll Results: Summer Plans
Most of you are planning to work at a summer camp or travel to Israel.


Jewish Communal Careers
Guide for New Jewish College Students
Creative Grants Program
Basic Jewish Library
Campus KOACH & Hillel Contacts


Shabbat on Campus
Candle-Lighting Times
Guide: Keep Kosher on Campus

Theme: One People, Many Opinions

Hatikvah vs. The Star Spangled Banner
Air Force Academy Student Stephanie King discusses patriotism towards the US vs. Israel.

Welcome to my Neighborhood! There is Hope Yet!
Daniel Estrin describes the day-to-day reality of life in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Pursuit of Holiness is not the Exclusive Domain of Any One Jew or Any One Theology
Poster Child (and KOACH Director) Rich Moline supports the phrase Am Ehad Im Lev Ehad, even if we disagree at times.

How’s Your Foot Feeling?
Joe Roberts of UMD debates the pros and cons of the methods of Jewish Education.

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself!
KOC Editor Brielle Goodman enumerates her reasons for her love of Judaism

Two Jews, Three Opinions is as Old as The Jews
Jacqueline Lehrer shines some light on when debating is holy and when it is not.

Campus Updates!!
Rachel Zuckman makes leaps and bounds of progress at Michigan State.
Diana Weiner glows with pride for her KOACH Community on Princeton’s Campus!

Jewish Joke!
When are we good enough? Guilt Trips and God…

Cool QuotesWho Said It?
"I always give much away, and so gather happiness instead of pleasure."

Next Issue...and Beyond
Check out our editorial calendar, and volunteer to submit an article

Article Index
We've been net-publishing our monthly e-zine for several years. All past articles are archived online.

Traveling to Israel?

We can help with logistics and connections.


KOACH Educational Materials

The Prayer for the State of Israel. What's there and what's not?

Just in time for Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut, May's KOACH monthly education packet is available! As Jews around the world remember those fallen in Israel's many battles (May 11) and then move into the celebration of her Independence (May 12) we take a hard look at the Prayer for the State of Israel. How and why was this prayer created, who recites it and who does not, and why are there different versions are questions addressed in this text study.

These packets are designed to adjust for available time and student background. They can be utilized for a lunch and learn, Shabbat discussions, round-table conversations and more. Packets include: text sheets (Hebrew and English), background information, session leader materials and other related resources.

Visit to learn about the Prayer for the State of Israel and more.



Now, more than ever, Israel needs your support!


Let’s stand in solidarity with our friends, family and children to celebrate this beautiful country.  


Hop on the bus and come to the Salute to Israel Parade in NYC!


What do you need to know??

·       Sunday, June 5, 2005

·       Come to Stamford Jewish Community Center at 11:45 am for FREE TICKET drawing

·       Hop on the bus and travel together to NYC

·       Bus leaving PROMPTLY at 12:30 pm

·       March at 2:30 pm (viewing area available for those who can’t march)

·       March route is about 25-30 NYC blocks and takes about an hour

·       Bus returns to Stamford JCC around 6 pm

·       Cost is $18 includes t-shirt (while supplies last), transportation and snacks

·       Chance to win TWO FREE ROUND TRIP TICKETS TO ISRAEL (drawing takes place prior to leaving for NYC, you must be present to win)


Registration forms needed by May 31, 2005.


For more information, please contact Dana Horowitz at 203.321.1373 ext. 108 or at



We have two tefillin bags in the office without owners. Please contact our office if you are missing yours!



The Women of the Book Discussion Group will be meeting on Tuesday and viewing a 25 minute award winning documentary entitled “Let’s Face It:   Women Exploring Their Aging Faces. The women in LET”S FACE IT (ages 48-63) discuss their feeling about growing older and discover their ambivalence, vanity, anxiety, joy and acceptance of growing older through open, honest, funny revelations with their friends. They discover there is no “correct” way to age- there is only one’s own approach to the process. After viewing the video, the group will have a chance to discuss the issues raised in the movie and their own reactions to it. The group will be facilitated by Roni Lang, a clinical social worker who specializes in issues of women’s issues and aging. Roni works at the Center for Healthy Aging at Greenwich Hospital and is an adjunct profession at Fordham University and UCONN-Stamford.


In line with our healthy women series through sisterhood, this program will  take  a humorous, and thoughtful look at how women experience aging. This program is open to all women and should provoke some interesting discussion.




The Jewish Historical Society has a super photo exhibition on the 350 years of American Jewish Life in this area.  It is at the JCC and will shortly be coming down.  Don’t miss it!




2005 TBE Men’s Club Scholarships

Please let your graduating students and their friends know that these scholarships are available. 

The Men’s Club awards two scholarships annually.  Both are available to all Jewish students in the greater Stamford community. 

Applications are available at the Temple Beth El office and through the Stamford area high school offices.  Applications must be submitted to guidance counselors by May 6, 2005, and to the Scholarship Committee by May 20, 2005.

Support Stamford Cancer Patients & Their Families.  Join the Temple Beth El team on Sunday June 5th for the 10th annual Bennett Cancer Center Walk & Run.  Call Nancy Rosenberg 325-8836 or Beth Silver 967-8852 for details.  All Welcome!  It’s a lot of fun for a great cause!  Walk or run at your own pace!


Joke for the Week


Noah’s Ark: the Joke and the Game


For the game – click on


Now, for the Joke (thanks to Sue Plutzer for sending these):



The Lord came unto Noah in 2005, who was now living in the United States, and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and overpopulated and I see the end of all flesh before me.  Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have six months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights".

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard but no ark." Noah", He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"

Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah.  "But things have changed.  I needed a building permit.  I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.    My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations.

We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.

Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea.

I argued that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl.  I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls.  But no go!

When I started gathering the animals, I got sued by animal rights group.

They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.

As well, they argued the accommodation was too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights  Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.

Also, the trades unions say I can't use my sons.

They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark building experience.

To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean, You're not going to destroy the world?".

"No," said the Lord. "The government beat me to it."



Previous Shabbat-O-Grams can be accessed directly from our web site (



The Web link for this week's Shabbat-O-Gram is - - The site is continually updated during the week with corrections and additions.  Feel free to forward this link to your friends. People can subscribe to the weekly Shabbat-O-Gram at, where you can also find some of my other writings and sermons. You can also check out my recent books, : Seeking God in Cyberspace and I Have Some Questions About God

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