Aside from the internal debates, there is a lot going on Israel's neighborhood these days. Read here a detailed appraisal of the impact of Israel's newfound natural gas reserves. And read this chilling assessment from the Economist of Iran's nuclear program. Meanwhile, John Kerry continues his quixotic pursuit of direct negotiations (which Israeli TV indicates may be inching toward happening), Hezbollah is taking a major hit over Syria (according to this piece in Bloomberg) and Egypt is bracing for a Second Revolution, scheduled for this Sunday. Things could not be more chaotic in the Middle East, which means that, in the short term, Israel is in an advantageous position for the moment, with its enemies divided, preoccupied and, we hope, weakened.
This was the week when the words fell in. Despite the bullying and discrimination that still exist, despite the efforts, most vigorously felt this week, of those who still cling to the belief denying rights to others (including voting rights and the path to citizenship), the words are falling in. We are becoming a more compassionate and inclusive America. As heirs to a tradition that embraces love and compassion, we must continue to work on its behalf, to labor in the garden of kindness. It's mind-blowing that the progress hangs on the slim thread of one Supreme Court vote. But as long as the current trends continue, there is much brighter future to look forward to. The words are falling in.
I had the opportunity to speak about aging at an Atria panel discussion this week, and it reminded me of the Elders Day services we had here for a number of years, inspired by Jack and Claire Steinberg (Jack currently lives at Atria). In preparation for the presentation, I dug up some of the Elders Day booklets and wanted to share a couple of them with you. They are fascinating, both in how they lay out the Jewish value of honoring elders and how they feature the voices of both the elders and the children of TBE. Most of our Hebrew School students participated in this project, in many cases writing about their own grandparents. These kids are adults today, many still in our community, and it's nice to look back, and think about how these values expressed here have helped them to become fine, upstanding members of our community, and in many cases parents of children who are also learning those same values. From generation to generation, Elders Day at TBE.