Author of "Embracing Auschwitz" and "Mensch•Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi - Wisdom for Untethered Times." Winner of the Rockower Award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism and 2019 Religion News Association Award for Excellence in Commentary. Musings of a rabbi, journalist, father, husband, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and self-proclaimed mensch, taken from essays, columns, sermons and thin air. Writes regularly in the New York Jewish Week and Times of Israel.
Thursday, April 27, 2023
This Moment: When Does Joseph First Cry? Hello, Margaret, It's Me, God; Bringing Jewish Values into the Synagogue Kitchen
In This Moment
The annual Yom Ha'atzmaut Bible Quiz was held yesterday in Jerusalem. Here are the two finalists grappling over the final question:
When does Joseph cry for the first time? (Answer below)
"Are you there, Margaret? It’s me, God." (Joshua Hammerman - Substack) -It was said that when one of Brennan’s predecessors as CBS anchor, the legendary Walter Cronkite, came back from Vietnam andgave a scathing report of his findings in Feb. of 1968, President Johnson famously commented, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost the country." Last Sunday morning on CBS, Netanyahu lost Margaret Brennan, and he lost America. It’s not that she was that tough on him - so was Chuck Todd the week before on Meet the Press. She simply persisted and asked follow up questions, the kind of questions not allowed in an illiberal democracy.
Israeli teen girls win first, second place in annual Bible quiz (TOI) - Result is first of its kind in 17 years; Emunah Cohen and Neta Lax beat out 41 contestants from 20 countries who qualified for advanced stages. See the video here. The final question? When does Joseph first cry? Answer: Joseph cries a lot! At least seven times:Genesis 42:24; 43:30; 45:2; 45:14-15; 46:29; 50:1; 50:17. The first time is when Reuben leads the brothers in pleading with Joseph not to hold Benjamin captive. Once the floodgates are opened, he basically doesn't stop crying when seeing his family. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Although I've been a vegetarian for most of my life, I've never been an evangelist for the cause, though I do believe that humanity's natural state was vegetarian, before things got screwed up in the early chapters of Genesis. With Earth Day just behind us and with it becoming clearer that dramatic grass roots action is needed to head off disaster, an interesting alternative has sprouted: DefaultVeg. In L.A., the Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA) has been appearing on billboards promoting the idea that we see "fleshed out" below. It's simple and inclusive - not an imposition. Aligning food choices with Jewish values makes lots of sense, no? This is is no PETA extremism. You won't have to give up that schmear or even that chicken dinner. No need for blame and recrimination. It's not about fault, it's just about defaults. And really, if you think about it, why should the vegetarian option always be the one at the end of the table? Why are we always made out to be the fussy weirdos? And if you are a Kosher Vegetarian, you are doubly weird - bring out the cellophane airline dinner for that one! Maybe it's time to rearrange the tables as proposed by DefaultVeg. Otherwise we'll soon be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.