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.
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
In This Moment: Another Biting BBC Sketch; Silencing the Dog Whistles (and moderating Greta)
In This Moment
Laugh 'Til You Cry
Another Biting Eretz Nehederet sketch
BBC interviews Hamas leader
Silencing the Dog Whistles - and Greta Thunberg
Here (below) is an Israeli TV expose on Hamas propaganda in the US and the social media war. It's subtitled and well worth watching. Ella Keinan was travel vlogger until not so long ago. But October 7th attack triggered her to take action in the social network arena and send out the word to the world. She is now a prominent speaker for the Israeli cause. And none too soon. As we try to assign blame for the anti-Israel fervor that has swept across the progressive world, we need to look no further than the sophisticated propaganda strategy - replete with racial dog whistles. The attack on social media has been every bit as devastating in its own way as the physical assault of Oct. 7. But this report shows how Israel is fighting back - and how we can too.
See News 12 coverage of last night's interfaith vigil
Reflections on the March for Israel from TBE's Carol Krim
Dear Rabbi Hammerman,
Once again, I am so appreciative of your writing each and every day as this crisis continues to unfold all over our world.
I have two reactions to share…the first is the Harvard video… Yesterday was magnificent and I was tearful through most of it. I was overwhelmed with love for fellow Jews expressing their Jewishness and observing our magnificent young people wearing flags and chanting together. The Harvard routine brought me to tears. It was beyond unbelievable to watch… and watching it again with Allen brought loud sobs. This current 'political correctness' has brought us to our lowest standards of human existence and then some.
The second video of the orthodox soldiers davening and dancing bought me overwhelming joy. It was an amazing piece.
The poster of “why I love being Jewish” was one of the best posters of the day. I just knew I had to send it. (see it right below). It seems like a perfect art project for any aged person.
The icing on the cake yesterday was running into Diana in the Delaware rest stop. Due to limited cell service yesterday we couldn't connect but when I texted her from the bathroom asking if she might also be at that stop, she called to say her bus was about to pull out of it. I ran around the building right into her arms!
Now if The NY Times and NPR could straighten out their priorities we would all be in a better world.
The USCJ has just come out with an Interfaith Inclusion Guide . I'll be discussing at services on Shabbat morning, so take a look at it. Looking through it can be helpful for planning, but frankly, we have been well out front of the Conservative movement for years on matters of inclusivity. But it is interesting to see how the movement suggests we do things like ufrufs before an interfaith wedding (which Conservative rabbis cannot perform). You can find suggested ceremonies on page 11. We've been doing them for some time. It's nice to see the movement begin to catch up. One suggestion that shows a real change is the repackaging of the December Dilemma into "The December Delights." Here's what the new guide has to say about that:
Reframing the “December Dilemma” as the “December Delights” helps couples, families, congregations, and communities to see the winter holidays in a new light. It encourages everyone to focus on celebrating differences rather than diminishing them. Jewish families with members of other faith backgrounds can navigate this interfaith terrain successfully with guidance from clergy, professionals, and lay leaders who are equipped to encourage open dialogue and support changes over the life course.
I'm all for reducing stress, if changing "Dilemma" to "Delight" can accomplish that. But ultimately, even in our extremely assimilated times, kids need a home base, even in a home that follows multiple traditions. We've seen just this month how important it is for young Jews to have a positive Jewish identity while growing up, and not just regarding Israel.
Tel Aviv Diary (Marc Schulman) - The nearly 6-weeks of continuous rocket barrages have been effectively managed, with minimal casualties and structural damage, thanks to the Iron Dome, and strict public adherence to safety instructions of the Home Front Command. The palpable decrease in rocket launches is attributed to Israel's control of northern Gaza and the depletion of Hamas's rocket supply. Today there were only ten rockets fired and all at the immediate Gaza border area.
AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL A new poll by Reuters IPSOS reveals a decrease in overall American support for Israel; with a drop from 41% to 32% in just one month.
Now, Wellesley college is dealing with intimidation of Jewish students (from the Boston Globe)
Don't forget the next installment of our series on dignity - Thursday evening at 7