Tuesday 26 January 2016

An Intersectional Failure: How Both Israel's Backers and Critics Write Mizrahi Jews Out of the Story

From RRW
«When asked to speak at certain Zionist functions, many Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa are asked to focus on the mistreatment they experienced under Arab rule—not the ways in which they successfully coexisted with Muslims, or the serious discrimination they have faced in Israeli society after arriving in the Promised Land. In anti-Zionist circles the situation inverts: the hosts are delighted to hear tales of Israeli malfeasance but are deeply hostile if the topic turns to the oppression and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries or if the Jews proclaim a proud connection to Israel. Either way, non-Ashkenazi Jews are engaged with only as far as they support someone else’s narrative. Once they seek to speak in their own voice, their putative allies disappear.
‘Most non-Ashkenazi Jews in the world live in Israel, and so a boycott of Israel functionally acts to exclude most Jews of color from global conversations.’» 

Thursday 21 January 2016


From RRW

Subject: A Cult Victim speaks out
While this video is a few years old, its message is as relevant today as when it was first delivered.

Jews may learn more compassion by listening how a vulnerable Jewish College Age Kid is easy pray to cults. Instead of judging, maybe we need more kindness and empathy.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

JVO Blog: Within Torah, Disagreement Can Breed Love

Jewish Values Online (jewishvaluesonline.org) is a website that asks the Jewish view on a variety of issues, some specifically Jewish and some from the world around us -- and then presents answers from each of the denominations of Judaism. Nishmablog's Blogmaster Rabbi Wolpoe and Nishma's Founding Director, Rabbi Hecht, both serve as Orthodox members of their Panel of Scholars. Nishmablog, over the years, has also featured the responses on JVO by one of our two Nishma Scholars who are on this panel. 

Recently, the Jewish Values Online website has offered a new service -- a blog which presents comments on various topics within Judaism and the Jewish world. See

Rabbi Hecht is now also a blogger on this site and will be developing a series entitled  
The Distinctiveness of Judaism

His latest post 

Within Torah, Disagreement Can Breed Love
is now available at http://jewishvaluescenter.org/jvoblog/within-Torah

A link is also up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JewishValuesOnline/posts/1096889077009841?fref=nf

Monday 18 January 2016

Pope Francis at Rome synagogue: God's covenant with Jews 'irrevocable'

From RRW
"“Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name, and in particular with the three great monotheistic religions,” Francis told a crowd filling the Great Synagogue just down the Tiber River from the Vatican. “Life is sacred, a gift of God.”
“Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother, regardless of his or her origin or religious affiliation,” he said, calling on Christians and Jews to “put into practice the logic of peace, of reconciliation, of forgiveness” in the Middle East and elsewhere."

Sunday 17 January 2016

Saturday 16 January 2016

Mussar: Moed Katan 12b - Adam Hashuv Shani

Originally published on 6/11/11, 9:56 pm.

I've witnessed the following debate among several colleagues.
A. Rabbis should hold themselves to the same Kashrut standards as their communities; that is the law is the same for all
B. Rabbis should hold themselves to a higher standard, because if they take advantage of some leniencies, their congregations will exploit them even more. Give them an inch and they'll take a foot. Alternatively, the trickle down theory, if Rabbis observe at EG level #9, then congregants might make it to #7. But, If Rabbis start at #7 then congregants will be reduced to #5.

The Talmud in Moed Katan strongly suggests that an Adam Hashuv IS held to a higher standard and is EXPECTED to refrain from what is permitted at least in cases that present a side of prohibition.
It seems obvious to me that pulpit rabbis therefore need to be aware of this G'mara and wary of taking advantage of too many kullot
Kein Nireh Lee.


Friday 15 January 2016

Monday 11 January 2016

Anti-Israel historians get a taste of their own medicine

From RRW
 An Opinion piece from the Jerusalem Post
"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, 
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr"

Which explains how most anti-Zionists are essentially haters and eventually losers, because their agenda is Hatred.

If they wanted peace and harmony in the Middle East, instead of Anti-Semitism, they'd find a more win-win solution.