Going It Alone

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Back in February, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned of the consequences facing Israel if the American-led peace talks between the Jewish state and its Palestinian neighbors fell apart. He alluded to the growing strength of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and worried that should peace fail, Israel would find itself isolated… Read More

A Communal Responsibility

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Three decades ago, faith communities across the Southwestern United States, seeing as their moral duty to protect the downtrodden and vulnerable from what they saw as an almost certain death sentence, decided to break the law and harbor illegal immigrants who had arrived from Central America. Moved by a sense of humanity and an anti-establishment… Read More

An Appreciation of Diversity

“I am now a vegetarian,” our daughter, 11, announced proudly one night in 2001. “Why now,” I wanted to know? “I just bought one of your favorite foods — hot dogs.” To many people, becoming a vegetarian can appear to be a phase until the newness and excitement wear off. Our Gila, however, is a… Read More

Let’s Choose Our Words Wisely

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According to the biblical account, creation didn’t take place through fire or a divine wind. The world instead came into being through speech. As taught and amplified by the Jewish tradition in the thousands of years since that seminal event, words — even when limited to the constricted realm of human speech — have retained… Read More

Unity in Tragedy

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This column was supposed to begin on a positive note, seeing in the recent fundraising prowess of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore a message that Jewish unity is alive and strong and can be marshaled to face the challenges of poverty and generational apathy. That all remains true, but Monday afternoon, the world… Read More

No Vacation from Bigotry, Hate

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In the current economy, the concept of a vacation, especially for the working poor among us, is something of a luxury. And even among those for whom a vacation is a given, financial realities have made “staycations” a common feature of American life. That’s why it’s great to live in a place like Baltimore, where… Read More

Where’s the Civility?

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No sooner had the international condemnations of the kidnappings of three Israeli teenagers begun their slow trickle that the hand wringing by some in the Jewish community sought to assign blame anywhere than at the foot of the Palestinian government. The Palestinians are an occupied people, went one argument, so outbursts of violent activity are… Read More

A Lack of Human Respect

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As JT reporter Simone Ellin was putting the finishing touches on this week’s cover story — an examination of the battle to make the American college campus a safer one for its students — news broke of yet another school shooting, purportedly the 74th nationwide since 2012’s Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut. This time, a… Read More

Aspire to Educate

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Looking back at the just-concluded holiday of Shavuot, it’s hard not to remain in awe at the magnitude of the event it commemorates. The giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai is remarkable not just because it embodies a link between the physical and supernal realms. What stands out when contemplating this seminal moment in… Read More

For us, the ‘core’ is tradition

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What would the world be like without standards? Never mind the fact that standards imply so much more than legal dictates and cultural norms, and that because “the way we do things” also encompasses familial customs and passed-down wisdom spanning ages, such a theoretical world would be practically impossible. If we were to philosophize, like… Read More