Category Archives: American Jewish Loyalties

What ‘Supporting Israel’ Means

general
April 6, 2010

Roberta P. Seid
American Jews should respect Israel’s democracy and the decisions of its elected government, despite disagreements with specific policies. More »

Saving Israel’s Soul

general
April 6, 2010

Hadar Susskind
Democracy in the United States means that we needn’t agree with every single action taken by President Barack Obama, or by President George W. Bush before him. Yet, when it comes to Israel, we are asked, sometimes instructed, to put aside all critical thinking and simply support any and all actions taken by the government — any government. More »

Dogmas and Allegiances in Contemporary Judaism

general
April 6, 2010

Shaul Magid
Three dogmas of contemporary American Judaism seem to still define “what is a Jew?”: (1) pro-Israelism (as distinct from Zionism); (2) the uniqueness of the Holocaust (as distinct from Holocaust memorialization); and (3) the war against intermarriage. More »

The Israel Defense Forces: Revolutionary Orientations vs. Orientations of Civility

general
April 6, 2010

Shlomo Fischer
Would religious Zionist soldiers and officers in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) obey orders to dismantle and evacuate settlements in Judea and Samaria — the West Bank? This question heightened tension between Rabbi Eliezer Melamad, the head of the Hesder Yeshiva in Alon Moreh and Ehud Barak, the Minister of Defense, when Melamed gave orders to soldiers  against such evacuation. More »

Kashrut: Reining in Expenses

general
April 6, 2010

Rachel Kahn-Troster One of my favorite pieces of modern halakhah on the ethics of Jewish eating comes from the Mishnah Berurah. Commenting on the idea that Shabbat should be an oneg, a celebration, it states that, traditionally, this was understood to mean that meat and wine would be part of the meal. This Mishnah goes More »

Holding On, Letting Go

general
April 6, 2010

Richard Hirsh One of the more poignant, sometimes perplexing and often provocative moments in the lifecycle is when adult children have to close a home after the death of a parent. To such an emotionally laden event, we bring the entire psychological, emotional, and relational histories we shared with our parent(s). Somewhere along the continuum More »

Discussion Guide – American Jewish Loyalties

April 5, 2010

Why is it so difficult to talk about Israel? And how can we promote more civil and engaged discussion? At a moment when the Jewish community is pushing the concept of peoplehood — which aims to pitch a broad, wide tent for Jews — are we also creating certain barriers for Jews around the periphery? More »