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