I had the privilege this past May of serving as the Rabbi-in-residence for Kehillat Beijing – Beijing’s progressive Jewish community. Overwhelmingly comprised of Americans who are pursuing business ventures in China, I found the community to be incredibly warm and welcoming. Inevitably, when transported to a new situation, folks tend to extend warmth, as they’re
“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends. One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil. And why, then, should you not pluck at my laurels.”
BY: MATT BAR
The people of Nineveh are foils to our noble, statue-worthy sailors. These people are aging waifs that flitter as thin leaves with but shreds of plant-fiber holding them to the tree of life. Yet how recalcitrant at Jonah’s call they become! King, Noble, farmer and his cattle revert from the depths of depravity to soar to the heights of holy at the instant Jonah roars out his warning. Fasts, rituals and tshuvah bloom forth, like a capital city celebrating in a holier galaxy. When have we ever heard of such a phenomenon in the Bible – a prophet being listened to?! Furthermore, at first blush!
I find myself asked to defend my song, “I’m Not White, I’m Jewish” just about as often as you might suppose. Maybe more. I understand the critique. I feel it. I certainly have been given all the privileges a beige face is granted in this country. Jews pass as white, no doubt, but maybe passing