A strange paradox runs through modern Hebrew literature: The most enduring and iconic expressions of hope depend, at their core, on despair. Or is it the reverse, that the most serious expressions of despair yield the most profound articulations of hope? The historian Simon Rawidowicz perhaps said it best in his famous essay “Israel: The
Aaron David Miller: There is no cookie-cutter approach for the United States to take toward the Middle east. America is stuck in a region it cannot leave or transform. We need to focus on what we can achieve and avoid overreach to avoid what we can’t.
We all know the raw, painful residue of disappointment that is left in the wake of dashed dreams and fallen hopes. A developmental overview helps us to understand this feeling. Consider how children, who, of course, become adults, respond when their trust and expectations are betrayed or met with rejection or scorn. Young children lean
Tony Michels: “House of Cards” pivots on the twin themes of betrayal and revenge. While the show purports to expose how politics really works, it can’t move beyond its cynicism.
I was ten minutes into a Shabbat morning sermon at a large synagogue when I said, “Both as Jews and as environmentalists, we give ourselves a bad name by telling people what to do. It’s pedagogically ineffective and, more than that, who am I to tell people what to do? I find it hard enough to
Let’s open the window and lift our shirts and shake our titties at people…Let’s play a trick on your sister… That is so gay… We don’t want to clean up and you can’t make us… If you say no, I will throw this at you… This is stupid. They are stupid. This whole party is
Before the liturgical revisions that accompanied the rise of the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist streams of Judaism, traditional Jewish prayer addressed hope with an assurance coordinate with a continuity of faith in a covenantal God and a pre-modern embrace of classical Jewish myths of the future, both personal and collective. Rabbi Neil Gillman suggests that
1. Are some ideals too fundamental to be tarnished? If so, which?
2. What about values such as tzedakah, obligations such as observing Shabbat, or beliefs such as a faith in God? Are these considered to be Jewish ideals? Can you compare these beliefs to America’s noble ideals?
3. What are the dangers of venerating our political and religious heroes?
4. How does American popular culture give life to a cynicism about politics?
5. What do we learn from the Arab Spring about the potential for and perils of cultivating democracy in the Middle East?
6. Is it possible to hold, simultaneously, an attraction to a system of thinking or beliefs and also a recognition of that system’s limitations?