Writing a few years after the creation of the State of Israel, the Jewish thinker Simon Rawidowicz asserted that the age-old “Jewish question” had become the “Arab question.” Jews were no longer a minority seeking to survive in the face of an often hostile host. They had assumed sovereignty in 1948, and with political power
In light of last year’s scandal at the Agriprocessors meat plant, Bema’aglei Tzedek (“Circles of Justice”) is probably best known for being a pioneer in the field of ethical kashrut. Our Tav Chevrati, a certificate granted free of charge to restaurants that treat their employees ethically and are handicapped accessible, now graces over 350 establishments
What do Jews in America think about guns and gun control? The question reflects our broad sociopolitical spectrum. And it is talmudic; an exquisitely ambiguous Second Amendment text demands explication. The obvious answers turn out to be touchstones for more questions.
Born and raised in San Francisco, I was a Manhattan transplant during college, rabbinical school, and a few years beyond. In the liberal and intellectual enclaves where I was educated — formally and informally — I did not know a single person who would fathom owning a gun, let alone keeping one in the glove
Here in Washington, guns have a funny way of leaking into other issues. Since the 111th Congress convened just a few months ago, guns have infected the health care debate, thwarted voting rights legislation, complicated credit card reform, and threatened to derail the Defense Department Authorization Bill. Since our nation’s founding, guns have presented a
American Jews like their guns at a distance. Despite the participation of Jewish soldiers in each of America’s wars — going back to 1776 — it wasn’t until 1948 that Jews finally found guns that fit them, culturally speaking. But there was one catch: Those guns were in Israel. And even more: they fell in
In the three years since we moved from New York to Toronto, we’ve been asked countless times, in all seriousness: “Isn’t it dangerous in the United States?” We laugh each time at the seeming absurdity, the way our Canadian colleagues relate to America with the same fear that Americans usually reserve for developing nations engaged
On August 10, 1999, I was a carefree sixteen-year-old working as a counselor at a day camp. I could never have anticipated what would happen that day and I will never forget the details of that morning. At 9:45 AM a self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi walked into the North Valley Jewish Community Center (outside Los Angeles) and shot over 70 rounds of ammunition. I was shot, along with four others (including three children).
The U.S. is the most highly armed country in the world. There are 90 guns for every 100 citizens, according to 2007 figures from the Small Arms Survey; in the rest of the world, the rate is ten firearms for every 100 citizens. The U.S. rate of lethal violence is correspondingly higher than other developing