There are about twenty thousand Jews in Turkey. They have been protected by the strong central government which has also maintained good relations with Israel despite being a Muslim country and despite the attitudes of its Muslim Neighbors.
So we hope that the failed coup attempt by exiled, somewhat-more-secular Muslims against the current government will not result in the scapegoating of the Jewish community, nor we hope will terrorists succeed in taking advantage of the relative disorder to mount attacks on the Jews of Turkey.
Moshe worked near the orthodox synagogue in Westboro, Mass. He sold insurance, always passed quota, left early in winter on Fridays, didn’t work Saturday, and never missed the numbers.
So the office is moving to Hudson, where there is no synagogue nor observant Jewish community. After looking for a change, he had job offers from Portland OR, Lakewood NJ, and elsewhere. He picked Lakewood because he is a single young man and there is a big orthodox community there.
After he accepted the offer in writing, moved out of his apartment, he is now being told that his offer of employment has been rescinded because he will not work one Saturday a month. This requirement wasn’t mentioned on the job posting, nor was even touched upon during the entire interview process.
This isn’t Saudi Arabia, this is 2015 in Greater New York. This isn’t an employer hassling someone for leaving early on Friday; this is revoking an offer of employment due to religious observance.
Moshe needs to hire a lawyer; this isn’t about money, it is about religious freedom. And we need to make a public stink so that Plymouth Rock Assurance Company learns to accept diversity.
ABC is reporting that an Israeli soldier killed a “Palestinian Cabinet Minister.” Lebanese News refers to it as “Israeli barbarism.” Abbas says, “we cannot sit idle and silent.”
First of all, the man who died was a convicted murderer, named Abu Ein, who had been given a life sentence for killing two unarmed teenagers because they were Jewish. He was in jail, first in the USA and then in Israel for the two murders. This was in the 1980’s. He got out when Arabs kidnapped some Jews and traded them.
I wrote the following yesterday, during the “lock-down” in Har Nof, during and after the massacre, while we were waiting to be able to leave our bulding – ie. waiting for the search copters to stop circling and leave. It WAS on my [Facebook] Timeline, then wasn’t for some reason. So, as per request of some people I’d messaged it to, I’m posting it again. It follows.
Dear Family and Friends,
I feel compelled to write this to you.
Terrorists killed 5 men and injured 13 more, some critically, in our neighborhood about an hour ago. During our morning prayer services, 2 or 3 Palestinian extremists, ie. terrorists, entered a shul/synagogue where my husband davens/prays regularly. They had knives, axes, and guns. They began stabbing and hacking, then shooting the daveners. Police arrived quickly, and shot 2 of the terrorists in a gunfight. Helicopters are still circling around our neighborhood, which indicates that the other terrorist, or additional terrorists, may still be on the loose here. Read the rest of this entry »
Republican Bob Frey is a candidate running for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Frey says he believes all our social and economic problems have a common cause: “the gay agenda and sodomy.”
In a display of scientific ignorance so startling it’s almost unbelievable, Frey elaborated on “the science and the financial impact of the gay agenda” as follows:
“When you have egg and sperm that meet in conception, there’s an enzyme in the front that burns through the egg. The enzyme burns through so the DNA can enter the egg. If the sperm is deposited anally, it’s the enzyme that causes the immune system to fail. That’s why the term is AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.”
What whacko could have come up with this stuff? His goofy misunderstanding of human reproduction is overshadowed by his bizarre theory of AIDS. You die because of wayward sperm?
Apparently this clown doesn’t know that HIV/AIDS is most commonly transmitted through heterosexual intercourse worldwide. It’s not a gay disease. Period.
Over 80 percent of HIV infections in Africa are acquired through heterosexual intercourse. Most infections in Latin America are acquired through drug injection. Heterosexual intercourse and drug injection are also the main modes of transmission in both South and South East Asia. Of all the HIV-positive people in the world, slightly more than half of them are women.
In videotaped testimony before committees in the Minnesota State legislature, and also in a campaign video, Frey says: “When sperm enters the digestive system, it is quickly absorbed into the blood. It is the enzyme in the sperm that causes the immune system to fail. Sodomy is a voluntary act to destroy the immune system that protects us from disease, various cancers, and other health issues.”
So how exactly does sodomy destroy our economy? According to Frey: “It’s about sodomy. It’s huge amounts of money. AIDS is a long term illness, causing pain, suffering, death. A long-term illness that’s very expensive to treat… It is about legalizing sodomy, causing avoidable pain, suffering, death, and financial ruin.”
Let’s ignore Frey’s scientific and economic canards. Let’s talk about our own faith.
There are ample religious grounds to condemn each act of sodomy as wrongdoing. The Torah says that when a man lies with another man as with a woman it is just as bad as when a Jew eats a shrimp, carries a bundle of sticks on the Sabbath, or remarries his ex-wife after she has been divorced from someone else.
Nicholas Kristof’s column in yesterday’s New York Times laments the lack of knowledge many Christians evidence regarding their own Scriptures. Kristof also challenges secular Americans to seek greater knowledge about the religions of others.
Before I explicitly respond to his column, let me share a story. Its relevance I’ll make apparent later.
Many years ago, I was sitting in an airplane beside a little old lady who spent the flight immersed in her Bible… until my kosher meal arrived. At that point, she felt compelled to save my soul. Read the rest of this entry »
Drones are much more profitable when they fly low and wear advertising. At the same time, their loudspeakers can remind us to stop for a coffee.
(Like today’s evangelical highway gas pumps — but flying.)
Who knows? Just as so-called computers have evolved primarily into communication devices, with accounting and payroll only vestigial organs, drones may evolve into commerce-enhancing herding animals, er, I mean Guidance Companions, with the occasional friendly or fearsome payload a mere bonus.
(I wouldn’t think of going anywhere without my GC, would you?)
But the real progress will come from biotechnology. We will all be happier, smarter consumers when birds are bred with billboard camouflage and can sing us individualized jingles from nearby treetops. Read the rest of this entry »
The Forward ran a disappointing editorial today arguing that the Harvard visit to Arafat’s grave was “the right thing to do”.
Among other things, it said:
“Imagine going on an educational tour of Berlin and not stopping at Hitler’s bunker.”
First of all, the Arafat grave is dolled up as a hero’s monument in a Palestinian government building. Unlike Hitler’s Bunker, it is indeed constructed as a form of homage.
If you visit the Lincoln Memorial and then share your proud, smiling picture on Facebook, your visit will be construed as a form of homage whether you like it or not, because that’s why the Lincoln Memorial exists. So too with Arafat’s current grave site.
Why else would the Israeli Government have destroyed Baruch Goldstein’s grave site? It featured glorious, stone, circular hand-washing stations like those in front of the Western Wall, and a miniature plaza all to itself. Arafat’s grave is presented even better.
Second, for the record, I was on tour in Berlin in 1974 and 2011, and it never even crossed my mind that Hitler’s Bunker was there or worth seeing. In 1974, it was Checkpoint Charlie, The Wall, AlexanderPlatz, Brandenburg Gate, museums, day-trips to castles, etc. In 2011, it was local synagogues, “stumble-stones”, Jewish concerts, the Jewish Museum, the zoo (for my kids), the book-burning memorial beneath AlexanderPlatz, and the “space needle” towering above it.
As the Harvard students’ own justifications make clear, their choice to go there actually reflects their politics; and their politics are what we take issue with.
The Forward article continued:
First of all, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson weren’t thought of as war criminals, they were thought of as traitors. (On the other hand, Southern bushwhackers like Jesse James were indeed terrorists and war criminals).
Second, as a tourist I’d have no interest in the statue cited — a statue which is not intrinsically of any historical significance. It’s just a souvenir. On the other hand, the fact that Southerners haven’t yet torn it down themselves is what’s historically significant. (Yes, they are embracing their side of the Civil War by maintaining it.)
Having visited, and been disgusted by, The Hermitage — with it’s whitewashing of slavery (via the relocation of the slave quarters) and the unsavory Jackson in particular — and by other monuments throughout the South (which is still not entirely Reconstructed, you know), it seems to me that someone visiting the South reveals his or her values by the tourist sites chosen.
Visitors can choose educational sites about black history and civil war battles, or they can take their selfies at statues that pay homage to racists who fought for an evil cause. At best (e.g., Robert E. Lee) they are tragic figures, and at worst (e.g., Nathan Bedford Forrest) they were monsters.
The Forward article concludes:
Good news! Barry Shrage, after airing his atrocious initial reactions (which were to justify the Harvard visit to Arafat’s grave and to attack Internet bloggers for condemning it) has had a re-think. He has reversed himself, and his welcome new statement can be enjoyed here:
Nice article today in Arutz Sheva about Harvard students visiting Arafat’s grave (not to spit on it, but to take smiling pictures) on an outing funded by Boston’s CJP.
Barry Shrage (CJP Director) will likely be at the Torah Academy Annual Dinner later this week, here in Newton Massachusetts. In past years, he has addressed the community at it. I wonder if the subject will be hinted at?
Will let you know.
The last time a thug like Putin had a dream, the first victim was Austria. In Hitler’s case, both Austria and the Sudetenland were taken without a shot, via what we can now rename “The Putin Pretense” (bringing relief to the oppressed traitors in those countries).
The next year it was Czechoslovakia’s turn; Hitler’s first land-grab lacking the Putin Pretense, but not worth anybody’s trouble to intervene. So what comes next for our Stalin wannabe? Maybe some local, oil-rich, post-Soviet, independent state that no one else cares about?
It may take a while for Putin to destroy himself. Hitler did two invasions in each of ’38 and ’39; but it’s been five years since Georgia succumbed. Putin is moving slower and is probably not a madman.
I wonder what will be the final straw for this new Stalin wannabe. Maybe Poland again? Read the rest of this entry »
Hard to believe, but the Virginia GOP hasn’t learned much from its setbacks of recent years. John Whitbeck, a Republican district chairman, just a few hours ago introduced the Republican candidate for governor with an anti-semitic joke. What a way to celebrate Constitution Day!
It’s watchable on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKENPy2Vr90
The joke states that for hundreds of years each newly elected pope has received a delegation from the head of the Jews attempting to collect on a bill for “The Last Supper”.