Virtual Talmud
June 2006 Archives

Former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir was once asked if she could ever forgive the Arabs for seeking Israel’s destruction. She replied by saying that she could forgive them for killing her sons, but she couldn’t forgive them for […]

Israel’s response to the recent kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit by invading Gaza is nothing shocking or all that new. It is what is: the latest incarnation of the cycle of violence that continues to cripple the Middle East. Is […]

The Hamas raid last week against an army post in Israel, with the murder of two soldiers, the wounding of a third, and the kidnapping of 19-year-old Gilad Shalit, is a classic example of the tactical jujitsu that terrorists have […]

I took my seventh graders to the U.S. Holocaust Museum the other day. We stopped in front of the crematorium door as the students took in what it meant: that the Nazis burned the bodies of their mostly Jewish victims […]

Of all the issues I engage with my congregants around, I find shiva–Jewish mourning practices–to be among the strangest and most challenging. The vast majority of my congregants –like the overwhelming majority of Jews in this country today–don’t understand themselves […]

One of the many rituals surrounding death in the Jewish tradition is the practice of going to a mourner’s house during a seven-day mourning period called “shiva.” The mourner sits on a low stool and he/she is comforted by friends, […]

On today’s New York Times op-ed page, David Dow writes a very interesting but ultimately morally flawed article on the death penalty. In short, he suggests: Instead of focusing on the issue of whether or not someone convicted of the […]

The January election of a Hamas-led government in the Palestinian territories immediately led to stern resolve on the part of the international community not to have dealings with or assist this regime–and rightly so. Hamas has been and continues to […]

I can’t stand people who invoke moral obligations regarding providing humanitarian aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. I am sorry, but a group that demands my destruction has no right to make moral and ethical claims on me or anybody […]

If someone wants to destroy you, are you obligated to help them? How humanitarian is aid when it supports hate? This stopped being a theoretical question when Hamas was elected to lead the Palestinian people, because Hamas continues to be […]

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