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Virtual Talmud


Anti-Semitism: Down But Not Out

posted by Virtual Talmud

Rabbi Stern writes that in America anti-Semitism is as dead as a door nail. I wish it were true. While the Anti-Defamation League recently reported that the number of anti-Semitic incidents were down by 12 percent from 2005, the Klu Klux Klan is experiencing a resurgence. Additionally, there were still 1,554 reported violent incidents in 2006, including the fatal shooting at the Seattle Jewish Federation. Just this week the stairwell outside Chicago Alderman Bernard Stone’s West Rogers Park office was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti that included slurs such as “Death to the Jews.” If not for organizations such as the ADL on the national level and the American Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress on the international level, it is more than likely such incidents would remain below the radar and thus be allowed to fester and spread.

Many of the Jewish organizations in our community alphabet soup were founded around such issues of Jewish defense. As we have seen in the news, some of those organizations need to attend to internal organizational issues. I agree with Rabbi Stern that a Judaism built around the response to anti-Semitism does not carry the transcendent values that ensure transmission. That is why we need programs like birthright israel, Jewish Life Network, and Synagogue 3000 to help us find better ways to transmit the beauty and wisdom of Judaism to the next generation. However, that doesn’t mean we can neglect defense of the Jewish people here, in Europe, in South America, and in Israel.

Rabbi Stern is correct that our support of federations around the country support much of the social services the Jewish community provides to the poor, elderly, mentally vulnerable, and ill. These services are desperately needed, particularly in our current political climate. Supporting such efforts through our charitable giving is part of what it means to be a member of a Jewish community. Caring for others, gemilut hasadim (literally deeds of lovingkindness), is among the highest of Jewish values.

On the surface it is an altruistic virtue. However, more Jews should also understand that there is nothing altruistic about supporting many of the Jewish agencies that work for Jewish security at home and abroad. Their help can be surprisingly local. In my community, it was to ADL that we turned when Jewish students began experiencing a surprising number of anti-Semitic slurs in response to the release of the movie “The Passion” several years ago. It was in cooperation with our local Jewish federation that we were able to get our local Board of Education to move high school graduation off of Jewish holy days and friday nights.

I was raised to believe that what happens to a Jew anywhere is of concern to Jews everywhere. If we are better off here in America than are our brothers and sisters in Europe and South America (which is true on every level of our security), then it behooves us to do what we can from here to help them. The best way to do that is through the Jewish organizational structure that already exists.

–Posted by Rabbi Susan Grossman



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Tzvi

posted March 21, 2007 at 6:25 pm


maybe what we need is an american resurgence of the JDL….. When I was in High school i went to a semi-military public school(we were Naval JROTC), and I remember mentioning to my father’s parents an interst in joining the Rifle team, which spent 2 sat.’s at the begining of the school year learning safety techniques, and then most saturdays after that were spent at a controlled shooting range, scores were kept, and submitted to compare to other similar teams, and at the end of the year those teams that had the best scores recieved prizes and recognition. The thing was that my grandmother was agahast at such a thing, even saying “guns kill people” to which i replied:”so do accidental overdoses of common painkillers.” Maybe I’m unusual, but being young, gay and jewish(and left-handed at that, I feel we need to take the fight into our own hands. if the KKK, and similar want to fight, we need to be prepared both with the Law, and our own bare hands/and other similar tools. To borrow from an old gangster movie:”its time for “chicago justice…they send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of theirs to the morgue!”



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Jill Henrie

posted March 22, 2007 at 3:50 pm


Who are the biggest anti-Semites on the planet? — (and remember anti-Semite is synonomous with Nazis). The Palestinians are forced to suffer in apartheid conditions by Zionists. The Palestinians are a Semitic people. Zionist Jews, then, are anti-Semites. Zionist Jews, then, are … Nazis.



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Donny

posted March 22, 2007 at 3:50 pm


I am not young, I am not gay, and I am not Jewish. Does protecting Jews mean outlawing or ghetto-izing Christians? I’m just asking. Is Bill HR 984 sponsered by Henry Waxman a step in that direction? Read this and remember a time in a powerful European country when all speech was monitered: http://www.nrlc.org/FreeSpeech/WaxmanDavisArticle.pdf Do we want to enter a phase in American history where speech is monitered by the government and recorded for political purposes? Have we not learned anything from the darkest history of the 20th century?



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Mitchell Gilbert

posted March 22, 2007 at 7:09 pm


I hold it as a given that a monolithic position among Jews (Zionist or otherwise) in regards to the nature of the treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli government does not exist. I would direct those posters who think otherwise to the Israel-Palestine debate on Beliefnet. You may find that there is considerable disagreement among Jews (Zionists or otherwise) as to this situation. Regardless, the struggle against anti-Semitism continues on a front different than that of the Israeli-Palestinian problem. I do not wish to minimize one for the sake of the other but, IMHO, holding out this issue as an arguement against the efforts to confront anti-Semitism as discussed by the Rabbi’s here is using a “straw man” argument.



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Tzvi

posted March 22, 2007 at 7:13 pm


Donny, you write: >> I am not young, I am not gay, and I am not Jewish. I posted that as a statement to show that I am trully unique, that I have met few if any people like myself. Some of my closest friends are non-jews. I simply believe that in Israel, that the “old rules” of Combat apply, namely that If a country attacks another country, and the defenders not only resist invasion but gain territory from the attackers, they have the intrinsic rigght to do what they want. If Israel faught an inhvasion by 7 armies, beat them back and forced them to give up land, then they have the right to that land. We have the right to control our own destiny, and even in the USA, as long as we are not held by the Tyranny of the majority, then everything is gonna be ok.



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Tzvi

posted March 22, 2007 at 7:21 pm


Jill henrie, You write: >Who are the biggest anti-Semites on >the planet? — (and remember anti->Semite is synonomous with Nazis). >The Palestinians are forced to >suffer in apartheid conditions by >Zionists. >The Palestinians are a Semitic >people. >Zionist Jews, then, are anti-Semites. >Zionist Jews, then, are … Nazis. My question becomes in 1948, who invaded the new state of Israel? Who told the local arab population to flee so that they could come in and kill the jews? The Zionists in israel have done a lot for protecting the religious rights of the minorities in that country. yet how have they been repaid??? Considering how jews were treated in Muslim/Arabic countries, I’m actually surprised that Jews have been RESTRAINED in their response. You really should read the HAMAS charter, calling for the killing of all jews, no matter where, and their unwillingness to make peace. Anyone who sides with murderers and theives and hoodlems is no less a Murderer, theif or Hoodlem.



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Scott R.

posted March 23, 2007 at 1:07 am


The accepted definition of anti-Semitism in any normal dictionary is hatred of Jews. Anyone who says otherwise has a different agenda. That would include you, Jill.



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Dave

posted March 23, 2007 at 3:28 am


If the KKK is having a resurgence its not going to happen in Chicago. and its not the KKK that caused the deaths in Seattle, or at LAX. You want to boo the KKK, fine, lets all boo the KKK. Boo. Louder. BOO. Now back to the present reality. If you’re worried about getting killed now and in the future because you’re Jewish its elsewhere where you want to look.



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Scott R.

posted March 23, 2007 at 5:09 am


If you want to deny the depth of the hatred that some Xtians have for us, be our guest.



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Dave

posted March 23, 2007 at 5:42 pm


Of course ‘some’ Xtians have a deep hatred for us (there is a KKK after all), and some Xtians have a mild hatred for us. But there is a huge number of Muslims who have a deep hatred for us.



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Donny

posted March 23, 2007 at 6:22 pm


“Xtians” Is not only rude it is a hateful way to address “Christians.” I see that hatred anbd bigotry knows no bounds. There would be a cry of such magnitude if anyone dared to denigrate “Jew” or “Jewish” in such fashion. “Christians” have proven over and over again to at least deserve decency from those in the Jewish community, that do not see the Messiah the way we do. Now, Tzvi, If anyone who sides with murderers and thieves is no less than one of them? What would that make individuals that side with those that engage in same-sex sexual behavior? It is also condemned as murder in the Tanakh. Does agreeing with a person make one the same as that person? If so, then I am a Jew. And, an Israeli Jew at that.



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Tzvi

posted March 23, 2007 at 7:50 pm


Donny, you wrote: >What would that make individuals >that side with those that engage in >same-sex sexual behavior? It is also >condemned as murder in the Tanakh Actually Tanakh does not classify same sex relations as murder….it says that one shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman. To me that’s under the issue of being honest with one’s self, one’s partner, and G-d. That is to say that if you are with a woman, but want a man, it is dishonest to be with that person. which begs the question how you can lump a murderer or a Thief with a peron who has a same sex attraction. I have a cousin who is a Rabbi, who has been with the same person for 25 years, and their relationship is no less valid than any other I’ve known, heck, they’ve been together longer than most ppl. I grew up with. Can you say Likewise?



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Scott R.

posted March 24, 2007 at 12:17 am


“Xtians” Is not only rude it is a hateful way to address “Christians.” In a word, Donny: Nonsense. Judaism forbids us to say the name of other gods. Your JC – we don’t recognize him as a god. Therefore we say his name, we don’t write his name, and we can’t write the name of the religion that you profess, because it has the name of a god that we don’t recognize. If you want to be offended that we don’t recognize your god, have at it – though you write: “Xtians” have proven over and over again to at least deserve decency from those in the Jewish community, that do not see the Messiah the way we do. What have Xtians done for the past thousands of years besides torture us, rape our women, steal our children, massacre us, and ultimately turn a blind eye to the most eveil man in history? What have you done to deserve decency? The fact is we are a lot nicer to you than you have ever been to us in the past.



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Grethel Jane Rickman

posted March 25, 2007 at 6:36 am


I am greatly ashamed by many of the posts that I have read here. God’s creatures going back and forth in such manner. Hmm… HaShem is much more compassionate and forgiving–and nicer to us–than any of us could ever be among ourselves. Yes. Hatred exists. Anti-semitism is around; however, let us not turn a blind eye to other forms of hatred to. The first step is to look in the mirror; find the hatred in our own selves and remove it first. We can’t work on Tikkun Olam until we do that. Before Aaron could begin his duty, he had to purify himself. What does this teach the ones who were called to be a nation of priests–light to the world? Shalom.



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Donny

posted March 25, 2007 at 3:09 pm


Scott R. In the Tanakh, there is no banning of writing or saying The name of God. “Judaism” came up with that “rule.” All who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved. “If my people that are called by my Name, humble themselves and turn from their wickedness, ‘I’ will hear . . .” says the Lord. God did not tell Moses to call Him “The Name” but to USE His Name. “Ha Shem” is not the name of the God of Moses. He gave Moses His Name. “God” is a concept and not a name to be called by. It is not an empty space, on a page, or a hypen between letters, or the words “Ha Shem.” God has a Name. For God is not an empty idea. The Gos of Abraham, Isaac and JACOB, is the only reality on which all truth gets its right to exist. “Christ” is a Greek word (coming down to us in english) that means Messiah. Is The Annointed One of Israel, also the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? If not, then writing the word “Christ” is not idolatry or blasphemy or, wrong. And it isn’t. Now, for an Abrahamic Israeli that rejects the notion of the Messiah as G-d, seeing Christ Jesus as G-d can be presented in the negative. Still though, without denigration. Since Jews come in varieties that reject the Tanakh as authotative, do you also see written R-Judaism? (For Reform Judaism that is?) If the Jews that preached Jesus as the Messiah are to suffer denigration, why not see a little consistency in Jews that present Reform Judaism as also something supported by the Torah? Reform Judaism is far worse than what the Christians present on the Tanakh. Care to help me out here? /// And Tzvi, I suggest you stop following Soulforce Christian apologetics. Liberal and Progressive Christian teachings are as bad as Reform Judaism in its heretical scope. Best to just atone for your sins and “move on.” Don’t be like those left wandering in the Sinai desert. As it is written . . .



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Grethel Jane Rickman

posted March 25, 2007 at 4:16 pm


Donny, if anyone desires to use labels, you can call me a Reform Jew. For the record, “Reform Judaism” does not reject Torah. Important info is here: http://ccarnet.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=44&pge_id=1606 Look under the section entitled, “Torah.” Please review the last paragraph in that section. It talks about relationships with other people and the obligation to pursue righteousness and justice. Once a father approached the Baal Shem Tov and complained to him, “My son has forsaken HaShem. What do I do?” The Baal Shem Tov replied, “You should love him more than ever before.” ~ A Chasidic story



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Scott R.

posted March 25, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Donny, Are you proseltyzing? Coming here under to false pretenses to try to convert Jews is not nice. Now you see why we shouldn’t trust you. Reform Judaism is far worse than what the Christians present on the Tanakh. Care to help me out here? A Xtian can decide what is and is not heretical Judaism? LOL! Worshipping a dead man as god when Tanakh clearly says that HaShem is not a man (see Numbers) is idolatry. Worshipping three gods as one is idolatry (see the She’ema). Don’t come here lecturing how to believe when you follow an ancient pagan faith. The Muslims may be the ones who are trying to be our enemies, but at least their religion isn’t, on the face of it, blasphemy.



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Donny

posted March 25, 2007 at 8:04 pm


Really? God is not a man? You get that from the Rambam? maimonides was simply just a man. Who, or, more accurately “What” did Abraham eat with? The Lord. Jacob wrestled with What? Who? A man until day break. The Lord. Getting things right is not proselytizing. I am not an evangelist or missionary. I am just a guy not wanting to see his comunity NOT persecuted and/or harrassed. I have almost no dust on my shoes at all. It has been shaken off long ago. I just see insensitivity directed at Christians and ask a few questions that’s all. Ancient pagan faith is one that has man inventing new rules and regulations to justify his evil as politics “progresses.” I prefer to to worship “Elohim.” No matter the cost.



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Scott R.

posted March 25, 2007 at 8:19 pm


Your community can not, and will not, ever be “persecuted and/or harrassed”. Your community is the MAJORITY. I have a sneaking suspicion you never took a history class. That’s too bad. Did you ever read about the Crusades and the pogroms and the Lutheran persecutions of the Jews? Did you ever study how many Nazis were Xtians? Our blood is on your hands and your childens. The rest of your post is drivel. You have no understanding of our bible and it’s forbidden for us to debate Tanakh with gentiles anyhow.



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Tzvi

posted March 25, 2007 at 10:09 pm


Donny, you write: >I suggest you stop following Soulforce >Christian apologetics. Liberal and >Progressive Christian teachings are as >bad as Reform Judaism in its heretical >scope. >Best to just atone for your sins and >”move on.” Don’t be like those left >wandering in the Sinai desert I actually formulated my “concepts” on my own, idependent of any other group. I am a Reconstructionist, but Influenced by Buber, Stein, Luria, and Kook. The Holy one os More than a concept, but not someone/thing out and unreachable. It is within and without, part and seperate.



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chloe

posted March 27, 2007 at 10:24 am


Some of my closest friends are jews. Most of them like to share their thoughts on http://www.jromances.com, You can write a your blog here!



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chloe

posted March 27, 2007 at 10:26 am


Some of my closest friends are jews. Most of them share their thoughts on Jromance.com, maybe you can post your blog here, I belive that they will love your blog!



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Donny

posted March 28, 2007 at 1:35 pm


Scott R. Stuff the historical persecution of the Crusades and Pogroms into context and get back to me. Christians admit to the truth, only so far as it goes. How convenient an excuse you cling to. You simply discard the truth for warm and fuzzy feelings. The Rambam started a concept that was in error, and is perpertuated to this day. It is you denying history. Not I. I am guilty of nothing against you or anyone else that claims to be Jewish. I do not proselytize anyone. I let the truth do that. Look at what the ADL is doing to outlaw Christians from anywhere but in Ghetto-like conditions. Who is it that is not learning from history? My daughter asked me why some Jewish people do not believe in Jesus, I asked her “And?” I told her of the exchange in Kings between the tribes of Israel and the Son of Solomon that they disagreed with. Many people in Israel will not follow a son of David. The gift that the descendants of Abraham, Issac and JACOB, are to this world is that they carry with them the very words of the Lord spoken to their ancestors at the foot of Sanai and that God will keep His people on this earth until He sets all things back to perfection. Israel was picked to show mankind to perfection for whatever reason the Lord decided. That is the truth. I want on with my daughter: That they the children of Jacob (Israel) do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah is for many important reasons “to them,” and that that is between God and them. Still thoigh, we are to hold on fats to that which is truth. Have a good day Scott. And keep studying history. Sooner or later you’ll get to the truth.



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Grethel Jane Rickman

posted March 28, 2007 at 10:09 pm


Donny, please look over information here: http://www.messiahtruth.com and here: http://www.jewforjudaism.org Shalom.



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Grethel Jane Rickman

posted March 28, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Scott R.

posted March 29, 2007 at 12:35 am


Yeah Donny, those bastards at the ADL – trying to keep Xtians from forcing their faith on a tiny minority. I just made a donation to them in your name.



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Donny

posted March 29, 2007 at 7:31 am


Youn eedn’t bother Scott R. I’ve made donations to them in the name of Israel. Jews are not my enemies. And anyway, if they were, I would do good to them anyway. And Grethel Jane Rickman, If Christianity had a Rabbi Singer type guy attacking Jews the way Singer attacks Christians, the cry of it would scream off the pages of the New York Times. I find guys liike Singer quite amusing. he describes what Jesus did on the Cross and why, perfectly. Those that mocked and killed Him didn’t know what sins they were committing. Good thing the lamb sacrifice covers sins that one may not remember, or as Rabbi Singer presents it so accurately, “unintentional sins.” http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/474_outreach_judaism_dea.htm Last time I read the Gospels, Jesus didn’t force Himslef on anyone and clearly didn’t present that His execution made converts of deniers and unbelievers. Nope, choices are important to Jesus. Just like God. I like the debate between guys like Rabbi Singer and Christians unafriad of being attacked. Clears up a lot. Other than that, Judaism is a made up belief system (though not necessarily bad) that has little support for it in the Tanakh. Did Moses practice Judaism? Did Abraham? C’mon now.



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Scott R.

posted March 29, 2007 at 11:10 pm


Donny, You make a nice comment about Israel – and then write 20 lines with foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of Jews. You’re an anti-Semite and you don’t even realize it. Poor you. Because you’ll have to answer to G-d for being a racist one day. And no dead guy hanging on a cross is getting off the hook on that. (In case you didn’t grasp that, I just attacked your belief system, not you as an individual Xtian (insofar as you are an anti-Semite, however)).



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Grethel Jane Rickman

posted March 30, 2007 at 1:35 am


Donny, Save the Christian talk. I’ve been there, done that, and I have the t-shirt. I was involved in the Assemblies of God–baptised and the whole nine yards! I was also on a Missions team! I also interacted with Messianics. Jesus was a man–a Jew at that! The man can’t help what Paul did. Paul is the one who rewrote and changed things. Jesus was no different than other Jews at the time who claimed to be the Messiah. Paul? He had major issues. I walked away from Christianity because I realized it teaches much that is false. Granted, I do know some very ethical and good Christians. I love them dearly, but Christianity I do not have much respect for. A lot of Jesus’s teaches, I respect. He was radical. But, a man and a Jew none-the-less. That is if the man existed at all! Shalom



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Donny

posted March 30, 2007 at 7:04 pm


Grethel, You made a choice. That is what God is. You discard Jesus as God and that is your right. I went in the opposite direction you did. I notice that many people are not allowed the same convenience if they do NOT agree with you. Iteresting huh. Peace is only part of the word Jerusalem. Keep studying and you’ll see Jesus as he truly is. He ain’t hanging on a Cross anymore, no matter how hard people try to hanging back on it. Paul was right.



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Scott R.

posted March 30, 2007 at 9:04 pm


Now you’re proseltyzing. You people are all the same. Half the time you’re trying to kill us, half the time you’re trying to convert us. And the rest of the time you’re trying to herd us into Israel for your great cosmological holocaust. But it would never dawn on you to just treat us as fellow human beings (oops, wait, can’t do that – we’re Xist killers – “Jesus hates us this we know, because you’re bible told us so.”) No wonder you’re not to be trusted. Ever.



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Donny

posted April 1, 2007 at 1:58 pm


I don’t trust that many people either Scott. I have learned that even a Jewish person can be wrong about God and the Nature of God. Maimonides comes to stark realization here. And how does “a Jew” rid his or her DNA of being Jewish? Does a Jewish person that becomes an atheist somehow unjewishify his or her genetics? Let me help you here. Uhhh, NO. The Romans killed Christ Jesus. Just as they did many Christians and Jews. That the Christians had Jewish antagonists at the start of the Church era, is also historically accurate. BUT, isn’t it interesting the “type” of men both Nero and Hadrian were? If we are to believe history that is. I am not trying to proselytize here. Remember, I believe in Jesus as The Lord. You cannot sell the truth or force people to follow it. Something Jesus is referred to as presenting. Christians of today are fighting anti-semitism with body, spirit and funds. I am noticing the rise of anti-Christianism that looks very similar to what happened in the 1920′s and 30′s to Jewsih people in Europe. It is so socially acceptable in society to hate Christians openly and supported by “laws.” Don’t trust me? That’s OK for sure. But please trust other reality that shows that anti-Semitism and anti-Christian actions is on the rise again. But the numbers of Christians that ARE being killed, marginalized and discriminated against show signs of an evil enveloping the world that will engulf both Christians and Jews with little regards for our issues towards each other.



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Grethel Jane Rickman

posted April 1, 2007 at 2:59 pm


Donny, Blessed is HaShem, the Eternal One, who has made me a Jew! I am not offended by what you said, for this was a testing! Sorry. I disagree with what you said about Paul and Jesus. Please see Deuteronomy in the Torah for why I disagree. The entire book, actually. But, there are specific areas. Deuteronomy 4:15-20 is the area I am thinking about first, according to the New JPS Translation. My prefered translation, Stone Edition, has the area number 4:12-20. Now, look at Deuteronomy 13. Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad. Shalom



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Scott R

posted April 1, 2007 at 7:33 pm


Christians of today are fighting anti-semitism with body, spirit and funds. Really? How? I am noticing the rise of anti-Christianism that looks very similar to what happened in the 1920′s and 30′s to Jewsih people in Europe. It is so socially acceptable in society to hate Christians openly and supported by “laws.” How DARE you compare what was done to my family and my people with laws that mandate separation of church and state? How DARE you! When the oven start taking Xtians in (G-D forbid), then make that statement.



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