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Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud

June 2007 Archives

No Easy Answers in Gaza

Before posting I took a few minutes to survey the numerous reader responses to Rabbi Grossman’s analysis of the horrific situation in Gaza. I am struck by how diverse and deeply passionate they are–from those who blame Israel and America […]

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What Are We to Make of Gaza?

Commenting on the violence in Gaza, Jon Stewart quipped that those who hate Jews were overthrown by those who HATE Jews. So why should we care? The people in Sederot care, because they have suffered unrelenting rocket attacks since Israel […]

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Earth to British Academics

Earth to British academics: Who are you and who cares what you have to say? My fellow blogger rabbis, Rabbi Waxman and Rabbi Grossman, along with Tom Friedman of the New York Times have already done a good job at […]

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Boycott the Boycotters

Thirty eight reporters are arrested in Iran. The most-watched independent television station in Venezuela is shut down. Palestinians kidnap two FOX journalists and a Palestinian radio journalist. Who does the British National Union of Journalists vote to boycott? Israel: the […]

Boycotting Common Sense

Two weeks ago, the British University and College Union (UCU), the union of university academics, passed an absurd and deeply offensive resolution calling on all union members to “consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic […]

Finding Commonalities Amidst Differences

I agree with all that has been said by rabbis Stern, Hirschfield, and Waxman about agreeing to enter into dialogue with those with whom we disagree while being careful not to be duped or give up articulating our own concerns […]

The Power and Perils of Dialogue

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, the Director of the Religious Studies Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and a seasoned participant in interreligious dialogue, relates a telling incident that took place at an interfaith conference hosted by the Emir of Qatar in […]

To Talk or Not to Talk: Different People, Different Standards

posted by Virtual Talmud

A few thoughts in response to Eli Stern’s typically insightful and unflinching response to a much-vexing and often-divisive issue. I am very much in favor of a litmus test for all conversations, not just those devoted to, or conducted between […]

Interfaith Dialogue: Let’s Talk Without Letting Ourselves Be Duped

The recent pronouncements of some Muslim clerics, mixed in with the ever-quotable madman from Iran, has made people curious about the question: Should we have a “litmus test” to interfaith dialogue, conditions that must be met before we sit down […]

Jerusalem, Divided Against Itself

As we mark the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, there is no question, as Rabbi Grossman rightly points out, that it is anything but a unified city. This truth is particularly demoralizing following the dizzying sense of hope […]

No U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. What Gives?

Forty years after the reunification of Jerusalem, the United States has still yet to move its embassy from Tel-Aviv. Of the 184 countries that the United States has embassies in, the only country where a U.S. embassy is not located […]

Jerusalem, Divided Against Itself

As we mark the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, there is no question, as Rabbi Grossman rightly points out, that it is anything but a unified city. This truth is particularly demoralizing following the dizzying sense of hope […]

Is There Hope for The City of Peace?

posted by Virtual Talmud

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem under Jewish rule. Jerusalem in Hebrew (ir hashalem) means City of Peace. Unfortunately, that is not a descriptive phrase but a prophetic one: When Jerusalem is at peace, then […]

Rabbi Waxman, That’s Not What I Meant

Rabbi Waxman claims I asserted that, “The incidence of teenage pregnancy and AIDS in the Jewish community is not a problem that needs to be taken seriously.” That’s not what I meant. What I did say was: “Relative to America […]

Previous Posts

The Task Is Never Finished
It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman's post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in ...

posted 12:31:46pm Apr. 03, 2008 | read full post »

Some Parting Reflections
Well, loyal readers, all good things must come to an end and we’ve been informed that this particular experiment in blogging as a forum for creating wide-ranging discussion on topics of interest to contemporary Jews has run its course. Maybe ...

posted 1:00:29pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

Obama's Lesson and The Jewish Community
There are few times in this blog’s history when I have felt that Rabbi Grossman was one hundred percent correct in her criticisms of my ideas. However, a few weeks ago she called me out for citing a few crack websites on Barak Obama’s ...

posted 12:09:08pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

The Future of Race Relations
As a post-baby boomer, it is interesting to me to see how much of today’s conversation about racial relations is still rooted in the 1960s experience and rhetoric of the civil rights struggle, and the disenchantment that followed. Many in the ...

posted 4:04:41pm Mar. 25, 2008 | read full post »

Wright and Wrong of Race and Jews
Years ago, as a rabbinical student, I was one of a group of rabbinical students who visited an African American seminary in Atlanta. My fellow rabbinical students and I expected an uplifting weekend of interfaith sharing like we had experienced ...

posted 12:50:11pm Mar. 24, 2008 | read full post »

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