Why Noah is a story for grownups

This week’s Torah portion is Noach, Genesis 6:9 – 11:32. This week we read of a flood that covered a mountain (Ararat) nearly 17,000 feet high and a little boat capable of holding (and saving) every species of land animal and bird. The flood story is a fable, pure and simple. If it hints at… Read More

New Trump pressure against settlements is worrisome

The Trump administration is pressuring Israel for further delays in the construction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, according to apparently reliable media reports. If true, friends of Israel have good reason to be concerned. Ynet, the news site of the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, reported Sept. 25 that “at the request of… Read More

Another instance of repeal and not replace

Since President Donald Trump cannot rely on Congress to accomplish what he wants legislatively, he has reverted to lawmaking through executive order. Last week, Trump issued a slew of executive orders reversing Obama-era policies he opposes. Among the actions was the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which committed electricity generators to strict curbs on… Read More

Harvey Weinstein is not a Jewish issue

Over the past two weeks, we have seen many reactions and reactions-to-reactions to the story of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long pattern of reported sexual harassment and assault of women. Most of us are simply repulsed by the allegations of unchecked abuse of power and Sodom and Gomorrah-style depravity. And for some, the reactions are… Read More

Letters Oct. 19, 2017

Landa organized Oberlin’s Jewish alumni I have never personally met Melissa Landa. I became aware of who she was when an anti-Semitic activity was reported on a Facebook page authored by an associate professor at my alma mater, Oberlin College (“Loh seeks meeting on Landa firing,” Oct. 12). Professor Landa organized Jewish alumni, making us aware… Read More

Quieting the mind to open it to God

This week’s Torah reading is Bereshit, Genesis 1:1–6:8. “After eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Chava’s eyes are opened and they perceived that they were naked …” The birth of self-consciousness. “And Elohim called out to the man and said to him, ‘Ayeka,’ where are you? … and they… Read More

A Jewish response to racism at American University

Sometimes teachers of history are made aware, in a matter of moments, that we have become players in the history that we teach. Time becomes telescoped, with symbols and gestures from 1940s Germany jumping from grainy newsreels to full-color smartphone video from Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. And then cowards in disguises, whistling “Dixie,” champion their… Read More