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Durban Disgrace 4

The “World Conference against Racism Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance”, was founded by the United Nations, after the Second World War and the Holocaust. Its mandate was to fund research on racism and to arrange international events organized through UNESCO to combat racist ideologies and behaviors. This generator of anti-Semitism, anti-Judaism, and anti-Israelism is a disgrace, and it is…

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Shmitah

No, this is not a misprint. A Shmutteh is a rag in Yiddish. Whereas Shmitah is a genuine Hebrew word. Our New Year starts on September 7th (5782 in the Jewish calendar) and ushers in the new Sabbatical year. In Hebrew the word for the Sabbatical is Shmitah. The release. What is it? Is it in any way relevant now? In Exodus Chapter 21 the Torah…

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Appeasement

I was brought up to despise the word appeasement. It was the ideology favored by much of the British aristocracy and political leaders before the Second World War. For years Lords and Ladies traipsed across the Channel to marvel at what Hitler had achieved for Germany, “what a very nice chappie he was” and “someone we can do business with.” Even…

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Royalty

I am amazed that so many Americans are enamored with the British Monarchy and with its least impressive of its scions who hog the headlines precisely because of their limitations. How interesting that so many royals are seduced by actresses!  When I was the  Principal of Carmel College in 1973, we hosted Prince Charles for the day to celebrate our 25th anniversary.…

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The Igbo Jews

Please scroll down after the blog for my Weekly Torah. In 1960 Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom. As with many new African states, the borders of the country did not reflect earlier ethnic, cultural, religious, or political realities. Their boundaries were lines drawn on maps by the colonial powers who arbitrarily carved up Africa with no regard for…

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Synagogues

It is only a month to the “Days of Awe,” the Yamim Noraim. Actually, I have no idea where the term High Holidays comes from. But each year I am faced with a conundrum. Do I go to a synagogue as a rabbi to perform or as a private person to pray? I don’t find most synagogues particularly good places to pray…

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