Blog

General Topics

Hatred

Isn’t it true that the whole of the Muslim world hates Jews? The newly elected congresswoman for Minnesota tweeted in 2012 “Israel has hypnotized the world; may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She is joined by several others now in Congress who have expressed similar hatred. I too would call on Allah to get his…

Continue Reading

General Topics

Ulysses

Judaism has engaged and locked horns with Greek culture for thousands of years. Alexander the Great was welcomed in 332 BCE. He permitted the Judeans to worship their way freely. But then the rival successor dynasties of the Ptolemies in Egypt and Seleucids in Damascus began to interfere in Judean affairs. This culminated in the Maccabee revolt against Antiochus in…

Continue Reading

General Topics

Boycott & Hanukah

Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott was a protestant land agent in Ireland in the second half of the eighteenth century. The British rulers imposed harsh conditions on the Irish and were hated for it. In 1880, the Irish Land League initiated a protest when Captain Boycott tried to evict poor tenants. They withdrew workers from his lands and refused to serve…

Continue Reading

General Topics

Blame the Jews

Every year when we come around to reading about Joseph and his brothers, I am reminded of a part of the Yom Kipur Ashkenazi service. In particular, the poem Eyleh Ezkera. Most of the poems, Piyuttim, were composed in medieval times. They are usually repetitious, veritable puzzles of references, associations and quotations. Not to mention that they stretch out our…

Continue Reading

General Topics

Lost Jews

Israelites, Hebrews, Jews, whatever you call them, have been scattered and settled all over the place for thousands of years. It has become quite fashionable to discover or recognize “lost” communities. Some claim to be descended from the Ten Lost Tribes,  others descendants of secret Jews who fled persecution and practised Jewish rituals as well as non-Jewish ones. The question…

Continue Reading

General Topics

Midterms

Everyone seems to agree that these midterm elections in the USA have been particularly bitter and antagonistic. But as an outsider who is now an insider, I am amazed at the current mood of anger, anxiety, frustration, hatred, injured pride and petty name calling. One shouldn’t generalize of course but I see around me a bunch of spoilt children fighting…

Continue Reading