Sh’ma E-Letter, May 2008
|Dear Sh’ma Readers,
Our most recent issue of Sh’ma steps outside of convention to celebrate Israel’s 60th year. We asked several well respected and creative thinkers to write as though they held ministerial posts in Israel’s cabinet. Each of our renowned “ministers” has been given a “portfolio” and each offers a thoughtful and far-reaching vision for Israel’s future from the perch of their ministries. We do not, for sure, include all ministerial positions and we have — just to spice up the cabinet — invited two individuals, Ruth Gavison and Gidi Grinstein, to share their thoughts as the prime minister; they do so in a conversation.
Our “cabinet” is not made up of political parties, and it has not, of course, been charged with maintaining the real security of the state. The “ministers” do not offer insights into how to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict, how to respond to shelling from Gaza, or how to address the hatefulness spewing from Iran. What these imaginative essays offer, rather, is a rendering of Israel not transfixed by war or a hostile Middle East landscape.Prime Minister(s), Ruth Gavison and Gidi Grinstein
Today’s prime minister needs to combine clarity of vision with practical goals for the government. Israel’s strategic challenges are huge. Read more here.
Minister of Justice, Yedidia Z. Stern
The State of Israel exists out of cultural duality: On one side is western-liberal culture and on the other is Jewish-tradition. Its laws and, perhaps more importantly, its citizens’ collective consciousness, define it as a “Jewish and democratic state.” Read more here.
Minister of Religious Affairs, Donniel Hartman
Zionism and the rebuilding of the State of Israel entail the decision of the Jewish people to build our collective lives together. By collective lives I do not mean a loose confederation of denominations that join together in a number of common enterprises, in particular, at times of crisis. Rather, the Zionist dream is to build a common public domain where all join in together, a domain that belongs to us all equally and is shared accordingly. Read more here.
Minister of Education, Ruth Calderon
Israel’s chief resource is its human potential. We have no oil, no water, we have no forests. ýCultivating learning and the pursuit of knowledge of Torah, as well as of arts and sciences, have always been central Jewish values. The intellectual achievements of Jews have always stood out. In fact, the establishment of the state fostered the dream that Israel would become an epicenter of Jewish “genius.” Read more here.
Dear Sh’ma Readers,
Sh’ma offers book reviews online each month. This month Judith Rosenbaum reviews “Women Remaking American Judaism”
JBooks.com has great new book reviews this month, including a review of “Shut Up, I’m Talking”, Gregory Levey’s firsthand account of the innerworkings of the Israeli government.
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Chaos Theory (published in the Jewish Advocate, Boston)
By Judy Bolton-Fasman - Thursday May 15 2008
To the naked eye chaos is lack of order, a randomness caused by unanticipated upheavals. But place chaos in front of the word theory and this seemingly lack of order obeys particular laws or rules.
My dearest friends Susan and Yossi exemplify how chaos theory plays out so beautifully in life and love. They and their five children live in three rooms on a kibbutz in the Negev. Their kibbutz house contradicts Newtonian physics by expanding to accommodate them and when needed, the four Fasmans. The more chaos, the more space, and the more intimacy among friends.
The energy in the room was great and there was a feeling that indeed this was an historic occasion in the u.s. israel relationship.
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BUSH AND ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER OLMERT IN PHOTO
THE WHITE HOUSE Read more
it is a great mix of people and influentials from so many different fields. bush received a great welcome I actually was just brought to tears by a musical presentation. a girls choir here sanf naomi shemer s lu y a wish in a song then via satellite the maryland boys choir sang beatles let it be and then they sang together. i
אֶפְשָׁרֻיּוֹת רוּחָנִיּוֹת בַּדֶּגֶל הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי / פָּרָשַׁת אֱמֹר
יוֹסֵף יִשְׂרָאֵל אַבְּרַמוֹבִיץ’
דְּרָשָׁה זוֹ נִכְתְּבָה לִכְבוֹד יוֹם הֻלַּדְתָּהּ הָאַרְבָּעִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה שֶׁל אִשְׁתִּי, סוּזָן. עִם זֹאת, כָּל הַיּוּמְרוֹת הָרוּחָנִיּוֹת שֶׁל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֲנִי עוֹמֵד לוֹמַר הֵן שֶׁלִּי בִּלְבַד, וְאֵין לְהַאֲשִׁים אוֹתָהּ בָּהֶן כְּלָל!
לְכָבוֹד הוּא לִי לָשֵׂאת אֶת הַדְּרָשָׁה בְּעִקְבוֹת טֶקֶס הַבַּר-מִצְוָה רַב-הַהַשְׁרָאָה
YOM HAATZMAUT CELEBRATIONS WERE CANCELLED THIS EVENING IN THE ARAVA DUE TO WIND AND…RAIN. AMAZING.
Spiritual Possibilities in the Israeli Flag/ Parashat Emor
This drasha is written in honor of my wife Susan’s 45th birthday today. All the spiritual pretensions of what I am going to say, however, are my folly alone and cannot be blamed on her.
It’s an honor to follow Itai’s inspirational bar mitzvah and
What is the spiritual logic in having Yom haatzmut fall between Passover and Shavuot?
We usually count the Omer without connecting Yom Haatzmaut to the spiritual journey from
Coming out of the celebrations of Yom haatzmaut, especially in the footpath of the Exodus, I can’t help but seek out the connections.
And I think the flag of
holds many of the secrets of the connection between the Exodus and the mission of a