Out this January
A Conversational Haggadah for the Whole Family
Nov 20, 2014
These have been such difficult days. It seems that virtually everyone I speak to is despondent or confused or both. People wonder if the violence and despair in Israel will ever end and how to make it to the end of the day without hope. Loss is everywhere. A few weeks ago, people were afraid to go to a mikve. Now there's fear about stepping into a shul to pray in the morning. Both fears are very different but very real in different ways. Sacred institutions which felt safe are now under question. But should they be?
Daily Tweet on the Talmud
Yevamot 54a: "One is not liable to pay damages for shaming someone unless it was intentional." Emotional evidence is hard to determine.
"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it," Rene Descartes.
Yevamot 53a: A "compound condition" states what happens if the condition is fulfilled or not, has positive before negative and is feasible.
"By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher," Socrates.
It’s been a rough post-Yom Kippur for Jews in DC. What shook me most about the Freundel scandal – our 'Water'gate – is how many people said, “I’m shocked but not surprised.” Really? Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was arrested for voyeurism this past week, is an articulate scholar with a reputation as a forceful leader who put down other rabbis and congregations and could be fierce about institutions and practices he did not like. A friend who heard the news observed, “Beware the rabbi who protests too much.” If the allegations are true, this was not a crime of intimacy. It was a crime of power. Crimes of power happen when power is unchecked. Another friend said, “The problem is that the rabbinate is still a deregulated industry.”
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