Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shabbat Links from the Weekend

Michelle Gerdes writes about observing Shabbat as someone who actually needs to work until relatively late on Friday night. Interestingly, she compares the hunger she feels for Shabbat to her husband's lack of desire, and explains it in terms of her Jewish background..  I have a hunger for Shabbat, but I didn't grow up Jewish. 

There were some extremely troubling things that came up and were saved by my news filters and agents during Shabbat.

Here is a story about what we can expect to happen when the Chief Rabbinate in Israel continues to consolidate power. Apparently, to them, one's Jewishness can be destroyed like a document in the course of ethnic cleansing. Insofar as understand being Jewish, it's distinct from the Rabbinate's understanding. Obviously, the Rabbinate's "standards" are self-serving. They're for theocratic discipline.

The most disturbing was this New York Times Story about the ADL's decision to oppose the mosque/Muslim community center near Ground Zero. Here's the troubling quote.

“Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational,” he said. Referring to the loved ones of Sept. 11 victims, he said, “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.”
I wondered if getting involved in opposing recognition for the Armenian Genocide is one such irrational feeling Mr. Foxman legitimizes. Indeed, I wonder how Mr. Foxman feels now that Turkey has turned against Israel, anyway. Perhaps others will learn that doing things for an assailed group's (in this case Israel's) perceived interests, when they are the wrong things to do in every other respect, benefits no one. What one does is turn other groups such as Armenians, New Yorkers, or Muslim-Americans into political footballs. And in doing so one empowers the worst folks - Turkish Nationalists, Americans who hate New York enough to show 9/11 destruction porn at a political convention while roundly abusing its inhabitants as responsible for the country's financial mess and moral degradation, and religious bigots everywhere.

And, finally, some good news. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky were married in an interfaith ceremony with a Rabbi and Methodist Minister both officiating. Mazel tov!