Jewish Reaction to Gay Marriage Decision

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So how has the Jewish community responded to the marriage equality decision?My own Facebook page demonstrates 100% approval. But that’s not really so scientific. Nevertheless, it does reflect the actual American Jewish consensus. The last poll of the community indicated that 83% supported marriage equality.The Forward provided a breakdown of Jewish celebrities. We Jews do love bragging about our celebrities. The 83% support of American Jewry combined with Hollywood’s nearly 100% approval … [Read more...]

Personal Reflections on a Great Day


I grew up in Miami in the 1970s.Those were the years when a woman named Anita Bryant led an attack on gay rights in my hometown.Back then homophobic bigots like her were not condemned. Civic leaders, respected broadcasters, clergy from liberal denominations all heeded her cry to “save the children.”I was one of those children. She didn’t save me.Instead, what she and the narrow-minded, ignorant and unthinking people who followed her did was to consign me and others like me to an a … [Read more...]

Sex Tourism, Hasidic Style

The grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman, Ukraine.

Today’s post falls under the category of religious morality. The Israeli news site Mako has an investigative report about the tourist activities of Hasidim (and others) who participate in pilgrimages to the city of Uman, Ukraine. Each year thousands of Hasidim and other Jewish spiritual-seekers flood the small town during the fall holidays to pray at the grave of Hasidic Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, founder of the Breslov Hasidic sect.Bu it turns out that there's more than just prayers ha … [Read more...]

Obama Coffee

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President Obama continues to be pretty popular among American Jews. Not so much among Israelis.It seems like every other day someone there is taking potshots at him. On Sunday, the well-known (in Israel anyway) writer, broadcaster and all-around celebrity Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes tweeted this hilariously racist joke:Do you know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weakHAHAHAHAHAHA! That is SO funny. Another terrific demonstration of the vaunted Jewish sense of humor. Who needs … [Read more...]

Terrorist’s Heroes Contributed to GOP Candidates


In his racist manifesto, terrorist and murderer Dylan Roof allegedly cites the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) as an inspiration for his views. Now there are reports coming out that Earl P. Holt III, one of the leaders of CofCC, has donated generously to the campaigns of several Republican presidential candidates. From the Guardian: Earl Holt has given $65,000 to Republican campaign funds in recent years while inflammatory remarks – including that black people were “the laziest, stu … [Read more...]

Terrorist Poses with His Favorite Flag


Yesterday I commented in a post that the one flag flying high atop its post in South Carolina is the racist flag of the Confederacy on the grounds of the state's capitol. I'm sure this warms the heart of Dylan Roof, the terrorist behind the massacre at the Emanuel AME Church.He clearly loves that flag as he shows us in this just-released photo:The New York Times is reporting that a website has been revealed featuring his racist rants. This is just one of many photos he posted … [Read more...]

The Terrorist Attack on the AME Church

By Cal Sr from Newport, NC, US (Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Since hearing the news of the massacre in Charleston, I have set aside all of the posts I’ve been working on. I know that this country is riddled with racism, but there is something about an attack on churches in the black community that just fills me with dread. At a time when many of us are shouting that "Black Lives Matter!" this massacre comes as a terrorist's response. It is not an accident that he selected a black church. There is a long history of racist attacks on black churches in our n … [Read more...]

Bibi, Bougie, Ivette and E-1…What Does It All Mean?

By Davidmosberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

To everyone’s surprise - and no one’s more than his own - Bibi Netanyahu is leading a razor’s edge coalition of 61 seats despite the fact that the election results should have guaranteed him 67. This is because Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel is our home”) party did not participate. It’s all particularly weird when you consider the fact that Lieberman’s party actually merged with Likud for the previous election, taking up spaces on the list that otherwise would have gone to Likudni … [Read more...]

Compassionate Jewish Law: When a Dead Baby Is Returned to Parents in a Cardboard Box


Early in my career, while serving as director and rabbi at a Hillel Jewish student center, I received an emergency call in the middle of the night. This was pretty unusual for a Hillel director. I got to the hospital and discovered that one of my graduate students had suffered a very, very late term miscarriage, a stillbirth really. By the time I arrived, she and her husband were holding their infant for the first and only time. I spent the entire next day trying to convince the local Reform … [Read more...]

Memo to Daily Beast: These Are Not the Sephardic Jews You’re Looking For

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Really, Daily Beast?It's like you're not even trying. … [Read more...]