Monthly Archives: May 2007

From the Discussions

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Ezekah, from “The Circumcision Debate“:

As parents, it is our responsibility to make choices for our children, even to do things in their long-term best interests although it may cause them discomfort in the short-term. Most kids don’t elect to eat their vegetables or get shot with vaccinations either.

cuteblondeJAP, from “Singles at Synagogue“:

Soon I found that I was staying through the Motzi and the Oneg. I started to talk to people and found that yes I was only single woman in my age group but they didn’t care and that made me feel more comfortable. I now am taking classes offered by the Rabbi and looking for a place to fit in… It is an effort I have to make.

DocBev, from “Must I Believe?“:

Look around at the world, see the diversity of life, now try to deny the Creator. People do, of course. My brother, a JewBu (Jewish Buddhist) denies any belief in a supernatural God. That is because he’s totally self-centered and thinks of himself as all important and the rest of the world is of no importance.

Add your own responses to these threads if you like, or start a new discussion on our discussion boards.

Posted on May 2, 2007

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God on Campus

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According to the New York Times, America’s campuses are experiencing a religious revival.

Across the country, on secular campuses as varied as Colgate University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Berkeley, chaplains, professors and administrators say students are drawn to religion and spirituality with more fervor than at any time they can remember.

What’s bringing all these kids to religion? The Republican party! But not in the way that you think.

The Rev. Lloyd Steffen, the chaplain at Lehigh University, is among those who think the war in Iraq has contributed to the interest in religion among students. “I suspect a lot of that has to do with uncertainty over the war,� Mr. Steffen said.

“My theory is that the baby boomers decided they weren’t going to impose their religious life on their children the way their parents imposed it on them,� Mr. Steffen continued. “The idea was to let them come to it themselves. And then they get to campus and things happen; someone dies, a suicide occurs. Real issues arise for them, and they sometimes feel that they don’t have resources to deal with them. And sometimes they turn to religion and courses in religion.�

Sounds promising…but will Hillel catch the wave?

Posted on May 2, 2007

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

My Time in Jail

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My name is Jason Herman and I am the rabbi at the West Side Jewish Center in Manhattan. I want to share with you all my experience of being arrested with 21 colleagues in an act of civil disobedience outside the United Nations on April 17th.

First, let me explain why it was I decided to participate in the mass Rabbinic Arrest. While I have attended many rallies and demonstrations over the last 20 years beginning with the march on Washington for Soviet Jewry in 1987, I had never been part of anything unlawful and have certainly never been arrested before.

I had friends who were arrested in college as part of the Free Tibet movement, and having learned with Rabbi Avi Weiss for four years, I was aware of his past arrests. I looked at those arrests as a means of an expression of strong anger when it is hard to be heard otherwise.

Some issues are very serious, but until the seriousness is recognized by the masses, something a little more dramatic needs to be done. I felt the issue of Iran was one such issue, and for that reason, I felt getting arrested was warranted. I believed that taking that serious step would demonstrate to other Americans and American Jews in particular that we are prepared to loudly voice our outrage as the world’s ignoring the threat of Iran, and that the world’s business cannot go on as usual while the threat remains.

The rally began like many other rallies I’ve been to–a few speeches, some chants by the crowd, and the occasional cheers and words of support from motorists and passersby. Then we began the march from the Isaiah wall, singing Am Yisroel Chai.

The march itself was moving because with it came the anticipation of what would happen next. I was about to take a very serious step, and one that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to take. I was admittedly uneasy. Would I feel humiliated looking like a criminal? How would the police treat me? What would everyone think of me? Continue reading

Posted on May 1, 2007

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy