Insipired by our congregation’s Visioning Initiative, the summer’s series of Shabbat evenings will focus on understanding profound moments. On each Friday evening from July 1 through September 2, a story from the life of one of our congregants will serve as a thought-provoking start to a rabbi-led discussion about how meaningful, even spiritual moments work in our lives. Each discussion will include the study of a Jewish thinker whose philosophy sheds light on real-life experiences of today. Read the rest of this entry »
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On May 3rd, Daniel Gordis addressed the “J-Street Leadership Mission to Israel and Palestine.” His remarks that day are the basis for this May 27, 2011 The Jerusalem Post column, “In the Tent, or Out: That is Still the J-Street Question.”
Good morning and welcome to Jerusalem. It’s a pleasure to meet with this Leadership Mission; I understand that there are some first time visitors to Israel among you, so a particular welcome to those of you who’ve never been here before. Before we got seated, one member of your group conveyed a message from the Israeli Consul General in his home community. The message was that I shouldn’t speak to you. As you can imagine, I received similar advice from a wide array of people after I received your invitation; but I’ve chosen to ignore it. As most of you know, I disagree strongly with much of what you do. But I think that we have an obligation to meet with people with whom we disagree. Given the extent of the forces aligned against Israel, seeking to delegitimize the very idea of a Jewish State, the pro-Israel camp needs a big tent. Neither Israel nor the Jewish People will survive if we work only with those with whom we agree. A big tent, by definition, means including people whom we disagree passionately, but who still share our basic goals. Even a big tent, though, has its limits. There are things that one can say, or do, that place a person or an organization outside that tent. You know very well that there are many people who believe that J-Street is outside the tent, not in it. I’m not yet certain. That’s why I’m here. Read the rest of this entry »