I am not worried about the future of the Jewish people. We spend our time, our brainpower and a significant amount of money attempting to solve the problem of Jewish continuity, but I am not concerned. Judaism moves, compels and speaks to a new generation of Jewish leaders.
Last week we watched death on our smartphones. We witnessed the light drain out of Philando Castile’s eyes and we knew that the stillness of Alton Sterling’s body after the bullets were fired was that of death. We watched. On smartphones and tablets and laptops and televisions, we watched real people die.
I just heard the news that my teacher Elie Wiesel has left the world. For several years, I have said Havdalah at the close of the Sabbath and immediately checked the news, wondering if I would learn that this has happened. This has become a ritual of anxious anticipation, and then – every week before this one – of relief.
During the Republican primary, Donald Trump was criticized for failing to challenge a supporter who stood up and declared,* “We have a problem in this country—it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one.” Later, after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, Trump called for the banning of all immigration of Muslims until “we know what the hell is going on.” His rise to being the presumed nominee, and his considerable inroads into grassroots evangelical votes, accompanied (and no doubt benefited from) such messages.
(RNS) In his last State of the Union address, President Obama made an impassioned case against religious bigotry and cast other key issues in moral terms.
They voiced support and criticism on issues ranging from religious inclusion to same-sex marriage to Iran.