In Memoriam: Rabbi Sherwin Wine,
founder of Humanistic Judaism

(Stories below)

         San Diego Jewish World

                                           Monday Evening
, July 23, 2007    

                                                                           Vol. 1, Number 84

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Today's Newsmakers... click on their names to go to their stories

 Olmert        Assad            Ovadia                     Tamir          Fillon               Yushchenko   Abdullah     Bush

 Olmert says Syria sets 'impossible threshold' for
 conducting peace talks; Golan return demanded

JERUSALEM (Press Release)—Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has said that Syria was setting an "impossible threshold" for peace talks by demanding Israel commit to withdraw fully from the Golan Heights before negotiations resume.

San Diego Jewish World—July 23, 2007
  (click on headline below to jump to the story)

Israel and Middle East
Olmert says Syria sets 'impossible threshold' for
 conducting peace talks; Golan return demanded

Researcher sees development of  'Israedi' identity
 in which Jewish-ness is subsumed by Israeli-ness

Biblically inspired cinnamon extract may
ward off various types of viral infections

ZOA denounces decision by Tamir to let Arabs
teach 'Naqba' version of Israel history in schools

Never forget the Holocaust, France's PM urges

Ukraine's President helps dedicate memorial to
prisoners of Flossenbürg concentration camp

United States of America

Founder of Humanistic Judaism killed in car crash;
San Diego memorial service scheduled August 4

A personal tribute to Rabbi Sherman Wine

On Tisha B'Av: The deeper meaning of summer camp songs

The Rose Adagio and the Torah

Jews in the News

News Sleuths

Jewish Grapevine

Greater San Diego area
Ohr Shalom to sing in the Shabbat on Mission Bay

Family celebrates third generation return to
 barbecuing with a grand opening celebration

Youkilis, Feldman and Ausmus have productive Sunday

3-way Race developing for IBL championship

Arts & Entertainment

Warmth, texture characterize Israeli photographer's  portraits of stone

In remarks broadcast by Israel's Channel 10 television, Olmert responded to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's call in a speech last week for Israel to guarantee a full withdrawal from the land it captured in the Six Day War in 1967.

Olmert said Israel was ready to withdraw from the Golan in the future. "Certainly we will also have to make concessions," he said at a Kibbutz in northern Israel. However, he added that Assad's demand for a guarantee to remove Jewish settlers and troops from the entire territory before talks resumed created “conditions that set an impossible threshold for the start of negotiations."

Israeli leaders have agreed in the past to withdraw from the Golan in exchange for a peace treaty with Syria. But the last negotiations between the sides broke down in 2000 over a dispute about the terms of such an Israeli pullout. Israeli media reports said Assad's talks this past week in Damascus with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction, had raised concerns in Israel that the two may be improving their trade and military ties.

Israel and Syria had been passing messages in recent months, largely through international mediators, among them Turkish officials and a United Nations envoy, to explore the possibility of resuming peace talks.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress
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Israel and Middle East

  Researcher sees development of  'Israedi' identity
 in which Jewish-ness is subsumed by Israeli-ness

HAIFA (Press Release)—New research in education at the University of Haifa found that the content and programs of the social-education programs in the Israeli public schools have resulted in the formation of a new identity for today's youth – "Israedi" - a hybrid word comprised of two Hebrew words: "Israeli (Israeli) and Yehudi (Jewish).

The combination yields "Israe(li-yehu)di. "In contrast to the concept of "Jewish-Israeli identity" which alludes to equality between identities, the new identity alludes to the centrality of Israeli components over Jewish ones," said Dr. Hagit Hartaf, who conducted the research.

The study, under the direction of Professor Hanan Alexander of the University of Haifa's Faculty of Education as part of the Center for Jewish Education's research on Jewish, Israeli, and democratic identity, was conducted over two academic years (2003-4 and 2004-5) during which 55 adolescents and 21 teachers and school staff members were interviewed. Three hundred hours of social activities and informal educational sessions, which included class discussions, symposia, ceremonies, field trips and cultural events were observed.

The main finding of the study was that a new identity has emerged among today's Israeli youth – an identity in which the Israeli aspect is stronger than the Jewish aspect. In addition, some of the Jewish elements are combined with Israeli elements such that the youth don't distinguish them as Jewish. "The "Israedi" identity stresses "Israeli" characteristics, but the source of these characteristics isn't clear. As Jewish values are considered more and more to be connected to religious sectors of Israeli society, they are not considered relevant in forming the identity of non-religious youth. Instead, values that are considered universal, which stress self-fulfillment and taking care of individuals' needs, play a central role," explained Dr. Hartaf.

The main elements of this new identity, outlined in the research, were  divided by the researcher into components: history, suffering and remembrance, including the history of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism which reinforce the importance of military service and the history of the State of Israel, which stresses honoring those who fell defending the country; education for a democratic way of life; emotional connection and contribution to the state, especially serving in the army;  social learning processes; exposure to day-to-day Israeli life; Jewish-Israeli culture which includes the centrality of Jewish holidays as well as exposure to Israeli art, music and literature.

Based on the study results, identity-building has been "expropriated" from the educational staff in schools and outsourced to private groups who specialize in the field. According to Dr. Hartaf, despite the fact that the content is set together with the school, which should lead to continuity of issues brought up in the classroom, in actuality this is not what happens and Jewish issues that are touched upon in the classroom are not followed-up.

The researcher also found the Israeli element of youth identity problematic. Programs concentrate on finding the common elements among all Israelis, but never look at these elements critically. "These social-educational programs begin with the assumption that we already know who we are – so then what is there to talk about?" remarked Dr. Hartaf. 

She added that the situation today results in the "Israedi" identity of non-religious youth being limited to a framework of personal values, characterized by openness to all viewpoints, opinions and values. On the other hand, the values system of religious youth is more closed and solely faith-based. "These two identities, which include the majority of Israeli youth, are removed from one another and are established separately without any basis or bridge from which dialogue can begin," summarized the Dr. Hartaf. 

 The preceding story was provided by the University of Haifa

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Biblically inspired cinnamon extract may
ward off various types of viral infections

By Karin Kloosterman  
Israel 21C

TEL AVIV (Press Release)—For most of his professional life, Tel Aviv University professor Michael Ovadia focused on snakes and the medicinal properties of their venom. But seven years ago, after meditating on a biblical passage, Ovadia's career focus began to take a twist... a cinnamon twist to be exact.

Today the spiritual scientist from TAU's Department of Zoology is commercializing a unique cinnamon extract that is touted to quell viral infections from HIV to the Avian flu.

A research and license deal on his patent-pending cinnamon extract was signed last week between TAU's technology transfer company Ramot and Frutarom, a multinational nutraceutical company based in Israel. Frutarom is expected to use the extract in a whole host of applications from disinfecting the air as a spray against Avian flu in airports; to a daily supplement that protects people against the common flu.

Those researching in the field of natural medicine know that snake venom, especially the notorious poisonous kind, has unique anti-viral and analgesic properties that can help fight human illness and disease. For the past 40 years, Ovadia had been working with natural antidotes and found that certain kinds of venom can deactivate Parainfluenza (Sendai) virus - a virus similar to the human flu.

Work was going well. Papers were published, patents had been developed, and his reputation in the field was established. But Ovadia was still waiting for the breakthrough that every scientist dreams about.

That breakthrough would come to him one morning in the synagogue while listening to a reading from the Old Testament.

"There is a passage that explains how the High Priests - the Kohens - would prepare a holy oil used on their bodies before they made a ritual animal sacrifice," recalls Ovadia. "I had a hunch that this oil, which was prepared with cinnamon and other spices, played a role in preventing the spread of infectious agents to people."

Taking his hunch to the laboratory bench, Ovadia's initial experiments proved to be true - his savory cinnamon extract was able to quickly and effectively immunize chicken embryos from the Newcastle disease virus - one which costs the poultry industry in the US millions of dollars a year.

Further studies on Avian Flu H9, Sendai virus, the HIV virus, and Herpes Simplex 1 also achieved positive results. Not only was the extract able to neutralize the viruses, it also showed for selected viruses that it has the potential to immunize against them as well.

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Israel Commentary

ZOA denounces decision by Tamir to let Arabs
teach 'Naqba' version of Israel history in schools

NEW YORK (Press Release)— The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed opposition to the new decision by the Israeli Education Ministry to commence teaching next year a course to Israeli Arab third-graders in which the founding of the State of Israel is presented as a tragedy and a catastrophe (Naqba in Arabic) in accordance with the widespread Arab view of the event.

The Education Ministry, headed by Yuli Tamir (Labor), has approved adding the Arab propagandist version to the curriculum in Israeli Arab schools in response to calls by Arab members of the Knesset who requested the 'Naqba' version be taught in the schools attended by Israeli Arabs.

Tamir, who is a founder of extreme left-wing group, Peace Now, and who has campaigned against subsidies for Jewish religious education while backing Arab nationalist programs, explained her decision by stating that "The Arab narrative deserves to be told in Israel." Arab MKs congratulated her for her decision, though immediately raised new demands. Arab MK Jamal Zehalka called for "Arab cultural autonomy" under which Arabs would solely determine the historical and cultural content of curricula for Israeli-Arab schools.

The new directive approves a Grade 3 textbook "Living Together in Israel," which was written by Arabs who left their homes during the 1948 War of Independence and claim that Israel took their land. 

The textbook notes the Arab rejection of the UN partition plan of 1947, whereby both Jews and Arabs would have received their own sovereign states in the territory of the British Mandate, but nonetheless presents Israel's establishment as a disaster for Palestinian Arabs (Haaretz, July 22; Israel National News, July 22)

(Jump to continuation) 


                       San Diego Jewish World
       Writing Contest #1 

What was your most interesting Jewish summertime experience?

Perhaps it was at summer camp, or on a family trip, or in summer school, or even at home.  Send us an essay of up to 1,000 words about a true experience.  We will publish up to six bylined essays.  Winners will receive two passes (worth $30 each) on San Diego's Old Town Trolley Tour or on the Seal Tour.

Please send your entries by July 31 to  Your stories should be clearly identified in the email message line as contest entries. Include for verification purposes your full name, address, and telephone number. Winning essays will be published in August, and thereafter will be permanently archived on this site.

Questions may be addressed to editor Don Harrison via email above. 



Never forget the Holocaust, France's PM urges

PARIS (Press Release)—France’s Prime Minister, François Fillon, has warned young people not to forget that his country deported Jews during the Holocaust. “Once the voice of those who lived through this tragedy is gone, it will be up to you, the young people of France, to take up their words, their memories,” Fillon said at a commemorative event here.

“You will do it for them, you will do it for France.” In all, about 75,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Fewer than 3,000 survived.

Speaking at the former site of the Velodrome d'Hiver bicycle stadium, which was used as a transit camp for thousands of Jews, Fillon said that France must not shrink from the memory of those hours of shame.

In July 1942 13,152 Jews were rounded up in the Paris region, and 8,169, mostly children, were held at the stadium before being sent to Nazi death camps. "It is by recognizing fully the lights and shadows of the past that the nation learns and grows," the prime minister told an audience of hundreds that included a handful of Holocaust survivors.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress


Ukraine's President helps dedicate memorial to
prisoners of Flossenbürg concentration camp

FLOSSENBÜRG, Germany (Press Release)—A memorial has been inaugurated on the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Flossenbürg, in southeastern Germany. Shoah survivors and Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, whose father was a prisoner at Flossenbürg during World War II, attended the opening ceremony, which was held on the 62nd anniversary of the camp’s liberation. "For me this concentration camp has a very human dimension," Yushchenko said.

An estimated 30,000 prisoners died at the Nazi camp, located in the German state of Bavaria, including Jews from Hungary and Poland, citizens of the Soviet Union and political prisoners from Germany. Eighty-four former prisoners attended Sunday’s ceremony. After World War II, parts of the camp were dismantled, and a factory and private homes were built. Ex-prisoners began campaigning for a memorial in the mid-1990s. Several camp barracks eventually were restored and a research center opened.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress

Dear Readers,

Along with my husband Don, I co-publish San Diego Jewish World. As a couple we have gone to many places.  Cruising ranks at the top of our list of favorite ways to travel.

Watch this ad for a different cruising photo each day. A similar adventure can be yours!

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Adventures in Cruising

Aboard Holland America Ryndam
San Diego  to Mexico cruising

Arches of Cabo San Lucas from Ryndam

Thanks to Abe & Bea Goldberg of San Diego and Ruth Kropveld of Cincinnati for sharing their family cruise photos!


United States of America

Founder of Humanistic Judaism killed in car crash;
San Diego memorial service scheduled August 4

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, founder of Humanistic Judaism, was killed in a car crash on July 21  while vacationing in Morocco.  He was 79.  Wine and Richard McMains were returning from dinner Saturday evening in Essaouira when their taxi was hit by another driver.  Rabbi Wine and the taxi driver were killed instantly.  McMains survived the collision and was hospitalized in stable condition.

The Humanistic Jewish Congregation of San Diego, one of the affiliates of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, will hold a memorial service at the Woman’s Club of Carlsbad (3320 Monroe Ave) on Saturday, August 4, at 1030am. to which the public is welcome.

As the founder of Humanistic Judaism, Rabbi Wine laid out the intellectual foundations of this bold Jewish alternative, creating many of its celebrations, rituals, and educational materials.  Sherwin Wine was born in Detroit on January 25, 1928.   He was a graduate of the University of Michigan (A.B., A.M.) and Hebrew Union College.  In 1963, he founded the Birmingham Temple in suburban Detroit. 

Dubbed the “Rebel Rabbi,” Sherwin Wine created a sensation back in 1965 when
Time magazine wrote about the young maverick atheist rabbi and his fledgling congregation.  In 1969 Rabbi Wine established the Society for Humanistic Judaism, the worldwide voice for Humanistic Judaism.  The Movement was denounced by Jewish leaders as a fleeting, 1960s wild-child craze. 

In the next two decades, however, Rabbi Wine helped to found several other related organizations including the International Federation of Secular Humanistic Jews and the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in North America—the rabbinic seminary and academic arm of the Movement, for which he was currently serving as provost and dean in North America.  Rabbi Wine was instrumental in organizing the Leadership Conference of Secular and Humanistic Jews, the Center for New Thinking, the North American Committee for Humanism, the Humanist Institute, and the Conference of Liberal Religion. 

In 2003, Rabbi Wine was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association, joining such notables as Stephen Jay Gould, Betty Friedan, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Margaret Sanger, among others. 

Rabbi Wine is the author of Humanistic Judaism,
Judaism Beyond God, Celebration and Staying Sane in a Crazy World.  He was a principal contributor to Judaism in a Secular Age:  An Anthology of Secular Humanistic Jewish Thought.   In 2003 the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism published the biographical tribute, A Life of Courage, in which Rabbi Wine contributed a reflective essay on choosing a life of dignity, a life of courage.
“Rabbi Wine was a visionary who created a Jewish home for so many of us who would have been lost to Judaism.  He taught us that human dignity is the highest moral value.  We will live our lives reflecting that value to honor his memory,” said Rabbi Miriam S. Jerris, Community Development Director, Society for Humanistic Judaism and President of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis.
“As a tribute to Rabbi Wine and his memory, we will further commit ourselves to the values and philosophy of Humanistic Judaism.  Rabbi Wine was a brilliant mentor, a dynamic guide, and a true friend to countless people around the world.  The Movement is his legacy,” said M. Bonnie Cousens, Executive Director, Society for Humanistic Judaism.
“Rabbi Wine died doing what he loved—traveling.  He left us at the height of his power.  He deserved more time.  We will remember him as an optimistic, maverick genius and a lover of life,” said Rabbi Tamara Kolton, Birmingham Temple.

“The loss of Sherwin Wine is a terrible blow to the Movement of Secular Humanistic Judaism and to American Judaism.  Rabbi Wine always promised a natural immortality.  He lives on in the lives he touched, the rabbis and leaders he trained, the communities he inspired, and the ideas and institutions he created.  We who knew him and loved him will miss him terribly, and we are that much more grateful for what he gave us,” said Rabbi Adam Chalom, Associate Dean of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism and rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, Highland Park, Illinois

The preceding story was provided by the Humanistic Jewish Congregation of San Diego 


A personal tribute to Rabbi Sherman Wine

  By Cantor Deborah Davis
Humanistic Jewish Congregation of San Diego

SAN DIEGO—I received a phone call from Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder of the Humanistic Jewish movement, just a few weeks ago, before he left for vacation.  We chatted for a while about the music program at our local congregation. He told me he appreciated all I had done for San Diego, and the movement as a Humanistic cantor. Because all the business of our conversation wasn’t finished, he said he’d call me back when he returned from his vacation.

I first met Rabbi Wine at a conference in San Diego in the Winter of 1988.  Here was a chance for me to meet the founder of an international movement where cultural Jews could feel good about practicing Judaism. I found the clarity of his vision overwhelming.  Particularly so because of the experience I had during the High Holiday services the fall before that first meeting, when I had been invited to be a cantorial soloist.

As a child in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I had been to High Holiday services. My parents, cultural Jews, sent me to Orthodox Synagogue, to kheder to learn Hebrew and Jewish tradition; it was the only temple nearby. After studying the songs, and reading the siddur, I realized that I didn’t believe in the anthropomorphic God of the Bible.  Like many American Jews, I stopped going to shul altogether. 

However, when asked to sing the High Holiday songs, I recalled my childhood thrill at hearing the cantor sing “Ovinu Malkeynu” and “Kol Nidre.”  With my Jewish background and vocal training as an opera singer, when the opportunity to sing liturgical Jewish music in San Diego was offered, I answered yes immediately.

It was at that Rosh Hashanah, that I was approached by Barbara Brandt, leader of the local Society for Humanistic Judaism. I hadn’t heard of the movement, but learning that there was a branch of Judaism I could relate to without sacrificing my ethical beliefs was an enlightening and emotional experience for me and I joined the group immediately. I started to sing regularly at services and became the cantor “de-facto.” 

Then I heard Rabbi Wine speak that winter. A year later he taught a class at a conference here in San Diego, which I attended.  Not only was he a dynamic speaker but a great teacher whose knowledge of Jewish history was profound.  And his sense of logic was flawless.  I was hooked. 

At that conference he asked me to help start a cantorial program for the Humanistic Jewish movement.  For the next few years I attended seminars in Detroit at the Birmingham Temple, where the movement began.  Rabbi Wine always graciously answered the questions I had and always made time for me. In 2001 I became the first ordained cantor in the Humanistic Jewish movement.

Sherwin Wine was a great philosopher and a singular mind for many generations. Most of all, he was a mensch. I will miss him. I’m grateful that I got to speak with him when I did.



Rabbinic Insights

On Tisha B'Av: The deeper meaning of summer camp songs

By Rabbi Wayne Dosick

CARLSBAD, California—Given the way the Jewish calendar is fashioned, the only Jewish holiday that occurs during the summer is Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, the commemoration of the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem, first by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and, then again, by the Romans in 70 CE.
Needless to say, all of us who have ever worked at Jewish summer camps - sleep away or day camps - have had a mighty challenge trying to find meaningful ways to convey the sense, the sorrow, and the legacy of Tisha B'Av to five, and nine, and eleven year olds who, as yet, have little idea of Jewish history, and little experience (thank God!) with great destruction and tragedy in their young (usually middle class) lives.
Yet, we try. 
Many, many years ago, my wife Ellen was a counseler at a day camp sponsored by Temple Beth Emet in Anaheim.  One particular year, Ellen decided to “go for it” with a group of five year olds.
Now, I beg you:  unless you are an expert educator, a greatly experienced group facilitator, and highly knowledgeable about child development and, especially, the place and psycho-spirituality of five year olds on the developmental scale, do not try this - or anything like it.  It takes a master teacher such as Ellen to make this work, without causing trauma and despair.
Continuing with our story:  In those days, Temple Beth Emet was a closely knit intergenerational synagogue-community, which was the center of the lives of hundreds of hundreds of families.   The families all knew each other; grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, clergy, and staff all felt warmly close to each other.  What affected one, affected all.
So,  on Tisha B'Av, Ellen gathered a group twenty or so five-year old children.  She said, “Let's pretend.   Let's imagine.   Let's pretend that a large group of very mean people don't like us.  And they come here and burn down our Temple.   And they capture us.  And they don't give us water to drink or anything to eat.  And they won't let us see our parents, or our brothers and sisters.  And soldiers stand guard over us.  And (and here, be very, very careful if you didn't listen to my first warning, and are trying this at home)  we can see blood in the street, and we can see dead people lying in the street.   And we are hungry, and we are thirsty.  And we are scared.
What do we do?”
The youngsters - surely affected by this game of pretend -  had many responses.
(Jump to continuation)
Rabbi Dosick is the spiritual leader of the Elijah Minyan in Carlsbad


Dance~The Jewish C~o~n~n~e~c~t~i~o~n
                                   by Sheila Orysiek

The Rose Adagio and the Torah

SAN DIEGO —Life is a balancing act – a difficult balancing act, thus we turn to various structures for guidance such as religion, moral codes and one another.

The ballet and religion have much in common for me.  I have in mind the Rose Adagio from the ballet Sleeping Beauty.  Scholars differ on exactly when this adagio first became such a signature part of that ballet’s choreography; when the balance became attenuated to the length it is today.  This is much like the discussion of who wrote the Bible or at what point were parts of it emphasized, or became particularly meaningful.

First let me describe this adagio.  In the second scene of the ballet – at the sixteenth birthday party for the Princess Aurora, her parents wish her to meet four princes who have come from far and wide to sue for her hand.  Honoring the wishes of her father and mother (a Commandment) she meets them one after the other in the ballroom.  She dances briefly with each.  Then as the music swells (one of Tchaikovsky’s most splendid scores) she steps onto a single pointe, in attitude derriére (leg behind her at 90 degrees, but slightly bent). She has found her balance point and there she must stay no matter the buffets of life.  However, as the Torah teaches, we must each hold one another up – therefore she delicately holds the hand of the first prince.

Each prince in succession comes before her, she lets go of one hand only to take the hand of the next in line.  The problem is how to let go of one and take the hand of the next without losing that fine point of balance.  As we let go of sections of our lives, we face the same problem, but if one has a religiously based moral structure, that moment of uncertainty is a trial we can weather.  Then we reach for the next hand to steady us through the next phase of life.  If we have in the past offered our hands to help those around us, their hands will be ready when we are in need.

After accepting a rose from each prince, while still in balance, the ballerina lets go of the final hand, and slowly stretches out her leg from attitude (slightly bent) to full arabesque – able to maintain her balance by herself, while still surrounded by people who love her.  So, we are taught that when we accept help, are part of a religious community, we can grow to eventually stretch out and stand erect in the midst of life.

But the Rose Adagio is not over.  Life usually sends more than one test, often with an additional difficulty.  The ballerina once again steps onto a single pointe, in attitude derriére, but this time as she takes the hand of each prince, he then promenades her in a circle (still on that one pivotal pointe), then she lets go and takes the hand of the next prince – repeating this four times in all.  Growing up we learn first to balance standing still, and then we learn to balance while moving.  Finally, she lets go and once again slowly stretches out that back leg to full arabesque and remains in quiet sustained balance.

Some rabbis say that it is forbidden to study the Torah alone – it would be easy to stray – to arrive at an erroneous conclusion – or to overlook something important.  In dance also.  Ballet is never learned alone.  It is passed down from hand to hand, body to body, mind to mind. 

Sometimes when we try to “improve things” we overlook the original intent.  The intent of the Rose Adagio is the romantic introduction, under the gaze of her parents, of a young woman to her potential suitors.  However, recently some ballerinas in order to display their exceptional capabilities of balance have disdained to take the proffered hands of the princes. The ballerina thus has chosen to sublimate the intent of the ballet to her own desire to show off her wonderful facility to balance.  As a result she’s then lost the core of the entire ballet. When Moses strikes that rock G-d accuses him of not following G-d’s intent. The Torah teaches us that we must find our moral base while in contact with other people - not alone. A moral structure does not exist alone – it is a community based concept. 

Occasionally in Torah Study one can be overwhelmed with the number of laws – mitzvot – that are asked of us.  How can we live in the midst of so many rules?  This is also true of ballet students.  It is an art form built upon structure with an established vocabulary and a strict way of aligning the body and moving.  The common complaint of students is  “How can I dance if I can hardly move?”  The answer was given by a very famous ballerina – Prima Ballerina Assoluta Margot Fonteyn said (paraphrase) “It is that structure which eventually frees one to move.”  Once control of the body is intrinsic – then the mind can control that body.  And dance is the result.

Once one accepts the moral structure – the community –, is willing to sublimate one’s own desires for the good of the community, and accepts the moral teachings of the Torah – then each individual is freed to move within the community.  And civilized life happens.



Jews in the News          
 Like you, we're pleased when members of our community are praiseworthy, and are disappointed when they are blameworthy.
Whether it's good news or bad news, we'll try to keep track of what's being said in general media about our fellow Jews. Our news spotters are Dan Brin in Los Angeles, Donald H. Harrison in San Diego, and you. Wherever you are,  if you see a story of interest, please send a summary and link to us at and we'll acknowledge your tip at the end of the column. To see a source story click on the link within the respective paragraph.

*Edwin Chemerinsky, a Duke University law professor, says while bloggers in the United States have constitutionally protected free speech, they are liable to libel law.  A story by Jonathan Abrams in the Los Angeles Times explores the growing impact blogs are having on local affairs.

*Miri Eisen, spokesperson for Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, reiterated on the day that Quartet envoy Tony Blair arrived in Israel that her government believes Blair should confine himself to helping Palestinians build their institutions.  The Reuters story was carried on CNN.

*Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada) expressed skepticism about a proposal by Sen. Russell Feingold (Democrat, Wisconsin) to have the Senate censure U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.  He said Republicans would never permit such a resolution to come to a vote, and that the Senate doesn't have time for such things.  The story by Richard A. Serrano is in today's Los Angeles Times. Feingold is the subject of a new biography by Sanford D. Horwitt, which reviewer Scott Martelle in the Los Angeles Times criticizes as a superficial examination of the maverick political figure.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California) believes that it may be time to reinstitute the "Fairness Doctrine" for broadcasters, requiring them to balance political opinion with opposing views.  But Senator Norman Coleman (Republican, Minnesota) counters it is a bad idea from a bygone era.  The story by Jim Puzzanghera is in today's Los Angeles Times.

*Columnist Logan Jenkins reports in the San Diego Union-Tribune that while using Google to research Sunroad Enterprises and its owner Aaron Feldman he learned that for better results one should use the "news" tab.

*U.S. Rep. Bob Filner (Democrat, California) and other members of Congress would be forbidden from paying their spouses from campaign pay rolls under a bill authored by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (Democrat, California) and approved by the House on a voice vote.  The measure now goes to the Senate. The International Herald Tribune carried the Associated Press story today.

*Overshadowed by political violence between Israelis and Palestinians, mob violence in Israel is a growing problem that sometimes reaches into the highest levels of government. The Associated Press story was carried by Fox News.

*Egyptian police killed a Sudanese woman and four other refugees who attempted to sneak from the Sinai Desert into Israel.  The Associated Press story is in the world briefs column in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.

An Arizona judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by former Congressman Gary Condit against a weekly newspaper that reported he lied to investigators about his relationship to slain intern Chandra Levy.  A brief story from wire service reports is in today's Los Angeles Times.

*Groucho Marx and Marilyn Monroe, although dead, still have rights to protect their images from being commercially exploited.  Law suits have been establishing such postmortem rights and now there is a bill in the California Legislature to solidify such rights.  The story by Patrick McGreevy is in today's Los Angeles Times.

Dan Rosenfeld of Urban Partners thinks 250-square foot apartments downtown is a good idea, but others think the proposal going before the Los Angeles City Council will have negative impacts.  Sharon Bernstein has the story in the Los Angeles Times.

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 News Sleuths:

Watching the media gathering
and reporting the news
of Jewish interest

Date: July 23, 2007
Time: 12:23 Washington DC time
Place: White House
Tony Snow, press secretary for President George W. Bush
Source: White House transcript
Subject: Visit of King Abdullah II of Jordan to United States

Q Tony, what do you hope to see from tomorrow's meeting with the King of Jordan?

MR. SNOW: Well, we will have to see. I'm not sure we've even acknowledged when we'll be meeting, but we have --

Q It's on the week ahead.

MR. SNOW: We have? We finally acknowledged, okay. (Laughter.) Thank you. Thank you for catching me up on that. Look, it's an important chance for the President to sit down with somebody who is a key ally in the region, particularly as we are working again toward trying to find a way to empower a Palestinian government that can meet the Quartet principles and provide a basis for working with Israel, so that you can have a democracy in the region and fulfill the promise of democracy for the Palestinian people.

King Abdullah has certainly been a very valuable and forceful ally in that, and I'm sure the conversation -- there will be plenty of conversation about that. Whether it turns to other topics will be up to the King and the President.



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The Jewish Grapevine                                                  

CYBER-REFERRALS—Israel's Consulate General in Los Angeles forwarded this video about the situation in Sderot, across the border from Gaza.

DATEBOOK—Here are some upcoming events, which we will also store in our event-tracker for your future reference. 

Sunday, July 29—
Margie Burton, Ph.D. research director of the San Diego Archaeological Center, will lecture at 3 p.m. at the Museum of Man on what is known about the collapse of Middle Eastern civilizations at the beginning of the 4th millennium BCE.  The lecture amplifies on the "Journey to the Copper Age: Archaeology in the Holy Land" exhibit now at the museum. ...

September 25-30—
A new version of Camelot adapted by Allan Jay Lerner's son and daughter, Michael and Liza, will be performed at the San Diego Civic Theatre.  Ticket sales begin Friday, July 27 ...

November 1-10
—The 13th annual San Diego Jewish Book Fair will be staged at the Lawrence Family JCC, Jacobs Family Campus.  Among the speakers this year: Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner, comedian David Steinberg, economist Todd Bucholz, Israeli novelist David Grossman and former Ambassador Dennis Ross.

ISRAEL NEWS SUMMARY—The European Jewish Congress, in its daily summary of major stories in Hebrew-language Israeli papers, said Sunday's coverage focused on today's expected arrival in the region of Tony Blair amid speculation that he might attempt to expand his mandate from building up Palestinian institutions to jump-starting peace discussions.  Israeli officials are quoted as saying they want to deal with the Palestinians directly on the larger issues.  Another story receiving wide play was a statement by Hezbollah's leadership that they now possess missiles capable of hitting any target in Israel.


Greater San Diego area

Rabbi Scott Meltzer (left) and guitar-playing Zeji Ozeri and Cara Freedman lead Zamru Shabbat|

Ohr Shalom to sing in the Shabbat on Mission Bay

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—The last Zamru Shabbat By the Bay of Summer 2007 will be conducted Friday night, August 10, as Ohr Shalom  invites the entire Jewish community to participate.  

Rabbi Scott Meltzer, Cara Freedman and Zeji Ozeri will provide musical inspiration - and the bay provides a beautiful backdrop for a truly religious experience.

It is suggested that participants bring a dairy or pareve dinner at 6pm and welcome the Sabbath with song at 7pm. A blanket, chairs and flashlight also are recommended.

The Location will be Playa Pacifica, Mission Bay Park, located between the information
center and the Hilton.  For more information, please call (619) 231-1456.

The preceding story was provided by Ohr Shalom Synagogue

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Family celebrates third generation return to
 barbecuing with a grand opening celebration

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—San Diego’s oldest and newest barbecue restaurant and catering company has just opened! Beginning in 1958, as Roadside Bar BQ on Mission Gorge Road, and continuing from 1978 to 2001 as Bekker’s Bar BQ, further along Mission Gorge Road, local Tifereth Israel members Olga and Oscar Worm are now reinventing themselves one more time for the next generation, as their daughter, Marla Worm, joins them in opening West Coast Barbecue and Catering – “Where the West Meets the Coast.”  It is located at 6126 Lake Murray Blvd, (at Dallas, next to Ross), open for Dinner 4-9pm Tuesday through Sunday, with catering and special orders available anytime. 

A Grand Opening Celebration with the East County Chamber of Commerce is scheduled Saturday, July 28, from 2 to 4pm with  music, food, entertainment galore!  A two-tiered party is scheduled: at noon on the same day will be a Law School Graduation Party for the Worm’s older daughter, Lara.  Friends and family and the public are all invited to share in their simchas.  Younger son, Scott will be in town for the celebration from Austin, Texas.  The barbecue owners are lucky to have parents Al and Flory Jacobs, and Dale and Betty Worm participating in the festivities. Al Jacobs, accordionist, will be part of the entertainment, with Marla Worm as the featured singer!

Known for 50 years as the home of “Awesome BBQ”, they are still following the family tradition of rubbing the meats in a secret blend of sweet and tangy spices, then slowly smoking the meats in a traditional Texas style Pit over local woods.  They specialize in the most tender BBQ Beef and Chicken, and feature three styles of BBQ Sauce: Traditional Texas, Southern Smooth, and Chipotle Hot.  New on their menu are some California Coast specialties – BBQ Chicken Pizza, Gourmet Pastas, Salads, and Salmon.  Homemade desserts such as Peach Cobbler, Cheesecakes and Flan round out the menu.

With 50 years of family history and reputation in Barbecue and Catering behind them, this family is proud of its heritage. Fresh out of college, the Navy, and World War II, Submarine Cook Dale Worm with his wife, Betty, decided the Barbecue Business was the place for them, and in 1958, opened Roadside Bar B.Q., the first restaurant on Mission Gorge Rd. in San Diego.  After 20 successful years in that location, serving up lots of Barbecue to a growing San Diego, and raising a family there, they attempted to retire.  Son Oscar decided the Barbecue Business was also the place for him, and in 1978, joined his dad in opening Bekker’s Bar B.Q. about three miles away on Mission Gorge Rd.  Soon after, Oscar and his wife, Olga, began another 20 successful years in the restaurant, and especially in catering events to an even larger San Diego community.  They also raised a family there and attempted to retire.  Now, their daughter Marla has decided that the Barbecue Business is the place for her, and joins her parents, Olga and Oscar in their newest adventure in Barbecue only a few miles down the road on Lake Murray Blvd.  Marla has been well known in the Performing Community for the past few years since being a featured vocalist and actress in many plays, musicals, choir concerts, and Youth Summerstock Theatre.  She directed the Youth Chorale at Tifereth Israel last year, and she has won numerous awards for her musical talents and is now a Vocal Performance Major at UCSD..

Members of the public may join the Grand Opening Party, Saturday July 28 – 2pm – 4pm, followed by a BBQ Buffet  from 4-9pm  for only $10!  Call (619) 462-3663 for more information, or visit the website at

The preceding story was provided by West Coast Barbecue and Catering


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      The Jewish Sports Fan 

Unless otherwise indicated, source for these stories is today's edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune, to which we gratefully provide the links below. We do not apply halacha to determine if a player is Jewish; rather, if he or she has a Jewish parent or has converted to the faith, we count him or her as a member of our community.

Youkilis, Feldman and Ausmus have productive Sunday

BASEBALL—Kevin Youkilis had a nice day Sunday in the Boston Red Sox 8-5 outing over the Chicago White Sox.  He batted his 24th double, drove in his 47th RBI, walked and was credited with a sacrifice fly.  But at the end of it all Youkilis' season batting average was .310, which continues to be three points off the bottom mark set by the American League's top ten batters. ... Elsewhere in the American League, Texas Rangers relief pitcher Scott Feldman had a nice inning of work, even though the Rangers succumbed 8-3 to the Cleveland Indians.  He allowed no runs, no hits, and racked up a strike out.  His seasonal ERA continues to be high, however, at 6.23..... In the National League, Brad Ausmus hit 2 for 3, and scored the only run of the game in the Houston Astros 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He now is batting .249.... It was a day Shawn Green could happily forget, as he went 0-4 in a game in which his New York Mets just squeaked by the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4.  His BA is now .271.


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        News from the    
  Israel Baseball League

3-Way Race developing for IBL championship

By Nathaniel Edelstein

TEL AVIV, Israel— The Tel Aviv Lighting pulled within a half-game of the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox by edging out the first-place Sox 4-2 Monday at the Sportek stadium.

The game was tied 2-2 through 4.5 innings thanks in part to Tel Aviv right fielder Jeff Hastings, who collected two hits including a leadoff homerun in the bottom of the first.  Dominican shortstop Raul Franco put the Lighting on top in the fifth inning with a two-run homerun to go 3-for-3 on the day.

Tel Aviv left-handed hurler Aaron Pribble of San Francisco, California, just barely out-pitched Bet Shemesh's Jason Benson, throwing a complete-game and allowing two earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk.  With the victory Pribble becomes the IBL's first five-game winner and Steve Hertz's team wins its fourth consecutive game.

At Yarkon Field, the Modi'in Miracle capitalized on the Blue Sox loss to beat the Petach Tikva Pioneers 11-6 and pull within 1.5 games of first place.
Modi'in shortstop Adam Harwood of Los Angeles, California, went 2-for-2 with a homerun and two RBI.  He was also walked twice, and, in all, scored four runs. First baseman Aaron Levin and centerfielder Adalberto Paulino also added to the offensive charge as they each went 2-for-4 with a homerun apiece and combined for five RBI.

Petach Tikva's Australian catcher Michael Olson went 2-for-3 with three RBI, but it wasn't enough as the Miracle won for the first time in four games.

Meanwhile, at Kibbutz Gezer, the Netanya Tigers defeated the Ra'anana Express 8-4 to
take control of fourth place by a half-game over the Express. Tigers leftfielder Dan Rootenberg of New York City slugged a three-run homer in the fourth inning, his first career IBL homerun, to go 2-for-4 with four RBI. 

Catcher Sam Faeder collected three hits on the day for Netanya while centerfielder Josh Doane went 2-for-3 with anRBI and two runs scored to raise his average to .379.
Dominican first baseman Juan Ramirez hit his seventh homerun of the season for the Express, but it wasn't enough as Netanya won for the third straight day.
                         1   2   3   4   5   6   7   R   H   E
Bet Shemesh     1   0   0   1   0   0   0   2    8    3
Tel Aviv            1   0   0   1   2   0   0   4    9    0
W: Aaron Pribble (5-1); L: Jason Benson (3-1); HR: Jeff Hastings (3),
Raul Franco (3)

                        1   2   3   4   5   6   7   R    H   E
Petach Tikva      1   0   1   0   0   2   2    6    9   1
Modi'in              2   0   1   0   7   1   x   11  11   1
W: Maximo Nelson (4-1); L: Josh Epstein (0-2); SV: Eladio Rodriguez
(1); HR: Adam Harwood (2), Aaron Levin (5), Adalberto Paulino (7)

                         1   2   3   4   5   6   7   R   H   E
Ra'anana            0   2   1   0   0   1   0   4    9   1
Netanya             0   1   3   4   0   0   x   8   10   3
W: Julio Guerrero (1-0); L: Joshua Zumbrun (1-4); HR: Juan Ramirez
(7), Bryan Pinchuk (1), Dan Rootenberg (1)

Team                             W    L     %     GB
Bet Shemesh Blue Sox   16    7    .696     –
Tel Aviv Lightning         15    7    .682    0.5
Modi'in Miracle              14    8    .636    1.5
Netanya Tigers                 8    12   .400    6.5
Ra'anana Express             9    14   .391    7.5
Petach Tikva Pioneers     4    18   .182   11.5

All teams have Tuesday off today due to Tisha B'av.  Games will resume
on Wednesday with the Petach Tikva Pioneers visiting the Modi'in
Miracle at Kibbutz Gezer at 5 pm.  Also at 5 pm the Netanya
Tigers host the Tel Aviv Lightning at Sportek in Tel Aviv followed by
the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox at the Ra'anana Express at 7 pm at Yarkon
Field at the Baptist Village.  For directions to the fields visit

{Marc Kligman, who combines being a sports agent with his life as an observant Jew, invites you to listen. Click on the ad above for more information}


              Arts & Entertainment

Top left: Didier Ben Loulou, Safed, 2000 Ultrachrome print.  Right: Didier Ben Loulou, Jerusalem,
Fresson Print.  
Photos courtesy of the Ordover Gallery, Solana Beach

Didier Ben Loulou #67, Jerusalem, 1996.  Fresson print.  Photo courtesy of the Ordover Gallery,Solana Beach

Left: Didier Ben Loulou Jerusalem, 2005: Ultrachrome print.  Right: Didier Ben Loulou: Jerusalem, 2000. Ultrachrome Print.  Photos courtesy of the Ordover Gallery, Solana Beach

Warmth, texture characterize Israeli photographer's  portraits of stones

By Heather Zeiden

SAN DIEGO—What is the first adjective that leaps to your mind when someone says the word “stone”?  If it is “cold,” or “unyielding,” then you might be surprised by the photographs of Didier Ben Loulou, an Israeli of French-Algerian descent.

Five of his works are being exhibited at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park as a complement to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition not far away at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Loulou’s portraits of stone are warm and intimate.  You can almost feel their textures whether they be in a graveyard or on the wall alongside a staircase.  And they are bathed in color.  Four of the large images (approximately 18 by 18) are from  Jerusalem; the other is from the mystical city of Safed.

I was immediately pleased by the aesthetic beauty of the photographs. It struck me that Loulou had incorporated color studies in addition to his subject matter into each photograph.  A viewer can immediately differentiate the works based on their respective blue, yellow, orange and white themes.

Additionally what is fresh about Loulou's work is the way he uses abstract angles and close-ups to portray his subjects He tries to capture the pure essence by getting up close with his subjects.  As a result, the viewer becomes more involved with the subject, perhaps leading to speculation about how these close up shots are pieces of some untold, but definitely imaginable bigger story.

As I had returned recently from a 4-month stay in Safed, naturally my interest immediately traveled upward to the photo,  Safed 2000.  The white grave stone is stained with a rich sea blue and hints of violet. The details in the grave stone as well as the small rocks placed on the grave are crisp.  The photo captures the essence of the city's mystical core with a view of the cloudy mountains overlooking the grave.  I imagine the grave could be of some mystical sage, as Safed is the center of the kabalistic movement.  It's hard to say, but that added to my intrigue.

Next, Jerusalem, 1997, which I think of as Loulou's yellow subject, is a close up of tombstone with details of Hebrew letters and a swirl of rocks.  In Jewish tradition it is customary to place rocks as opposed to flowers  upon a grave stone because the rocks don’t wilt so they remind us that the spirit of the person lives on.  The yellow, a moss that has grown on the grave, is pleasing to the eye. The diagonal angle that Loulou uses from above provides an interesting perspective.  See if your eye doesn’t begin at the bottom of the photo, and then follows the rocks in a spiral upwards.  Finally, it rests on the Hebrew letters on the grave.  It appears that the stone is slanted on a cliff.  Technically we are viewing the grave stone technically upside down.

Then, Jerusalem 2000, which I call the white subject, is hung in the center of the 5 photos.  The photo itself has three subjects, the letters on the grave, a white dove and a hand.  The viewer can come up with his own story of what the images symbolize, but to me it was someone visiting a loved one.  As they reach out their hand trying to be closer a dove lands; a sign of peace.

Jerusalem 2005, the orange or burnt umber image, is a gravestone in a field.  A tree’s branches crawl over the grave. Lying on top of the grave is a smaller stone with a single Hebrew letter "shin" carved into the stone.  Again, to me it's a symbol of peace to the soul and the visitor.

The last photo, #67 Jerusalem, is a silhouette of a man walking down a set of stairs next to that famous Jerusalem stone.  This is a quiet and eerie shot that leaves the viewer asking for more of the underlying story. 

After doing some research on Loulou's work, I have found that it is not uncommon for Loulou to take close-ups of his subjects, so that the viewer is forced to become more intimate with them. Loulou's photos can be appreciated as stand alone works, but it is also apparent that they are metaphors to a larger story and collection of work.

I recommend a visit to San Diego's MOPA to see Didier Ben Loulou's work.  Those who are just as eager as I for new original work, and with an interest in contemporary Israeli photography will thoroughly enjoy the exhibit which continues through September 8. 


            Story Continuations

Cinnamon Extract...
(Continued from above)

Now before people start dropping cinnamon sticks in their hot chocolate and sprinkling it all over their lattes - take note that the cinnamon extract developed by Ovadia has special properties that won't be found at coffee shops or in the kitchen cupboard. First of all, it comes from a special variety of cinnamon; coumarin and cinnamon aldehyde, which are by-products of cinnamon 'juice'. These are actually damaging to the liver in high quantities, and must be removed.

"You cannot take high doses from the natural form of cinnamon," Ovadia told ISRAEL21c. "If you used it several times a day to protect you from the flu, it would be toxic."

During seasonal epidemics, around 10-20% of the world is infected with the influenza virus and the elderly and young are particularly at risk. In America alone, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 35-50 million Americans are infected with the flu every season. Despite the use of vaccines, the influenza virus is still associated with significant mortality worldwide - especially now that people travel regularly and work together in offices and closed spaces.

Moreover, the global circulation of the deadly Bird Flu H5 (with more than 50% mortality in infected humans) may cause a sudden worldwide pandemic within two to three months. Until a vaccine is invented, antivirals will be the only medical intervention for use in such a pandemic, says Ovadia.

"What we know is that this technology is capable of neutralizing viruses very fast and that it is applicable to various applications," said Dr. Nissim Chen, the business development manager of Ramot who managed the commercialization process which ending up with the licensing to Frutarom. "For example, it can be used in air conditioning systems in hospitals and prevent infections spreading from one person to the other in closed spaces."

There is a growing tendency for researchers and clinicians to explore natural compounds against disease, agrees Chen, adding that Ovadia is well-known for his work in natural inhibitors of snake venom.

"This work with cinnamon is really an extension of his research. And at Tel Aviv University in general, there are several groups working on biological and chemicals structure of natural inhibitors," he said.

Besides the human application, Ovadia sees that cinnamon fills an important niche in the agriculture industry where chicks need to be immunized by hand against the deadly Newcastle disease virus.

"If someone needs to immunize 1,000 chicks through drops in the chick's eye, then we know they are not doing this accurately - it is also an issue of animal welfare," says Ovadia.

Instead, he believes, "we will be able to administer this cinnamon extract through a tiny pin prick in the shell before the chick hatches." Such an immunization gives the chickens protection against the Newcastle virus, Ovadia assures.

Applying this research to the global scale could only be done with the help of a large company - which is where Frutarom comes in. The Israeli-based flavor and food additive company has grown in the last 10-15 years from $10 million a year to a projected $350 million by the end of 2007.

"We're going to take this know how from a food supplement to protect people from illness to neutraceuticals in drugs; it can also be used in agriculture against Bird flu - certainly it represents a very diversified product line," said Frutarom's CEO Ori Yehudai.

According to the company, Ovadia will continue to lead research into the development of the extract, and Frutarom estimates that the new cinnamon product will be launched in about a year. Hopefully just before flu season.

Article courtesy: distributed by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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ZOA on Arab education...
(Continued from above)

Reactions to the new curriculum decision

MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP), a former Director-General of the Education Ministry, called upon Prime Minister Olmert to fire Tamir for making an "anti-Zionist decision that erases Jewish history and denies the State of Israel as a Jewish state.  The Education Minister gives Arabs the legitimacy not to recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people.  This decision marks the 'Naqba' of Israel's education network."

Former Education Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) declared that teaching Arab children the "Nakba" version of Israel's creation will encourage them to later work against the nation.

Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed Tamir as "expressing not only post-Zionism but also political masochism... The Israel left always complicates itself trying to justify the other side without understanding that there is nothing to justify."

MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) said Porush said that Tamir's decision was shameful and should be retracted and that Prime Minister Olmert, as part of his gestures to PA chairman Abu Mazen, might as well propose that PA officials run Israel's Education Ministry. 

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "The ZOA believes that this a highly significant event, not merely another one of many bad decisions made by the Israeli government. Tamir justifies her decision by saying that ' The Arab narrative deserves to be told in Israel,' but this ignores the key question – is that narrative truthful? Schools are for teaching truth, not what some people choose to regard as the truth.

“Schoolchildren must never be targets for indoctrination of national myths and propaganda versions that the historical record does not bear out. This decision to teach the 'Palestinian narrative' as though it were fact will serve to
legitimize the rejection of Israel by Israeli Arabs by teaching their children that Palestinian suffering – the 'Naqba' – was produced by Israel.

"The idea that Israel's establishment produced Palestinian suffering is nonsense. There would have been no 'disaster' if Arabs had not violently rejected the idea that the Jewish people are also entitled to a state, no matter how small; if Arabs had not rejected the UN partition plan; if Arab armies from five countries had not invaded Israel on its first day of independence; if Palestinian Arabs had not chosen to follow their leaders out of the country to make way for the invading Arab forces in the belief that Israel would be crushed and that they would return safely.

“If they had not done these things, then all their losses and suffering would never have occurred. This is a self-inflicted wound, not an injury for which Israel, in fighting for its survival, is responsible. It needs to be said, again and again, that Israel did not have the choice to fight or not fight – only the Arabs exercised that choice and if they had chosen to accept a peaceful outcome instead of resorting to war, all the war consequences that actually followed need never have occurred."

"If Israel's founding was truly a disaster for Arabs, if Israel was such a horrible place for Israeli Arabs to live, why did so many stay in Israel and why have so many Arabs settled in Israel over the years?  Why is it that when there is talk of the Palestinian Authority taking control over eastern Jerusalem, more Jerusalemite Arabs seek Israeli citizenship? It is also a fact that Israeli Arabs enjoy freedom of speech and press in Israel that their brethren in Arab countries can only dream of.

The Director of the ZOA's Center for Middle East Policy, Dr. Daniel Mandel, a historian and author of a book on the UN decision to partition Palestine, said, "The history of the Arab-Israeli wars has been lately the victim of relativist ideas, of which the most durable has been that there exists competing, equally valid narratives that in the interest of truth and justice need to be known. In fact, that has been the way propagandist claims dear to one or another party come to be treated as fact and as such is a disservice to the teaching of history. Popular feelings do not determine what happened. The facts do.

"Arab MK Ahmed Tibi has claimed that, 'The majority must not be allowed to exist inside its own narrative bubble and deny the existence of other views.' Yet as soon as this decision was made, his colleague, Jamal Zehalka, could be found calling for Israeli Arabs to be able to solely determine the historical and cultural content of curricula for Israeli-Arab schools and thus create a falsified narrative bubble of their own.

“One suspects that is the whole purpose of the exercise, but the result would be propaganda, not education. Educational authorities should be concerned that students learn as best and as accurately as possible within the inevitable limitations of a school course the story and essence of a historical subject. This purpose will not be served if propagandist themes are recycled as fact."

Tisha B'Av at camp...
(Continued from above)

“We fight,” said one.
“But, we'll lose,” countered another.
“We talk to them, and try to bargain with them.”
“But, they're mean.  They won't listen to us.  And, besides, we're little kids.  If they didn't listen to our parents, they won't listen to us.”
“We'll try to run away.  We'll escape.”
“That won't work.  They're probably all over Anaheim - even in Disneyland.  And in our houses.  They'll just catch us.”
“We could just give up.”
“No.  I'll never give up,” said the presumably bravest of the five-year olds.
“Then, we'll just cry,” said, presumably the most frightened, or the saddest, of the little ones.
And, she began to cry.

And so did some others.

(Educators, be careful here.  You could have mass hysteria in a group of five-year olds.)

By this time, almost two hours had passed.  The children were somber and sad, and more than a little upset.   Ellen just kept pushing them.  “What are we going to do?”
They sat, sniffling back the tears, and thinking, thinking, thinking.
Finally, one little child looked up, and said, “I know.  Let's all hold hands.”
And another said, “And let's sit on the ground in a circle.”
And another said, “We'll have to sit in the circle on hard dirt.”
Ellen continued asking, “And now what?  What are we going to do now?”
And finally, one little girl said, “I know.  Let's sing a song.”
Ellen asked, “What kind of song do you want to sing?”
“We'll sing happy songs to God.”
“Why should we sing happy songs to God?” Ellen asked in the most Socratic way.  “If we are so sad, why don't we sing sad songs to God?” (she said, thinking of Eicha and the kinnot being chanted at that very moment in the synagogue.)   
The little girl replied with conviction (and just a little bit of a tone of voice that  implied, “Hey old person, why don't you get it?  It's so clear to me.)”)  “If we sing happy songs, then, God won't be too sad.  And we won't be too sad either.”
So, this little one began to sing.  And, before long,  all her friends joined with her.
Then, they all stood up, and formed a circle, and sat down again in the circle in the dirt. 
They were, of course, without knowing it - but, of course, their old and deep souls knew it - sitting shiva. 
They held hands and sang some more. 
They sang every song they knew, and when they finished, they sang some of the songs over and over again.
Intuitively, instinctively they understood the teachings of, our great sage and mystic, Rabbi Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel, who said (or, maybe he learned from them, or little ones like them) , “There are three ways to mourn.  The first is to cry.  The second is to grow silent.  The third is to transform sorrow into song.” 
The vicissitudes and tragedies of this world can be - and often are -  overwhelming.        
We look for solace and comfort, and often we find none.

We could fall into despair; we could fall into the depths and never arise; we could give up.
Yet, the psalmist of old taught, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
“Ah,” you say.  Just another cute aphorism for some old guy in the Bible.  What did he know?”
He knew a lot.
For, if, for example,  our ancestors of 586 BCE or 70 CE had succumbed to their ordeal and their gloom, we would not be here to tell the tale.
And, how do we not succumb?  How do we prevail?
The psalmist again:  “Serve the Lord with gladness.  Come before God in joy.”
“Come, let us sing unto the Lord.” 
So, the children were right (aren't they always?  Shouldn't we listen to them more often?  They carry such deep and ancient truths in their little beings.  We should pay better attention before they get old and jaded - like us.) 
Grief turns to hope, and, eventually, to gladness through song, through coming to God in joy.
We remember and we mourn the destructions on this Tisha B'Av.
And, we “transform sorrow into song.”
And, then, not through our mourning, but through our glad song will we be to tell our tale to yet another generation.
Then, they, too - though they will, surely, in their time, experience moments of sadness and grief - will burst forth in song, and, then, “Again will be heard incites of Judah and the byways  of Jerusalem - and all places where Jews live - the voice of the  bride and the bridegroom; the voice of joy and gladness.”