Archive for March, 2013

What I find most interesting is the views that are most repugnant to me.

Irwin Kula, “Texts Without Borders,” Rabbis Without Borders (New York City: 8 November 2011),


Those jobs that refuse to be friendly are often the hardest, most time-consuming, most unpredictable, require the most personal sacrifice and, to me, deserve the best compensation and most corporate status.

Which does not mean that these are the people whom I admire most or want to spend my time with. When I see a man who has reached the top of a company only by making work his entire life, I think, what about the kids, what about the wife? And it’s no different when it’s a woman.

Michael Winerip, “A Man’s View on ‘Having It All’”, New York Times (24 March 2013), SR11.

When making plans that involve the future of Jewish community, we cannot hope for a quick fix, but rather addressing all needs of a disappearing generation of young people will require a concentrated effort of many hands, many hours and a vision of what can be achieved.

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, “Building Our Mishkan”, Jewish Journal (8-14 March 2013), 41.

Every few months a national magazine comes out with a bombshell article on how American Jews are vanishing. The article always cites the low Jewish birth rate, the growing rate of intermarriage and the alienation of Jewish college students. The reaction is always the same. Jews panic. The magazine sells out by morning. Jewish masochism is briefly gratifies. For months, the synagogue pulpits of the land resound with dire sermons on the imminent disappearance of the Jews while the congregants, experiencing a mild sensation of déjà vu, sigh sadly, facing the end – once again – with resigned fortitude. Then the article vanishes; the Jews plod on.
This has been going on for three thousand years. It will go on for another three thousand years. If you are a gambling man, put your chips on the Jews. No people has been counted out so often – and always outlives those who bet against them. Believe it – Jews are here for the duration. They are the greatest survivors in history. (Have you seen any Babylonians lately?)

Albert Vorspan, My Rabbi Doesn’t Make House Calls (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1969), vii.

There certainly remains a wellspring of strong diaspora Jewish support for Israel, and even for many of its right-wing policies. But that support increasingly is limited to American Orthodox Jews, who themselves are increasingly alienated from the rest of the American Jewish community. (Most Americans who support right-wing Israeli policies are religious Christians, who far outnumber American Jews.) While the high birthrates of the Orthodox point to their growing proportion within the American Jewish community, there could not be an Orthodox majority among American Jews for several more decades. What this means is fairly obvious: If the American political class judges that U.S. interests in the Middle East and in Israel no longer warrant the attention and expense characteristic of the past half century, the power of pro-Israel sentiment in American society is increasingly insufficient to thwart or reverse that judgment.

Dov S. Zakheim, “The Geopolitics of Scripture,” The American Interest (July/August 2012), 16.