28 December 2007

Rabbi Kushner on God

A quote from the book To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking:
Theology plays a relatively minor role in Judaism compared to other religions, as Rabbi Harold S. Kushner explains.

"God is important [in Judaism]; talking about God is not all that important. But this is mostly because statements about God are not really so much about God as they are about us.

To say that God heals the sick is not a statement about what activities fill God's schedule. It is a way of saying that when we have been sick and we recover, we have experienced God in our lives (not His face but His works).

To say that God forgives is not a comment on God's emotional state but a recognition of our own ability to feel cleansed of guilt because God is real in the world.

To say that God hears prayer does not describe God's auditory system. It answers the question of whether or not praying is a waste of time.

Statements about God, then, do not describe God (how could we ever dare to do that?) They describe how we and our world are different because of God...

While we cannot see God directly, we can see God-in-action. We can see the difference God makes as He passes through the world.

Just as we cannot see the wind, but can only see things blown by the wind and know that the wind is real and powerful...just as we cannot see love, but can see people behaving differently, being braver and more caring because they love, so we cannot see God. We can only see His aftereffects."
Shabbat Shalom.

Site Meter

15 December 2007

Trekkin' Around

Here are a couple of photos of my bike trip today to Herzliya. I accidentally stumbled into Herzliya Pituach (a really upscale neighborhood with BEAUTIFUL homes right near the beach - no pics, sorry) and was a little sad having to go back to my
little apartment.

This is me on top of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean just before I got to Herzliya.

Below is the photo I was meaning to take, but, personally, I think the first one came out much better.

More to follow when I'm not so pooped...

Site Meter

05 December 2007

Excuse Me a Moment

Bear with me a moment as I explore new templates and colors for zis blog.
Feel free to leave comments as to whether or not you fancy or are not partial to a particular style.

Site Meter

Human Beings Helping Other Human Beings

Life is good.
Well, for me at least.
A great prophet (what was his name again, rhymes with Beezus?) said that no-brainer phrase "There's always gonna be poor people. Don't think this is gonna change.
Make sure you do something about it.
Don't think that just because they'll always be there you have the right to just up and ignore them."
Ok, he didn't say it exactly like that, but it's a close summary.
Anyway (I do have a point here), I just came across a story tonight that I thought I should share here.
Recently, a single mother and her four young children were evicted from an apartment they had illegally occupied - for lack of another place to live. Despite the fact that the family was eligible for government assistance, none was offered as there was no housing option open for them at the time.
A neighbor witnessed the eviction and saw the woman and her children standing out on the street in the freezing Jerusalem night. He offered the woman a bottle of water and a place to stay, indefinitely.

Okay, you say, that's a nice story, but it's not really, as my editor says, "NEWS." It's not hot, now or happening. You're right.

What if I told you that the woman and her children are Jewish Israelis, and the family that took them is Arab and lives in East Jerusalem?

Yes, that's what I said (wrote).

Lest you think that it's all hatred and blood here.......
Click here to watch the video from Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

All I have to say is forget about Annapolis Shmannapolis and the politicians with all of their crazy double-talk. If things are going to change, it's going to be at this level - person to person. It's people like this who are going to make a difference, people like you and me. Substantial change cannot be imposed on the people from the politicians; it must come from the people, from the grassroots level if it's going to influence and hold. Leaders exist to lead, not to force their crazy ideas on unwilling or indifferent minds.

Kudos to Yael for the tip.

Site Meter