Friday, September 29, 2006

Al Gore as Jonah

Al Gore is our comic hero this week. This is Shabbat Shuva and since seeing Gore's movie we have tried to redeem ourselves environmentally. Thus, he gets our nod as Jonah the Green. Come to think of it, these days ol' Al looks like he could use a bit of fasting. As long as we're talking the Gorester, there's still a lot of good stuff happening over at

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Akeda

Whatever else you say, you've got to give us some props for the degree of difficulty of this one. The Hannukah story of Hannah and her sons is violent and tragic. In one version of the tale, after her first six sons are slaughtered, Hannah tells her youngest and last surviving son that when he meets Abraham he should inform the patriarch that she had performed a scarifice even greater than his.

We didn't know much about Judaism and martyrs, and still don't. But we now remember that Judiasm, the civil rights movement, the American revolution and darn near everything else worth struggling for has its martyrs.

In our fantasies, maybe we'd respond to a existential challenge the way Hannah did. Then again, the great taste of ham is also from G-d.

But if there is a special section for martyrs in olam haba (the world to come), Hannah should be queen of it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Parsha Ki Tavo

One section of this week's portion of the Hebrew bible reads like Karl Rove on meth. Nightmares that make 9/11 look like Barney will devour Israel if it fails to stay the Biblical course. This parsha (portion) also includes a midrash, a story associated with the parsha, that raises a charming vision of a world where everybody follows the same rules.