Friday, December 05, 2014

Let's See, How Can We Blame This on the Jews?

The goal of this email is to add some controversy to your Shabbat table. Please print and share.

Important Channuka announcement #1: We have added a handy Hannuka-countdown timer to the JSL homepage.
Important Hanuka-announcement #2: We have added a slew of new Chanukka books etc. to

ferguson-palestine-cropJust when you thought you'd seen it all....

Under the joyous holiday lights
march the righteous Seattleites.

They evidently consider the Treaty of Point Elliott (1855) to be fair and just and the Battle of Seattle (1856) decisive. Or perhaps they're doing penance for Seattle's founders, who (in the 1860s) banned Elliott Bay's native Duwamish people from their new town.

First question for your table: Why can't we all just get along?

The answer is that some people really don't want to get along with us.

They really don't.

That's what a certain wandering Jew said to me yesterday.

I reached him via Skype at his current abode on an island in the Pacific. The main attraction there is scuba diving. He sent me some images — Wow!

Here's the thing: this guy is literally on the other side of the planet from his native New York. He's living a pretty easy life, running his US business long-distance.

And what's on his mind (besides the situation in Israel)?

"Why does the Torah have animal sacrifices?"

(Note, he assures me that this question is not connected to the fact that he's an ethical vegetarian. His point is that it seems inexplicable that a transcendent, infinite God would want or need animal sacrifices.)

The second question for your table is a question about his question:
Given all the things one could be thinking about, why do you think this bothers him so?

"Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it." - Chief Seattle

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Looking for an unusual Hannuka gift for a teacher in your life? Send them a subscription to the Amazing Nature for Teachers program -


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