JTNews | August 5, 2011

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<ul><li><p>8/6/2019 JTNews | August 5, 2011</p><p> 1/20</p><p>t h e v o i c e o f j e w i s h w a s h i n g t o n</p><p>profoalwahgto.com</p><p>connecting our local Jewish community</p><p>www.facebook.com/jtnews</p><p>@jew_ish @jewishdotcom @jewishcal</p><p>august 5, 2011 5 av 5771 volume 87, no. 16 $24 7</p><p>schechter superstar mayor from seattle the names of love</p><p>AvitAl EidEnb</p><p>Harnek Pabla, second from left, owner of the Pabla Indian restaurant in Renton, celebrated 10 years of kashrut on July 29. Rabbi Moshe Kletenik, a rabbinical boa</p><p>member of the Vaad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle, center, presented Pabla with a certicate, accompanied by Cecelia Benzaquen, left, kashrut consultan</p><p>Rabbi Dovid Jenkins, second from right, and Al Maimon, right, the Vaads executive director.</p><p>A year rom now, the nancial pictures o many o Western Washing-</p><p>tons Jewish organizations could look very dierent rom how they look</p><p>today. On July 28, representatives rom the Jewish Federation o Greater</p><p>Seattle began the public rollout o its new undraising and allocations</p><p>model, a radical shi rom the way this communal unding agency has</p><p>operated or much o the past 85 years.</p><p>Tough beneciary agencies can expect many changes in the alloca-</p><p>tions process, the changes will be most obvious in two ways:</p><p> Instead of receiving unrestricted allocations that cover operating costs,</p><p>agencies will need to request grant money or specic projects;</p><p> Where a handful of local organizations in the past received funding from</p><p>the Federation, any Jewish 501(c)3 charitable organization in Western</p><p>Washington, including synagogues, will be eligible to apply or these grants.</p><p>Tis is very dierent rom our old model. Were now looking</p><p>at the broader community, said Jack Almo, chair o the Federations</p><p>Planning and Allocations committee. Te statement that were really</p><p>making is that were a community tackling community challenges.</p><p>But that statement, said Richard Fruchter, the Federations president</p><p>and CEO, will need to be proven through action the results o which</p><p>are the culmination o more than two years o study and planning.</p><p>We are positioning the Federation to be a orward-looking organ</p><p>zation, the uture o the community, and trying to say, Heres how w</p><p>can take a community thats good right now and really turn it into a gre</p><p>community, Fruchter said.</p><p>Rabbi Jonathan Singer o emple Beth Am in Seattle, who also si</p><p>on the Federations board, has long promoted the idea that synagogu</p><p>should be eligible or Federation unding. He said he was impressed wi</p><p>the structure o this new model.</p><p>All the Jewish organizations can reach out together and work o</p><p>fundraising and on development and communal engagement, so Im ve</p><p>happy and proud o what the board achieved, Singer said.</p><p>What marks this new strategy rom the nationwide standard o ede</p><p>ated giving a big pot o money is collected each year, then distribute</p><p>to local and international organizations based on various community</p><p>directed criteria is how the undraising and allocating are inextricab</p><p>linked. Donors will now have the option o directing where they want the</p><p>Fdrati bgi rllig ut it w tratgy</p><p>Joel MagalnickEdior, Jtnews</p><p>PAGeX</p><p>inside10</p></li><li><p>8/6/2019 JTNews | August 5, 2011</p><p> 2/20</p><p>2 aview from the u JtN . www.JtNews.Net . friday, august 5, 201</p><p>Many Voices One Jewish Community</p><p>2012 Community Celebration &amp; Campaign Kickoff</p><p>Register Today at</p><p>www.jewishinseattle.org/kickoffOr Call 206-443-5400</p><p>SUNDAY,SEPTEMBER 185 pm @ mccaw hall tell your friends!</p><p>join the fun!</p><p>Chairs: Lorna and david isenberg special recognition: herb and lucy pruzan</p><p>When I was 10, I thought</p><p>my riend Kevin Hennessey</p><p>was nuts. Whenever hed get</p><p>mad at me, hed scream out,</p><p>You Jews are all gonna boin</p><p>in hell! To which Id respond,with all the cocky sel-assured-</p><p>ness that drove him nuts in the</p><p>rst place: Nyaaa! Tere aint</p><p>no hell in my religion!</p><p>Only decades later did I</p><p>learn, to my shock, that his</p><p>religion had borrowed hell rom mine!</p><p>As Casey Stengel used to say, You can</p><p>look it up!</p><p>he almudic rabbis, in act, were</p><p>convinced that there is a special place </p><p>Gehinnom or notorious sinners, such</p><p>as Korachs rebels, Jewish kings who spon-</p><p>sored idolatry and, lest we orget, a cer-</p><p>tain Messiah, who was said to be spending</p><p>eternity in boiling excrement.</p><p>All this came to mind one recent morn-</p><p>ing when my buddy the Archbishop or-</p><p>warded me a news item with his own</p><p>outraged commentary at an apparent</p><p>anti-Semitic slander. Te report claimed</p><p>(erroneously, it turns out) that a Haredi</p><p>rabbinic court in Jerusalem presided over</p><p>the stoning death o a stray dog aer deter-</p><p>mining its body harbored the reincarnated</p><p>soul o a secular lawyer, now deceased,</p><p>who had insulted the court 20</p><p>years earlier.</p><p>So which do you consider</p><p>more bizarre: hat orah</p><p>sages would stone a dog to</p><p>death or that the same sagesharbor a worldview that</p><p>includes metempsychosis (a</p><p>ancy Greek term or trans-</p><p>migration o the soul rom</p><p>body to body)?</p><p>Lets begin with metem-</p><p>psychosis. As any survivor o</p><p>Pro. Jaees UW oering on</p><p>Jewish Mystical radition well knows,</p><p>rom roughly the 16th-18th centuries, not</p><p>only did most Jews Sephardic or Ash-</p><p>kenazic believe in the restoration o the</p><p>soul to the body at resurrection, they also</p><p>held, as a matter o conviction, the idea</p><p>that each individual soul, in the course o</p><p>millennial wanderings, routinely inhabits</p><p>many bodies until it completes the mis-</p><p>sion or which God sent it into the world!</p><p>Te idea is unknown to the almud and</p><p>nds no place in Maimonides. It rst sur-</p><p>aces publicly in the Sefer ha-Bahir(around</p><p>the 12th century) and, riding the coattails</p><p>o the Zohar, makes steady progress among</p><p>Kabbalistic adepts. It finally goes viral</p><p>among the disciples of Rabbi Isaac Luria, the</p><p>great 16th-century theologian o Kabbalah.</p><p>In full Lurianic dress, this process of</p><p>soul-migration is calledgilgul hanefashot.</p><p>Te idea is that every soul has a repair</p><p>(tikkun) to make in this world in order to</p><p>prepare the world or redemption. And</p><p>each soul might take a number o cir-cuits (gilgulim) through this world until it</p><p>accomplishes its particular tikkun. Some-</p><p>times, the newgilgulbrings one to a higher</p><p>orm o lie. Sometimes not.</p><p>Consider this story rom the oledot</p><p>ha-Ari, a collection o legends about Rabbi</p><p>Isaac Luria compiled by his disciple, Shlomil</p><p>o Dresnitz, a generation aer the master</p><p>sloughed o his mortal coil in 1572:</p><p>Once the rabbi went with his disci-</p><p>ples to Ayn Zatun.</p><p>When they arrived at a grove o</p><p>olive trees, a raven came and perched</p><p>on a branch near the rabbi and called</p><p>out repeatedly.</p><p>Said the rabbi: Remember Shab-</p><p>betai, the tax collector? Well his soul</p><p>has become embodied in this raven!</p><p>Because o his cruelty to the poor, he</p><p>was punished with this heartache o</p><p>being reborn as a raven. And now he</p><p>asks me to pray or him!</p><p>Immediately, the rabbi rebuked him</p><p>and said: Wicked One! Be on your</p><p>way! And the raven ew o.</p><p>Youll get why this Shabbetai surely ha</p><p>coming to him a ew more years peckin</p><p>seeds out o cow pies! But lets ast-orwa</p><p>rom 16th-century sat to 21st-centu</p><p>Jerusalem and the case o the chutzpad</p><p>lawyer trapped in the body o a dog.Tis case ogilgulhas drawn intern</p><p>tional attention, despite the disclaim</p><p>by the Maariv daily, whose editors has</p><p>ily apologized or turning a vicious rum</p><p>into an occasion or anti-Semitic actoid</p><p>Everyone rom PEA (animal rights) to A</p><p>Jazeera (Palestinian rights) has weighed </p><p>on this latest Zionist assault on human</p><p>tarian norms.</p><p>Well, in order to set the record straigh</p><p>and restore the Jewish peoples reput</p><p>tion or humaneness, let me share anoth</p><p>story that might reassure the humanita</p><p>ian community that there are indeed Jew</p><p>who cherish humankinds best riend </p><p>even one unwittingly harboring the so</p><p>o a shark!</p><p>Consider this account o events su</p><p>rounding the death o one Nahman Dav</p><p>Dovinski, in 2009:</p><p>Upon returning to their Meah She</p><p>rim at rom the uneral, Reb Dovin</p><p>skis amily ound an unamiliar do</p><p>Who pt th psychosis back in mtmpsychosis?</p><p>Martin Jaffee Jtnews Columis</p><p>view</p><p>PAGe 1X</p></li><li><p>8/6/2019 JTNews | August 5, 2011</p><p> 3/20</p><p>friday, august 5, 2011 . www.JtNews.Net . JtN opiNioN</p><p>RepaiRing the woRld: does it Replace oR augment a committed Jewish life?</p><p>There is a spiritual aspect to business just as there is to the lives of individuals. As you give, you receive. As you help others, youre helped in return.</p><p> Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben &amp; Jerrys. Read about the ice cream mans philosophy on page 18.</p><p>OMAHA, Neb. (JA) A lot o myhometown o Omaha, Neb., was under</p><p>water in the nal days o July. Pumps were</p><p>set down at various locations, including at</p><p>a nuclear power plant located not ar rom</p><p>town that had to be shut down. Te Mis-</p><p>souri River, which borders our city, rose to</p><p>dangerous levels, turning much o the city</p><p>into a lake. Some Omaha residents took</p><p>to sandbagging to help reinorce critical</p><p>locations along the river to little eect.</p><p>Tis disaster mirrors the serious chal-</p><p>lenge acing the non-Orthodox Jewish</p><p>world.</p><p>Non-Orthodox Judaism is conronted</p><p>by rising levels o secularism that almost</p><p>always lead to assimilation a trend that</p><p>within a generation or two could render</p><p>Reorm and Conservative Judaism largely</p><p>irrelevant in North America (and abroad</p><p>as well). Non-Orthodox Jews general</p><p>discontent with and resulting departure</p><p>rom Jewish lie, le alone, stands to bring</p><p>Reorm and Conservative Judaism to a</p><p>state o obsolescence.</p><p>Tis prediction is neither original nor</p><p>new. From studies about very high inter-</p><p>aith marriage rates to growing assimila-</p><p>tion percentages, we should know by now</p><p>that the non-Orthodox way o lie is ail-</p><p>ing by just about every metric we have at</p><p>our disposal. (I am not Orthodox, by the</p><p>way.)</p><p>Some may not like reading these words</p><p>and others may be angered by them, but</p><p>like the Omaha ood, its hard to ignore</p><p>what one sees.</p><p>Tis distancing rom Jewish religious</p><p>(i.e., God-based) teachings and ritual</p><p>experiences inevitably leads to a distanc-</p><p>ing rom Jewish purpose. So Jews increas-</p><p>ingly try to nd their Judaic meaning</p><p>in social/political causes (immigration</p><p>reorm, Supreme Court appointments,</p><p>environmentalism, womens rights, etc.).</p><p>Putting aside the merit o the positions</p><p>taken, lets be honest: Tese tikkun olam</p><p>pursuits might eel good and even do some</p><p>good, but they do little to build Jewish</p><p>communities.</p><p>Were losing Jews and the commitment</p><p>o Jews ar too quickly to think that we can</p><p>aord to continue on as we are. If Jews</p><p>continue to prioritize these social/politi-</p><p>cal eorts over proven religious practices,</p><p>we must have the courage to acknowledge</p><p>that we have substituted all these secular</p><p>causes or Judaism.</p><p>We cant have it both ways. We might</p><p>insist that tikkun olam and social jus-</p><p>tice are central to our Jewish way o lie,</p><p>but they are increasingly taking the place</p><p>o serious Jewish education and Jewishpractice. hose are the water pumps</p><p>and sandbags employed by the Ortho-</p><p>dox movement against the rising tides o</p><p>assimilation.</p><p>I watch with sadness as the seminaries</p><p>o our non-Orthodox movements lay o</p><p>employees and close programs. National</p><p>non-Orthodox day school attendance rep-</p><p>resents only a small percentage o Jewish</p><p>children in the United States. And its not</p><p>because the economy started spiraling</p><p>downward the trends leading to this</p><p>point were in place long beore.</p><p>Orthodox Jews, or whatever disagree-</p><p>ments many non-Orthodox Jews have</p><p>with them, have grown in number, and</p><p>not only by sheltering themselves in ultra-</p><p>Orthodox communities. In contrast to the</p><p>ultra-Orthodox, the Modern Orthodox</p><p>largely swim in the same secular waters as</p><p>other Jews: Tey own televisions, use the</p><p>Internet, attend secular universities, and</p><p>work and vacation in the secular world.</p><p>But they also hold to a religious disci-</p><p>pline they believe is lie-improving. Tey</p><p>observe Shabbat and the Jewish holidays,</p><p>and they study Jewish texts in ar greater</p><p>numbers than non-Orthodox Jews. Tey</p><p>are more likely to have children, and their</p><p>children are ar more likely to marry Jews</p><p>and make Jewish homes.</p><p>Judaism teaches us how to be better</p><p>riends, businesspeople, husbands, wives</p><p>and philanthropists. It tells us how to</p><p>help the weak and when to ght evil. In</p><p>short, Judaism done right makes us better</p><p>human beings. It is the discipline of lead-</p><p>ing a traditional Jewish lie that also</p><p>reminds us how best to engage in repair-</p><p>ing the world.</p><p>Ironically, by overemphasizing tikkun</p><p>olam we could ultimately, through lack</p><p>o Jewish knowledge and experience, lose</p><p>the very impetus that put us in the tikkun</p><p>olam business in the rst place.</p><p>Must every Jew become Orthodox to</p><p>live a committed and meaningul Jewish</p><p>lie? Clearly not. Tere are, o course,</p><p>great numbers o highly committed non-</p><p>Orthodox Jews. But as a community, at</p><p>least or now, well be severely weakened i</p><p>we dont acknowledge that we must repair</p><p>ourselves ar more urgently than we must</p><p>repair the world.</p><p>Joel Alperson is a past national campaign chair</p><p>for United Jewish Communities. His views do</p><p>not necessarily represent those of the Jewish</p><p>Federations of North America, formerly known</p><p>as United Jewish Communities.</p><p>Jdaism is mor thantikkun olam</p><p>Joel alperson JtA World news Service</p><p>NEW YORK (JTA) I have nopatience or survival Judaism. When-</p><p>ever I hear someone talk about what Jews</p><p>must do in order to survive, I head for</p><p>the door.</p><p>Joel Alperson has joined the long list o</p><p>Jewish communal leaders oering a or-</p><p>mula or Jewish survival. Along the way,</p><p>he inorms us that Modern Orthodoxy has</p><p>all the answers and Reorm and Conserva-</p><p>tive Judaism are on the road to extinction</p><p> a point with which I strongly disagree</p><p>but that I will not argue here. What does</p><p>need to be said, however, is that he shows</p><p>a total misunderstanding o what Juda-</p><p>ism is about and ails to comprehend that</p><p>a Judaism obsessed with survival is a Juda-</p><p>ism that will not survive.</p><p>Anyone who has urged college students</p><p>to care about Jewish survival knows they</p><p>will respond with indierence, incom-</p><p>prehension and contempt. Tey are not</p><p>interested in being Jewish so we can sur-</p><p>vive. Tey need to hear the opposite mes-</p><p>sage: Jews do not observe orah in order</p><p>to survive; they survive in order to observe</p><p>orah. And this is the key or such stu-</p><p>dents, and or most North American Jews</p><p> observing orah means much more</p><p>than worrying only about our own souls.</p><p>Observing orah involves ullling a</p><p>grander purpose. It means taking to heart</p><p>the words o R. Hayyim o Brisk, the great-</p><p>est almudist o the late 19th century, who</p><p>dened the rabbis task as ollows: o</p><p>redress the grievances o those who are</p><p>abandoned and alone, to protect the dig-</p><p>nity o the poor, and to save the oppressed</p><p>rom the hands o the oppressor.</p><p>Social justice, in short, is required by our</p><p>religious texts and is inseparable rom our</p><p>religious mission. Tere is no such thing as</p><p>a morality that is selectively indignant </p><p>that looks within but ails to look without.</p><p>And Judaism without ethics, both personal</p><p>and societal, is a contradiction in terms.</p><p>Do we need to study orah, embrace</p><p>Jewish ritual and observe Shabbat? Abso-</p><p>lutely, although Reorm, Conservative and</p><p>Orthodox Jews will interpret these obliga-</p><p>tions dierently. Te work o social jus-</p><p>tice, absent text study and ritual practice</p><p>as a oundation, is inaut...</p></li></ul>