Tag: Mel Weiss

A Small World, After All

I’ve had, for obvious reasons, Sukkot on the brain this week. One of the themes I’ve been dwelling on, if you’ll forgive the pun, is that of the small world. When we “dwell in the Sukkah,” we’re meant to shrink our whole world down and fit it in. And whenever I stop to really notice,… Read more »

Vow Making in the New Year

The High Holiday season maybe technically over, but the lessons we take away will, I hope, linger a bit. I had the pleasure of spending Kol Nidrei at Rabbi Judith Hauptman’s Ohel Ayalah services, and, as expected, I had a phenomenal time. Rabbi Hauptman brings an upbeat and genuinely friendly feeling to the services; we… Read more »

Just Not Getting It

It’s politics slightly closer to home this week—politics of the Jewish community. Specifically, the return to chauvinism. You might think I’m taking about the now-(in)famous Maxim/Israel spread, but no—we’re on to the next insulting incident for women. It seems the JNF—yep, the people who plant trees in Israel and gave you those little blue tzedakah… Read more »

Facing the Legacies of Power

What a week for confusing politics and conflicting ideas! Wednesday night, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Ruth Wisse’s Jews and Power being released. I know I’ve written about it before, but now is the time to pick this book up and give it a read, because it falls into that small and precious… Read more »

The G-Word, Among Many

There’s been a lot going on in politics this last week, at least scandal-wise. There’s already been an almost obscene amount of airtime and column space devoted to the gentleman from Idaho’s exploits in cruisin’, and since I’ve had my lit-student hat on more recently, I want to talk about literature and politics and the… Read more »

Political Theology, Take Two

So I spent many hours this week watching the recent CNN special, God’s Warriors (on YouTube, where you can find it, too). Whew! What a complex and complicated set of information to absorb. It’s been a constantly playing record in my brain: how on Earth are we meant to deal with people who insist on… Read more »

Political Theology, Take One

You know when you spend a lot of time thinking about something, and then suddenly it seems to be everywhere? I’ve had that feeling recently. First, Ruth Wisse’s almost-out book, Jews and Power, showed up in the Lilith office, and within a day I’d devoured it. Then, this week’s New York Times magazine features a… Read more »

Voting and "the Israel issue"

I had the extreme pleasure of being hosted this past weekend by an older couple—a good friend’s grandparents—who found me confusing and, I hope, fairly enjoyable. I think they were a little perturbed when they found us lighting Shabbat candles in the kitchen, but were both surprised and pleased to learn that I’ve studied Yiddish.… Read more »

Are Affiliations Necessary?

I was asked to explain two things this weekend, and the more I think about them, the more I wonder how related they might be, and how useful it may or may not be to treat them as comparable. Those two things were the term “post-denominational” and what I think about voters who don’t affiliate… Read more »

Democracy on (Internet) Prime Time

I’m all about free video clips on YouTube, but the recent Democratic debates constitute a category of their own. CNN and YouTube teamed up to bring questions to the candidates straight from you, webcammed America. It may have been tacky, it may have been a ploy that let the candidates continue to mouth their stale… Read more »