Three current new items, with a bit of commentary.
Item One: From a JPost editorial on 3/2/06:
“As the government of Tajikistan was busy demolishing the only synagogue in Dushanbe, UNESCO, the international body designated with preventing such atrocities, told this newspaper that it would make another appeal in the near future. It had better hurry.
In Tajikistan it is the government itself, in a premeditated fashion and in defiance of international protests, that has embarked on the destruction of a religious site – to create gardens for a new presidential palace.”
Well, that’s a better reason than to allow for the creation of Chamas training camps and launching sites.
“The government offered the impoverished Jewish community some empty land on the outskirts of the city, but did not offer any compensation that would allow the community to rebuild the synagogue.
In any case, the location suggested is not within walking distance from where the Jewish community lives.”
Call Ismar Schorsch to see what he can do about that. Don’t have his number; just check the Manhattan yellow pages under “heter-o-dox.”
“Even if a more appropriate location were found, “the Jewish community in Dushanbe is very small and very old. They are very, very poor and therefore do not have the ability to invest money and build a new synagogue.” a Jewish Agency official explained.”
Whereas the Katif folks are swimming in dough.
“Judging by its actions, the Tajikistan government does not fully understand what UNESCO wrote in its protest on this matter in 2004: destroying the synagogue would be ‘in contradiction with international standards for the protection of cultural heritage.'”
So let’s get this clear: Tajikistan doesn’t understand, but the JPost and fellow media organs, Jewish Agency, Israeli government do ?
“The World Jewish Congress also wrote at that time, stating that this act ‘will effectively put an end to Jewish life in Tajikistan and will strike a severe blow to the cause of Muslim-Jewish mutual respect and coexistence.'”
Does anyone out there know if, and to what extent, the WJC was heard from last August? I personally don’t know.
“The government of Israel should protest directly to Tajikistan and request that the synagogue be protected, not destroyed. Our UN ambassador and foreign minister should approach UNESCO and urge that organization to take this case more seriously than sending one letter and doing nothing when there was no response.”
The Torah put it best:”I am Yoseif. Is my father still alive?” Nuff said.
Item Two: From this week’s Forward:
“The top lawmaking body of Conservative Judaism is poised to vote next week on whether to overturn the movement’s ban on same-sex marriages and the ordination of openly gay clergy.
The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, a 25-member panel of rabbis and lay leaders, will convene next week in Maryland to revisit its 1992 consensus statement on homosexuality. In recent years, pressure to reopen the issue has come from lay people through the movement’s congregational arm, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, as well as from rabbinical students and rabbis. . . .
According to one member of the law committee, the group will consider four separate opinions relating to the historical ban on homosexuality stemming from Leviticus 18. . . .
Dorff is a co-author of the decision that maintains the ban on [the specific act prohibited by the Torah] but permits gay relationships. “I think that everybody, including those who are arguing for basically changing the law altogether on this issue, is very much interested in being within the boundaries of Halacha,” Dorff said.”
For this one you’ll need Neil Gillman’s number. Otherwise, no comment.
Item Three: From Jerry Falwell’s website:
“Earlier today, reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ. This is categorically untrue.”–Jerry Falwell, “A Gracious Correction of the Jerusalem Post,” March 1.
Ah, how refreshing to find an honest (albeit wrong) man!