friday, august 10, 2012 .
“Islam is the perfect religion for Muslims. Christianity is the perfect religion for Christians. Judaism is the perfect religion for Jews.”— Rabbi Jim Mirel of Temple B’nai Torah at a joint Tisha B’Av/Ramadan event last week. See the full story on page 6.
the rabbi’s turn
Obama has hlp makIsral sar
Edgar M. bronfMan
JTa World Nws Srvc
NEW YORK (JA) — Troughout ahal-century o international diplomaticwork, I have learned to tell the politi-cians rom the riends and the charlatansrom the statesmen. Charlatans scream.Tey tell you what you want to hear andcall other people names. Friends and lead-ers need not rely on rhetoric or boisterousbravado. Tey produce results and act onprinciple.President Obama is such a riend andleader. In his 3-1/2 years in oce he hasdeepened and strengthened the relation-ship between the United States and Israel.And today, Obama continues to imple-ment a comprehensive pro-Israel agendathat has made Israel saer and more secure.Under Obama, U.S. nancial aid toIsrael is at its highest levels ever. Duringthe past our years, Israel has avoidedbecoming engaged in any substantialrontal military engagements, advancedits notable economic development, andremains prepared or negotiating a com-prehensive peace. Obama as presidenthas led a mutually benecial resurgencein the exchange o strategic technology,intelligence and cooperation betweenU.S. armed orces and the Israel DeenseForces.Standing by Israel, Obama opposed theunilateral declaration o a Palestinian stateand blocked its recognition at the UnitedNations. He supported Israel’s right todeend itsel and conronted head-on thenow-discredited Goldstone Report thatcondemned Israeli deensive action o itscoast. He also ordered the United States towithdraw rom the Durban Review Con-erence, whose namesake conerence wassupposed to be about racism but insteadbecame an anti-Israel hate-est. Obamastated unequivocally that “he UnitedStates will stand up against eorts to singleIsrael out at the United Nations or in any international orum.”Going even urther, Obama has takenthe oor o the United Nations to declarethat “Israel’s existence must not be a sub- ject or debate” and that “eorts to chipaway at Israel’s legitimacy will be metonly by the unshakable opposition o theUnited States.”When Fatah and Hamas joined polit-ical orces and pressured Israel to enternegotiations with them, Obama told theworld that “No country can be expectedto negotiate with a terrorist organizationsworn to its destruction,” concluding that“Israel cannot be expected to negotiatewith Palestinians who do not recognize itsright to exist.”And this is also why Obama has takensuch a strong stand against the Iraniannuclear program — the single greatestthreat to the State o Israel and the stability o the Middle East. Afer years o inactionand neglect by the Bush administration,Obama constructed an international coali-tion to impose the most crippling sanc-tions ever on the Iranian regime. Tesesanctions have already chocked o Iran’saccess to many capital markets and havehad a proound eect on the way ehrannances its nearious operations. CovertU.S. operations targeting Iran’s nuclearinrastructure reportedly have also slowedtheir rate o progress.While his opponents can talk tough onIran, the president is doing what is nec-essary to prevent Iran rom developing anuclear weapon.Nevertheless, despite clear acts andsubstantial evidence, political partisansand opponents o the president continuea coordinated campaign to distort reality in a brazen attempt to ool the public. Tesame type o people who called Obamaa closet Muslim and claimed he was notborn in the United States now exercise lin-guistic calisthenics to obuscate the truthand portray the president as hostile to theJewish State. Nothing could be urtherrom the truth.Not long ago, while sitting in the OvalOce, Obama looked me in the eye andsaid, “My commitment to Israel’s security is bone deep.” He did not have to say it. Ialready knew that President Obama wouldnever orsake the Jewish State, its security,and its people. His record o perormanceis crystal clear and the charlatans cannotchange that.My ather beore me actively supportedJewish communities around the world andprior to 1948 closely worked with thoseestablishing the modern State o Israel. Formore than a hal century, I have workedwith successive Israeli governments andU.S. presidents — Republican and Demo-crat — to provide or the saety and secu-rity o the Jewish people and the State o Israel.My amily has loved, worked, investedin and supported the State o Israel, itssecurity and its people since beore itsounding. We have not always agreed withits policies, but we have always been thereto support and deend its governmentand people. We are connected to every acet o Jewish lie and want nothing morethan Israel’s peace, security, vibrancy andprosperity. I am condent that PresidentObama shares our values and I shall con-dently vote or him in November.
Edgar M. Bronfman is the former CEO of theSeagram Company Ltd. and the former president of the World Jewish Congress.
All that w n
rabbi JaninE SchloSS
Tmpl Bth am
I have a conession tomake. You see, I thought Iwas pretty modest, but I’verecently learned that I mighthave been haughtier than Ithought I was. You want tohear the story? Sure! Here’show it begins….Like I said, I think I’mpretty modest. I don’t havea lot o clothes; I don’t spenda lot o time concerned withhow I look. I don’t brag about my house ormy trips or my kids’ school. So i you hadasked me this question a ew years or evena ew months ago, I would have comort-ably told you that I think I control my pos-sessions and my wants pretty well.hat was beore the divorce. Eventhough my husband and I separated quiteamicably, we still had to divide up ourpossessions. Te process was understand-ably dicult, and it was the rst time thatI began to realize how important my pos-sessions were to me.Ten we had to sell the house, andthat’s when the real trouble began. I
my house. It’s beautiul and it’s big andeverything I owned could t in it. Teproblem is, when you get divorced, youhave to get two houses or the price o one.So surprise, surprise, the rental home thatI moved into a ew weeks ago is hal thesize o my previous home. It wasn’t until Istarted unpacking that I truly realized how many
I own! I think I could ll my new kitchen three times over and still nothave enough room or everything!Tis week’s orah portion, Ekev, talksabout this exact experience. God tells us:“ake care lest you orget the Eternal yourGod…. When you have eaten your ll, andhave built ne houses to live in, and yourherds and ocks have multiplied, and yoursilver and gold have increased, and every-thing you own has prospered, beware lestyour heart grow haughty and you orgetthe Eternal Your God” (Deut.8:11-14).God is sending us a very important message. God issaying: When we’ve eateneverything we want to eat,and we’ve built a big house tolive in, and our possessionshave not only increased butmultiplied, we run the risk o becoming ull o ourselves.Te more we have, the morelikely we are to become conceited and sel-absorbed.Not only that, but the more we have,the less ofen we give thanks to God. Sud-denly the money in our bank accountseems like a tting reward or our bril-liance. We believe we deserve to be so wello and — perhaps most tragically o all —we orget to give to others who have lessthan we do.So too with me. I had eaten my ll, Iwas living in a ne house, and I had pros-pered. I had plenty, but I had gotten tothe point where I no longer appreciated it.Worst o all, I had orgotten to give thanksto God or the goodness around me.I am grateul that the lesson o Ekev came just when it did. Now that I’mdownsizing, I need to nd a way to eel just as proud o mysel and my home nomatter how many bathrooms there are(or aren’t!) in my new house. I need tostay appreciative and I need to rememberto give to others, even as I begin this new stage in my lie’s journey.Most o all, with every box that Iunpack, I need to remember to thank Godor the tremendous good in my lie. I havea roo over my head, I have beds or my children and me, and I have ood in my pantry. Tank you, God — I truly have allthat I need.
Rabbi Janine Schloss is Temple Beth Am’sdirector of education.
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Tis issue marks the debut o our new logo and a reresh in the design o thepaper. It also marks the rst time that JNews will be distributed throughout theGreater Seattle area on a biweekly basis, so it’s available or everyone to enjoy!One criticism we have heard since we adopted the JNews name was that wedidn’t sound Jewish enough. Now, when you see us in your synagogue, in your neigh-borhood coee shop, in your supermarket, or in your mailbox, you’ll know rightaway exactly who we are and who we represent: You, our Jewish community.As always, thank you or reading.Joel Magalnick Editor and Acting PublisherJNews, Te Voice o Jewish Washington