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JTNews | August 16, 2013

JTNews | August 16, 2013

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Published by Joel Magalnick
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for August 16, 2013.
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for August 16, 2013.

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Published by: Joel Magalnick on Aug 15, 2013
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www.jtnews.net
 
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august 16, 2013
 
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10 elul 5773
 
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volume 89, no. 17
 
JEWISH
the voice of
J
T
news 
 
washington
 
now arriving in israel page 28high holiday services page 18
@jew_ish • @jewishcal
/jtnews
professionalwashington.com
connecting our local Jewish community
Bringing fresh produce to our food Banks 
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JTn .
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friday, augusT 16, 2013
2013 AJC SAl AnnuAl AdvoCACy In ACIonInSIg. ACIon. ImAC.
Community Reception andCampaign Event
Thursday, October 10, 2013
WI
Bret Stephes
Deputy Editorial Page Editor,
Wall Street Journal 
; Principal Columniston
Foreign Afairs;
2013 Pulitzer PrizeWinner for Distinguished Commentary
WI Q & A modRAd By
dai S. dke, h.d
Professor and Chair, University of WashingtonDepartment of Communications
reseti Spsr: mark Be
6:00pm: Light Supper Reception and Program5:00pm: VIP Pre-reception for 2013 Marshall SocietyDonors ($1,250+)RSVP Required by October 1, 2013
www.ajcseatte.r
seattle@ajc.org206.622.6315
..
OF GREATER SEATTLE
206.443.5400
www.jewishinseattle.org
SCHOOL’S AROUNDTHE CORNER!
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle proudlysupports day school scholarships, enablingparents to give their kids a Jewish education.
Day school scholarships: Just one of the things we do.
Bw mlf d Gd
Knate Stahl
Spcial to JTNws
I live in a senior-housing complex inSeattle. Many o the residents are Jewish.Each Saturday my wie and I coordinatea program — with the help o other vol-unteers — that provides ree ood to ourellow residents donated by a local grocery store. Recently, one resident contactedother residents about the Saturday Marketcoinciding this year — on September 14— with the observance o Yom Kippur,insisting i the market is held that day itis “disgraceul” and it represents a “lack o respect or the memory o those whoounded this building.” I disagree.I’m not a Jew because I wear specialclothing. I’m not a Jew because o a BarMitzvah, a circumcision, because I weara Star o David or have a mezuzah on my door. I’m not a Jew because o rituals Iollow. I’m not a Jew because o what Ishow in public or because o what I pro-claim. Tat’s not what makes me a Jew.I’m a Jew because God has chosen to makeme a Jew. Being Jewish is solely betweenmysel and God.How I live my lie as a Jew is my choice;the choice and obligation given me by God. It’s not the choice or the right o anyone to tell me how to live or worshipas a Jew. It’s not their choice or right to tellany one o us the requirements or respon-sibilities o being Jewish. It’s not their rightto judge. My lie, my requirements and my responsibilities as a Jew can only be judged— and will only be judged — by God.And what are my responsibilities as aJew?Yom Kippur is a sacred holiday inJudaism; oen called the holiest day o theJewish year. For many, it’s a day o rituals,it’s a day o asting, it is — or many — aday o synagogue attendance. It’s a day o atonement, a day o prayer; it’s a celebra-tion o renewal. Most important, the com-munication one has on Yom Kippur, as aJew, is between one’s own heart and one’ssel and God.How is that aected by the outwardactivities o others around us on YomKippur? Tis year, the celebration o YomKippur coincides with our Saturday ree-ood market, as it did years ago. At thattime, we contacted local rabbis — Reorm,Conservative and Orthodox — and askedtheir opinion. We asked, would holdingthe Saturday Market, in any way at all,show disrespect or or be considered anobstruction to someone commemoratingand ollowing the rituals o Yom Kippur?Would holding the Saturday Market show disrespect or be disgraceul to Judaism orto the memory o anyone who is Jewish?Teir answers were the same: Te outwardactivities o those around us, unless they directly challenge or obstruct our rightsas Jews, aren’t disgraceul; their activitiesaren’t a problem. As Jews, their activitiesdon’t concern us.Our most important concern, as Jewson Yom Kippur, is our communicationwith God. Yom Kippur isn’t about whatothers around us do. Yom Kippur isn’tabout telling others what they need todo. Yom Kippur isn’t about judging theactions o others. Yom Kippur is about ourcommunication and connection with God.Te Saturday Market doesn’t preventany o us, as Jews, rom observing YomKippur. Te market and all the other sec-ular activities that will occur on YomKippur show no disrespect or Jews, oror Judaism, or or the Jewish ounders o our senior-housing complex. Te Satur-day Market has nothing to do with YomKippur, and Yom Kippur has nothing todo with the Saturday Market. Tere’s noconict.On Yom Kippur, God doesn’t say to us,“ell others what to do.” God doesn’t say,“Judge the actions o others or look andcomment about what others are doing.”Yom Kippur isn’t a time to judge or makedemands o others.Yom Kippur is a sacred blessing anda celebration; a choice — among many choices — when we can look into ourhearts, when we can communicate withGod. Yom Kippur is an opportunity —among many — to renew ourselves ingoodness and our aith, to repair our-selves and hopeully, in the process, repairour world. Te choice o how we, as Jews,act on Yom Kippur, o what we choose torenew and repair, is our individual choice,our individual obligation and responsi-bility. Yom Kippur is solely between our-selves and God.No matter how lost and broken wemay be, Yom Kippur reminds us we areblessed; it reminds us we have the ability to share our true hearts with God so wecan renew and repair ourselves and repairour world.As our great teacher Hillel might possi-bly add, “Te rest is commentary.”
 
letters to the editor the rabbi’s turn
friday, august 16, 2013 .
www.jtnews.net
.
jtnew
opinion
“We’ll be moving to ‘our’ country, our homeland.”— Tzippy Twersky, who will be moving to Israel with her husband in the fall. Read about several now-former Washingtonians who have made aliyah on page 28.
WRIte a letteR to tHe eDItoR: W wud v  hr frm yu! Yu my ubmiyur r  dir@jw.. P imi yur r  pprximy 350 wrd.th ddi fr h x iu i auu 20. Fuur ddi my b fud i.th pii f ur cumi d dvrir d  criy rfc h viw fJtnw r h Jwih Fdri f grr s.
Wh ml pc, w clv  dffc
Rabbi Sholom beR levitin
Rgional Dirctor, Chabad o th Pacifc Northwst andRabbi, Congrgation Shaari Tfllah – Lubavitch
I’ll begin with three shortstories. In June o 1967, I wassitting in the central ChabadLubavitch Yeshiva at theamous 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, N.Y. At approx-imately 1:45 p.m., Yankel theBeder, who took care o themen’s mikvah, which I andothers used beginning at 5a.m. each morning, ran intothe yeshiva and gave a loudshout: “Men sloked a Yid!” — a Jew isbeing beaten up!Religious and racial strie was accel-erating in those years in many Brook-lyn communities. Within 15 seconds, thewhole yeshiva was on the street, everyoneasking breathlessly, “Where? Where?”Someone shouted, “On Kingston and Lin-coln Avenue!”We all ran, weaving through heavy tra-c. A major altercation was taking place— even the police were already there.Everyone had instinctively respondedto the call, to the extent that no one hadclosed his Gemorah (almud) or otherreligious book o study. No one asked theafliation, level o observance, or gendero the Jew being beaten. We only heard“Men sloked a Yid.”In the summer o 1968, the situation inBrooklyn’s Jewish communities was dete-riorating. Our amily lived in an apartmentcomplex that housed a mix o Chassidic, Ari-can-American, and Latino amilies. Gangso young people lived there, and it was very dangerous, especially at night, to navigatethe streets and even our complex. I had threeyounger teenage sisters (Rebbetzin DevorahKorneld is the youngest o my sisters), andother young Chassidic teenage girls also livedin the complex. We had a real problem.Te head o the gang was a young ellow by the name o José, and I made it my busi-ness to beriend him. Here I was, a Chas-sidic rabbinical student, black hat and all,only about a year or two older than he was.I you had dropped me in Manhattan, Iwould have had difculty navigating back to Brooklyn. Our community was insularand did not assimilate with other culturesat that point. All I did was talk to him, ask him about school. He was a Dodgers an,and I was a Yankees an (ull disclosure:I once played hooky to go to Yankee Sta-dium in the Bronx to watch my baseballidol Mickey Mantle belt some home runs).We schmoozed, and over time hebecame a riend. Ater that, wheneverthe teenage girls would walk through thehalls, or the elderly Chassidim would walk down the street near our com-plex, José and his riends werementschlach and respectul.Aer I’d moved to Seattleas part o my regional respon-sibilities I began to travel toAlaska — rst to Anchorage,where I have developed somelielong riendships, and thento Fairbanks. In December1979, it was a reezing, win-tery day — and I mean reez-ing. By then we had organized a group,and it was their rst evening with Chabad.Fieen people showed up rom a crosssection o the general Jewish community.I tell my children and grandchildren that15 people in Fairbanks, Alaska at that timeis like having a crowd o 25,000 in Man-hattan today.Aer my presentation, which ocusedon the Chassidic philosophy o embracingall Jews with love and compassion in a non- judgmental way and, or that matter,bringing the universal message o belie inGod and the Noahide Code to all people —a man by the name o Mike stood up andasked, “Rabbi, do you belong to the groupthat burns the bus signs in Jerusalem?”During those months, commercialsigns with pictures o men and women inswim clothes were hung in Jerusalem’s very Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood andits environs. Tis caused consternationand anger among many members o thosedevout communities. Some o these signswere burned by individuals living there.“Mike,” I responded, “I strongly con-demn any acts like the ones you aredescribing. Especially in our Holy Land,and especially in Jerusalem.”But then I added, “Mike, let’s have aconversation. Te people living in thoseneighborhoods o Jerusalem are three,ve, 10 generations o devout Jews, withtheir unique way o lie, with large ami-lies. I condemn the burning o those signs— strongly. But where is the sensitivity?o come into these neighborhoods, wherenearly 100 percent o those living there aredevout Jews, maintaining their religiousliestyle or hundreds o years throughdevotion and sel-sacrice.” And then Iasked Mike where he had lived beore hecame to Anchorage.“Minneapolis,” he answered.“Did you belong to a synagogue?” Iasked.He responded that he had belonged toa temple.“Mike,” I asked, “i during Kol Nidreservices, Yom Kippur eve, a man or
X
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th d dd
Steven Blum’s discussion o the difculties o covering Holocaust-denial stories, such asDavid Irving’s impending trip to Berlin, was right on target (“German preoccupation: Whybother with David Irving?” Aug. 2).However, in his annoyance at the claims o Irving’s supporters that his “right to reespeech” has been violated, he misses the obvious counter-argument.David Irving was not condemned by a British court or his intentional and malicious distor-tions o history because someone tried to deny his right to ree speech. He was in that posi-tion because he himsel sued American historian Deborah Lipstadt or libel.It was Irving who tried to deny Proessor Lipstadt’s right to ree speech, when she used herscholarship to expose his historical malpractice. The court simply examined the evidence heand Lipstadt presented, and determined Lipstadt’s critique was accurate.Irving’s supporters are demanding or their hero a right he tried to deny to his critics.
herb levinetacma
p dos ot ll o jw- stt
Part o what drew me to Judaism and weekly studies at Temple was Judaism’s welcoming,and even encouragement, to ask questions about what I was being told.The article by Janis Siegel titled “Back on the Bus” (Aug. 2) eatured recent bus ads run inBellevue by Pam Geller and her organization AFDI claiming that “The Palestinian Authority iscalling or a Jew-ree state.”I looked at the articles Pam Geller cited as “proo” and ound that every mention o thephrase “Jew-ree state” was a abricated distortion o what Palestinian Authority PresidentMahmoud Abbas had actually said.What Abbas actually said — back in 2011 when the rumor appears to have started — wasthat there would be no Israeli soldiers or Israeli settlers in any uture Palestinian state.Abbas made specifc reerence to Israelis that are serving as instruments o colonialism(Israeli settlers) and military occupation (Israeli soldiers) — not to Israelis like journalist AmiraHass, who lived or several years in Gaza beore moving to Ramallah, and certainly not to Jews.The ofcial Palestinian Authority position is that people o all aiths are welcome in a uturePalestinian state.The equating o “Israeli soldier” or “Israeli settler” with “Jew” is deeply problematic orthe many Jews worldwide, including the many Israelis, who consider Israel’s ongoing settlerand military dispossession, weekly violence, and deprivation o rights as antithetical to Jewishvalues. Even more “mainstream” Jews like beloved Fiddler on the Roo actor Theodore Bikel(whose amily ed Nazi occupation to Palestine) are speaking up. Search “Theodore BikelPrawer” on YouTube or his video condemning Israel’s newest plan to expel 40,000 Bedouinrom their homes and villages in the Negev.I traveled to Gaza several weeks ater Israel’s Operation Cast Lead with a delegation thatincluded many American and Canadian Jews. Several told the Palestinians we visited with: “Iwant you to know I’m Jewish.” Overwhelmingly, the Palestinians’ response was, “We have noproblem with Jews. Our problem is with Israel’s occupation and oppression.”According to all the articles I looked at in response to Pam Geller’s claim, that’s what thePalestinian Authority has been saying all along.
lina ranktacma
woman had walked in dressed in swimclothes, and sat down — not botheringanyone — how would you eel? Do youthink that would be appropriate? Wouldthey not be asked to leave? Or to some-how nd suitable clothing? Would that berespectul and sensitive — to you and thewhole membership — on Kol Nidre?”I emphatically reminded him that Icondemned the burning o those signs,that it was not how to have a discussionamong brothers and sisters.“But,” I concluded, “sensitivity goesboth ways.”“Rabbi, thank you,” Mike said. “I seeyour point.”Now we get to the hard question. Tehard question is — as one learns, as we allshould, Rambam, Maimonides, in Hilchoteshuvah, chapter three, (it’s all in Eng-lish today and it would be suitable or usto learn these laws beore the New Year):
 Accordingly, throughout the entire year, a person should always look at himself as equally balanced betweenmerit and sin. If he performs one sin,

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