friday, october 14, 2011 .
letters to the editor the rabbi’s turn
“It’s actually one of the best cases I ever had. It was really unbelievably rewarding.”— Attorney Barry Wallis on his legal victory for a woman seeking asylum. See the story on page 17.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We wold love to hear fro o! Or ide to writi aletter to the editor a be fod at www.jtews.et/idex.h?/letters_idelies.htl,bt lease liit or letters to aroxiatel 350 words. The deadlie for the ext isse isOtober 18. Ftre deadlies a be fod olie.
Te mezz secrity cm
rabbi Simon benzaqUen
sprdi Bikur holi
While shopping at thepharmacy last week, I couldn’thelp notice they were sellinghome security cameras. Tesecameras are to be installedoutside o one’s home to mon-itor any activity day and nightor security purposes. Somecameras were expensive andsome were very cheap. I took a closer look at both optionsand noticed that the much cheaper secu-rity cameras were exact replicas o theexpensive cameras, but they weren’t ableto monitor or record anything at all. Eventhough they looked exactly the same astheir expensive counterparts, and weremade by the same company, there were inact just decoys — empty cameras. A very interesting chance to take.As a rabbi, I started thinking aboutthe rst home security system used by the Jewish people. Tey were installed onthe Jewish homes in Egypt. Te upsideo these primitive yet very eective unitswas their simplicity o installation. Lambblood on the door posts with hyssopbranches. Te downside o these units wasthat they were in service and eective orone night only, known as the beginningo “
,” the rapid exodusrom Egyptian slavery. Te Angel o Death just couldn’t penetrate these orce elds o security and was orced to pass over ontothe next domicile.It is interesting to note that the Jewishpeople might normally have thoughto keeping themselves secure by hidingtheir Jewish identity and especially notbringing any attention to their homes.During Passover, it was quite the oppo-site. God commanded them to proudly identiy themselves as a group and standup (or, more accurately, stay home) andbe counted as one. Teir security came via an identication with the community at large.Fast orward some years, and thesystem was upgraded with the command-ment o
.Te Biblical source or the command-ment o
is ound twice in Deu-teronomy, the h book o the orah. Teorah states in two entire paragraphs: “Andyou shall write these words on the entry-ways o your dwellings and your gates.”Te oral law, which God taught Mosheat Mount Sinai, teaches that these rst twoparagraphs o the
are to be axedto the right side o the doorpost. Te twoparagraphs o the
include the declaration o God’s Oneness and the basics o rewardand punishment, two undamentals o the Jewish aith. Te
is nally axed to each doorway o ourhomes, schools, synagogues,and some place them on theirbusinesses. Tese parchmentsare to be written by a tradi-tional “God-earing” scribe,according to strict codes o Jewish law. hey must bewritten with special black ink and with a quill on one pieceo specially prepared andscored parchment. Te
is care-ully checked or textual errors and incor-rectly ormed letters by an expert whoknows the strict laws o
. It is careully rolled and inserted intothe
case.How does the
provide us withthe sense o security we so desire rom ourhigh-tech monitoring gadgetry? Te greatsage, rabbi, doctor and philosopher Mai-monides writes in his magnum opus, the
, “Every time a person entersand exits (and encounters the
)one automatically contemplates the Sin-gularity o the Name o God. He recallshis aection or Him. He will then awakerom his sleep and his obsession with thedaily grind, and come to realize that thereis nothing that lasts or eternity exceptor the knowledge o the Creator o theworld. Tis will motivate him to regainull awareness and ollow the paths o theupright.
areone’s true reminders and security guards.”In reality then, it is not only the
that watches over us, but it is ourwatching o the
that can bring usto a level o consciousness like no other,which can empower us to decipher thesecrets o the universe.So, how does the
compareto the modern-day security-monitoringcamera system I stumbled upon at thepharmacy?For one, there are also two models. A
that contains a kosher parch-ment is connected to a recording systemand actually writes the data to a spiritualhard-drive, which some reer to nowadaysas “Te cloud.”Tere is also a much cheaper model,rom the same company, but it’s only thecase. It might look serious, but it’s just adecoy.Tis too is a very interesting chanceto take, especially during this time o theyear. For the High Holidays, Rosh Hasha-nah and Yom Kippur, many people doa lot o soul searching and introspectionor an increased level o consciousness.Tough I don’t install security cameras,I do install and check the parchments o
. Feel ree to contact me i youwould like additional monitoring systems.
Does the Israeli government — or ours for that matter — see the sad irony in opposingvotes at the UN regarding the recognition of a Palestinian state? Where would Israel be todaywere it not for the votes taken in 1947? Yet here we are in 2011, with Israel and the UnitedStates opposing action that reiterates the UN’s longstanding support for a two-state solution.Rather than opposing the recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN, Israel and the U.S.should endorse it and work with the Palestinian Authority to ensure its implementation. Thelonger Israel, the PA and the U.S. delay, the greater the possibility that dream of two statesliving in peace alongside each other will fade like a mirage in the desert. Instead we could lookforward to the triumph of the maximalist, anti-Israel Hamas party, the anti-Palestinian activi-ties of ultra-nationalist, pro-settlement Israelis, and decades of increased violence.
Rabbi Aso LaterSeattle
EnOugH pLAyIng gAmES
I commend Mervyn Danker for his perceptive op-ed column (“A Palestinian state should bethe result of negotiations,” Sept. 16) as right on the mark.Abbas needs to negotiate directly with Netanyahu without pre-conditions and accept Israelas a Jewish state. Also, the creation of a Palestinian state via the UN will in no way end the
Mideast conict, but will only add to the instability in the region. It will not serve the interest
of the Palestinian people.Netanyahu spoke the truth to the General Assembly following Abbas’s speech when hesaid the United Nations has become both a “house of lies” and a “theater of the absurd” in itsobsession to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to falsify the history of
the Palestinians’ own self-inicted wounds.
The Palestinians came to the UN to get a state, but without giving Israel peace in return.What cannot be overlooked is the fact that the Gaza half of the proposed Palestinian state isruled by Hamas that has openly called for the destruction of Israel and a genocide against theJewish people.UN Security Council Resolution 242 adopted on November 22, 1967 is the cornerstone forwhat it calls “a just and lasting peace” that recognizes Israel’s need for “secure and recognizedboundaries.” The resolution became the foundation for future peace negotiations.Netanyahu has extended his hand in peace. It is time that Abbas stop playing politicalgames and accept it. This may well result for the Jewish and Palestinian people living side byside with a real and lasting negotiated peace agreement.Pressuring Israel to make only one-sided concessions will not work.
Te prcment on koser documents suc s tose pced in
must be ceckedtwice every seven yers to ensure tey remin koser. Cimte nd ge cn cuse ink to crck,invidting teir koser sttus. Just prior to te hig hoidys, Tor scribe Rbbi avrmBenzquen, eft, broter of Seprdic Bikur hoim’s Rbbi Simon Benzquen, wo is so scribe,visited Sette to ep community members ceck nd, if necessry, repir teir scros.here, te broters ve just resewn tein box tt tey ve conrmed is once gin koser.