friday, march 16, 2012 .
letters to the editor the rabbi’s turn
“The main take-away message here is that good diets can alleviate the eects o bad genes.”— Pro. Daniel Michaelson rom the George S. Wise Faculty o Lie Sciences at Tel Aviv University, on how fsh oils can help to reduce the chances o developing Alzheimer’s Disease.The “Israel to Your Health” column is on page 9.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We wold love to hear from o! Or ide to writi aletter to the editor ca be fod at www.jtews.et/idex.h?/letters_idelies.html,bt lease limit or letters to aroximatel 350 words. The deadlie for the ext isse isMarch 20. Ftre deadlies ma be fod olie.
A journy of rmmbranc
rabbi Cindy enger
Congregation Beth Israel
Several weeks ago, I trav-eled to New Jersey. I journeyedacross the country rom Bell-ingham to Princeton Univer-sity to deliver the memorialaddress at the annual Service o Remembrance, which is part o each year’s Alumni Day sched-ule o events. It is the univer-sity’s custom, I learned uponreceiving the invitation, toinvite an ordained membero the 25th reunion class to serve as thepreacher during the Alumni Day Service o Remembrance. As a member o the Class o 1987 and an ordained rabbi, I am, indeed, anordained member o the 25th reunion class.I had not been back to Princeton in 20years — not since my h reunion. wenty years is a long time, years lled with learn-ing and work, love and loss, relationshipsand moves — lie and its moments, richeso experiences. In so many ways, Prince-ton and my experience there elt like a very distant and mostly dormant part o thepast. And then, aer 20 years o absence,I returned to that magnicent campus. Ireturned to Princeton not only to deliverthe memorial address but also to engage inmy own work o remembrance. I returnedto urther integrate the various parts o my lie experience, to bring together the pieces,to reconnect. Tat is what remembrance is.Aer all o the Alumni Day eventshad concluded, I had some time to walk around campus and the town o Prince-ton, recalling places, experiences, riends.It was a beautiul day, and as I sat in thesun outside the Woodrow Wilson Schoolountain, I experienced a deepening o awareness o what a pilgrimage is. On a journey o return, I was walking the land-scape o a place I had experienced longbeore. In the process, something insideme shited and settled. I experiencedopening and integration, as well as a senseo wholeness and reconnect.On the Jewish calendar, we are movingtoward the season o spring pilgrimage.wo o the three pilgrimage estivals, the
, take place in the spring.Pesach is just weeks away, and Shavuotwill ollow seven weeks later. Pilgrimage isa powerul spiritual practice.In
, the Reorm move-ment’s prayer book, the estival morningservice includes a poem by Yitzhak Yas-inowitz that reads:
One does not travel to Jerusalem,one returns,one ascendsthe road taken by generations,the path o longing on the way to redemption.One brings rucksacksstufed with memoriesto each mountainand each hill.In the cobbled white alley-waysone ofers a blessing or memories o the past which have been renewed.One does not travel to Jerusalem.one returns.
What is pilgrimage? It is a power-ul spiritual practice o Judaism as wellas many other religious traditions. It isa vehicle o transormation. Pilgrim-age is external and internal, geographicand existential. Pilgrimage is a journey o return and remembrance that allows us tointegrate the various parts o our lie expe-riences, to bring together the pieces, toreconnect.With Pesach’s approach, we onceagain prepare ourselves or pilgrimage.We prepare our homes and our selves,our surroundings and our inner beings.In preparation or our journey to ree-dom, we make decisions about what wetake with us as well as what we clean out— what gets le behind. On the physi-cal level, we clean out our
. Tiscan mean ood items as well as othermatter ripe or spring cleaning ready to bereleased and will lighten our load. Whattypes o clutter in your lie wait to becleared? On the spiritual level, we ready ourselves to begin again.Pesach is the rst o the spring pilgrim-age estivals. Shavuot invites us to jour-ney, too. Beginning with the second nighto Pesach, we will begin our counting o the Omer.
and its Kab-balistic contemplations are a vehicle toprepare ourselves spiritually or Shavuotand standing together at Sinai, where werenew the Covenant, when we reconnectand recommit to Jewish peoplehood andpartnership with the divine presence inour midst.Individually and together as a collec-tive, we enter the season o spring pilgrim-age. We journey out rom Mitzrayim, ourplaces o constriction, into the wildernesso reedom and onto the mountain wherewe meet God, receive orah, and touchthe truth o our experience and deepestconnections. What will you take with youduring this season o spring pilgrimage?Who will journey with you? What memo-ries and experiences wait to be integrated?What pieces ask to be brought together?How will you reconnect and renew?What a blessing it is to return, to beginagain.
A pOWERFuL MInyAn
Philip Scheier writes (“An insult,” letters, Feb. 29) that J Street “claims it is pro-Israel, aclaim rejected by all Israeli leaders, including Bibi, along with most observers, who have allturned down many invitations to address the J Street lobby.” Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sees things differently. He is speaking at the J Street “Making History” conference March 24-27, and I’ll be there to hear what he has to say becauseI care about a safe future for my friends and relatives in Israel, and because as a Jewish edu-cator I want my students to have a positive connection with Israel, consistent with humaneJewish values.
The unresolved conict with the Palestinians is causing increased international isolation
for Israel and stress on Israel’s democracy. The choice is urgent: A historic two-state com-promise, or a de facto single state that will mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, or as ademocratic state.That’s why a minyan of Israel’s political, military and intelligence leaders endorse the sametwo-state solution that J Street supporters like myself advocate to Congress and the WhiteHouse. Leaders such as Adm. (Ret.) Ami Ayalon, former head of the Shin-Bet and the IsraeliNavy; Colette Avital, former deputy speaker of the Knesset, consul general and ambassa-dor; Shlomo Ben Ami, former foreign minister and public security minister; Maj. Gen. (Ret.)Shlomo Gazit, former head of IDF intelligence; Dave Kimche, former director general of theForeign Ministry; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Amos Lapidot, the former commander of Israel’s Air Force;Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former chief of the IDF general staff; Brig. Gen. (Ret.)Israela Oron, former deputy National Security Council adviser, former chief of the IDF Wom-en’s Corps; Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz, former head of the Civil Administration in the WestBank; and Danny Yatom, former head of the Mossad. I can name dozens more.Mr. Scheier’s concern for Israel will be better served if, rather than attacking, he joins withthese Israelis in supporting pluralistic and civil debate on how American Jews can best work forIsrael’s long-term security as a Jewish democracy, offering opportunity to all its diverse citizens.
Raier Waldma AdkisSeattle
TWO OpInIOnS, OnE gOAL
Dear Mr. Wilkes:Did you neglect to wear reading glasses when you perused my letter bemoaning “wastedtomatoes” (“Repair and defend,” Letters, March 2)? I am a proud and active member of JStreet. We are busting our kishkes trying to keep Israel out of world censure! I adamantlyoppose boycott, divestment and sanctions directed toward our Jewish homeland. Happily, this
otherwise silly dialog between commentators is a ne example of exactly what father and son
rabbis Martin and Daniel Weiner decry (“More than one way,” March 2).Mr. Wilkes and I both want to see Israel thrive. I believe this is the desire of most AmericanJews whether they are so-called left, right or middle. What’s needed right now is cooperation
between the various American Jewish organizations, admittedly difcult for an argumentative
tribe. The result wouldn’t be stuffy, drawing room etiquette, but powerful healing energy! I amever so grateful to the rabbis for eloquently stating the position that I endorse.
pala Libes ChesterMercer Islad
Tacoma LGBTQ groups cancel Israeli meetup
Following pressure rom possible pro-testors, a proessional workshop scheduledor Tursday between LGBQ groups inacoma and a delegation o representativesrom similar groups in Israel was cancelled.A letter posted on Facebook by oneprotestor suggested the Israeli govern-ment was engaging in a “pinkwashing”public relations campaign, in which pro-gressive communities in Israel are used todivert attention rom the Israeli-Palestin-ian conict.Robert Jacobs, executive director o StandWithUs Northwest, which coordi-nated the event, said in a statement he was“appalled by the single-minded and dehu-manizing tactics o those who would seek to censor opportunities or engagement,dialogue, learning and collaboration.”Four representatives o the Allianceo Israeli LGB Organizations said they came to the U.S. representing their ownorganizations. Tey expressed disappoint-ment about the cancellation by the Rain-bow Center and the Oasis Youth Center.“Israel has many aces,” said Irit Zviely,CEO o the Israeli LGBQ advocacy groupHoshen, at a Wednesday panel discussion.
— Joel Magalnick