Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs
In March 2012, I visited Paris in my capacity as then-president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). I’d just attended the European Union for Progressive Judaism’s convention in Amsterdam.
Overshadowing our Paris visit was a horrible tragedy in which four people were savagely murdered at a Jewish day school in Toulouse. We received the heartbreaking news as Rabbi Tom Cohen, of Kehilat Gesher in Paris, was showing us the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame. Ms. Miriam Kramer, chairman of the European Union, and Mr. Stéphane Beder, president of the French Union of...Read More
Recently, when I was asked to comment on the Israeli film, Oslo Diaries, I noted that I see it as a valuable perspective on a missed opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and a sobering reminder that there were sincere proponents for peace on both sides. I also view the movie as a “hatchet job,” on Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
A friend wrote that if it is a “hatchet job,” it is a well-deserved one. He then asked rhetorically if Netanyahu’s silence in the face of right-wing sentiment against Yitzhak Rabin and Netanyahu’s own words...Read More
The Hebrew Bible contains 23,145 verses and if I had permission to excise only one, I have no doubt which it would be: “Happy the one who seizes and smashes your infants against the rock” (Psalm 137:9).
Psalms 137 is a stirring lament over the destruction of Judah in 586 B.C.E. and the exile of a significant percentage of its population to Babylon. The rage and humiliation of the exiles, with their “harps hung on the willows near Babylon’s rivers,” is palpable as they commit to remember their beloved Jerusalem even as Judah’s captors taunt them: “Sing us some of Zion’s songs!” (...Read More
As the Torah begins to recount the long-ago slavery of our people in Egypt, my mind and my heart turn to tomato farmworkers in Immokalee, Florida.
Recently, I visited Immokalee for three days through a program sponsored by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights that was led by Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster.
Ninety percent of all tomatoes that are eaten fresh in the eastern United States are grown in Immokalee. It is one of Florida’s poorest cities and life for its farm laborers is mired in poverty – even after hours of back-breaking work in the vast tomato fields day after...Read More
When I rolled into the gym this morning, I was hoping to get on my favorite recumbent bike. It allows me to do a good lower body work out without using my arms or putting any stress on my right shoulder, which is recovering from rotator cuff surgery.
No such luck.
Both of “my” bikes were taken.
The gym’s rules are prominently posted throughout: “30-minute limit on all machines when others are waiting.”
A young woman was toweling herself off on one of the bikes, so I asked her if she was finishing or just starting.
“Just starting,” she answered...Read More
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