Zooming in on Jewish Practice After COVID-19

Fighting the mortal danger of COVID-19 might have posed an existential threat to the life of the Jewish people, were it not for the digital revolution. To fight the pandemic, Jews like everyone else have had to stay away from one another. But in God’s name Moses instructed the Israelites to assemble, to build a tabernacle in the wilderness to worship the God they had encountered. Following that precedent, as we have journeyed through the centuries of exile, oppression and periods of startling creativity, we have assembled, called our synagogues eydot, assemblies, of peace, of justice, of Israelites, of hope. There we have gathered to observe family rites: circumcisions, b’nei mitzvah, weddings, funerals; to pray; to observe the Sabbath, the festivals, the Days of Awe; to study and learn together; to laugh; to sing.  Suddenly a...

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Five Things to Know This Week: Trump’s Jewish American Gambit

1. Who’s in and who’s out of Trump’s Jewish allies circle? Last Tuesday, the White House hosted a group of Jewish leaders for a short pre-Passover meeting and briefing. There was a nice spread of gefilte fish, potato kugel and some Israeli-style salad, and, according to participants, the atmosphere was good with plenty of time left before and after the discussion for friendly schmoozing. That’s worth noting, because in terms of substance, participants didn’t get much—all the White House had to offer was an overview by the newly appointed Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism Elan Carr and a speech by Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer, praising President Trump and his policies toward Israel. The real point of interest is the list of invitees, and more importantly those left off. Trump’s White House made a point of...

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