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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Michael Oren's Warning to American Jews

Ambassador Michael Oren gave a short sermon that he delivered at 3 synagogues on Yom Kippur in Washington, DC.  It is a very powerful and empowering speech in-which he discusses the role of an Israeli Prime Minister, Israel's place in the world and the power of decision.  Some are calling it a warning, saying the Ambassador is alerting American Jews that a difficult patch is ahead on numerous fronts and Israel needs the full support of the American-Jewish community.  Others are saying it is to alert us of coming conflict with Iran or a failure in the peace process.  Whatever you decide after reading it, you will be glad you did.

On Yom Kippur we read the Book of Jonah, one of the Bible's most enigmatic texts. It is also one of the Bible's shortest texts, weighing in at a page and a half, which is quite an accomplishment for this holiday. And it features one of our scripture's least distinguished individuals. Jonah--a man whose name, in Hebrew, means dove--not dov, as in Hebrew for bear, but dove as, in English, pigeon.

Yet this same everyman, this Jonah, is tasked by God with a most daunting mission. He is charged with going to the great city of Nineveh and persuading its pernicious people to repent for their sins or else.

Not such an unusual task, you might think. Twenty-first century life is rife with people who warn of the catastrophes awaiting us if we fail to modify our behavior one way or the other. Today we call them pundits, commentators who, if proven correct, claim all the credit but who, if proven wrong, bear none of the responsibility.
 Read more at The Atlantic

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