The Purim Story Like You’ve Never Heard

For those of you who would like to read the Purim story with an “international” flavor, here it is at DaledAmos.

For those of you who like rap, here is a version of the Purim story that you’ve probably never heard before:

Remember Social Studies?

I am probably dating myself, but when I was a kid we learned, in addition to the three r’s, what was called social studies. I am not sure if there was a specific curriculum set out, but my teacher decided one year that we would learn all about the Iriquois Indians. I grew up in upstate New York, so the teacher thought it would be appropriate to learn about the people who used to live in our “neighborhood.”

Looking back on it as an adult, I am a bit confused at the choice of subject matter. Although I was not religious at that time, my parents sent me to a Jewish school. All of the kids were Jewish – we didn’t have a native Indian in the whole place. So while the subject was interesting – it had nothing at all to do with my heritage.

One of the reasons for our making aliyah was for our kids to be exposed to their Jewish roots – and not only through books. Where else can you literally go to the places that resonate in Jewish history?

Now the Knesset has approved a plan to refurbish the places in Israel that represent our Jewish heritage, and they even have a plan to create walking trails from one to the other. I think it sounds great! Someday I’d love to take my kids (or grandkids, depending on how long it takes to set these up!) on walking tours over the summer vacation.

This is part of a plan to re-acquaint Jews with their roots – especially those who may have been “lost” to post Zionism. It certainly is easier to be proud of your country when you are aware of your own people’s history. What greater way to do that than by “walking the walk”?

Right in Time for Purim..

This month’s Kosher Cooking Carnival has come out right in time for Purim, with lots of good ideas for mishloach manot (the gifts of food that we traditionally give to each other on this holiday).

Ruti Does A Great Job

Ruti does a great job hosting this week’s Havel-Havalim. Go on over and enjoy!

Don’t Forget To Send In Your Pro-Israel Posts!

Just a reminder to send me your pro-Israel posts for the roundup I am putting together. You can send them to westbankmama at fastmail dot fm.

I will be posting the roundup on Shushan Purim, which is Monday, March 1st. Please get the posts to me by Thursday afternoon, February 25th.

Anything pro-Israel is fine – even old posts. Thank you!

Rabbis Aren’t Rock Stars

Rabbis aren’t rock stars, and they certainly don’t need groupies.  I am always skeptical when people overly enthuse about a certain Rav, and begin to see too much in him. This sometimes leads to extremes in behavior that is dangerous, as Jameel posts about here (it seems that Rav Lichtenstein has received death threats because of his participation in Takana).

Yes, I enjoy a good speech or a well-written book, and I am grateful if it helps me in my avodat Hashem (serving G-d). But I always keep in mind that my relationship with G-d doesn’t need any intermediaries.

ADDRabbi has a good post where he explains why he is skeptical about charismatic Rabbis - and I agree 100%.

Links and Things

Here are some links on this very busy Tuesday afternoon. First, Dore Gold has a new internet site - an important addition to your blogroll!

A Knesset panel has approved the NGO Transparency Bill - a first step towards forcing NGO’s to be upfront about where their money is coming from. This is in response to Im Tirzu’s report about the connection between Israeli NGOs connected to the NIF and the Goldstone Report.

The Muqata has a very even-handed post about the allegations against Rabbi Moti Elon. Please follow the links he provides, especially to Takana.  Does anyone know if there is an English translation to this site? I would love to link to it. If not, perhaps I will translate parts of it – especially their reasoning behind setting up the Forum.

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