Newsletter Issue # 51 – October 11, 2012

The past couple of months of baseball in Israel have been exciting. However, in the short term, the World Baseball Qualifying round was a build up to another Israeli let down. Instead it was the outcome of Team Israel’s failed attempt to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic in Jupiter, Florida.

The Jerusalem Police closed off the Temple Mount to Jews after receiving intelligence that Muslims intended to attack Jewish visitors there. Earlier police limited Jews to a narrow strip between the Mughrabim Gate and the Shalshelet Gate. Jews were then told to leave that area too.

If we learn anything from Simhat Torah it should be that the future of the Jewish people depends on our capacity for radical innovation.  Scholars today may dispute which sages originated the yearly celebration of Simhat Torah  but the sources indicate that a radical innovation took place.

Serge Haroche, a French-Jewish physicist, has won the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with David Wineland from the United States. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 went to the scientists “for groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.

The event was called a “Jewish BLT: Bagel, Lox and Tefillin.” as i stood there holding the newly purchased and never used tefillin in my hand as I unfolded the instructions ready to tackle this ancient ritual. Baffled, I held the leather straps, looking for shock and awe more than for Shacharit.

Judaism is a funny thing.  It maintains that intention is paramount, yet it’s likely the most vastly structured and tightly regimented club out there. Depending on how many people regularly attend your synagogue, you may be called to the Torah once a month, once a year or somewhere in between.  This is in addition to Simchas Torah.

YThose heartwarming chick flicks where women with seemingly little in common are forced together by circumstance, bond over something like quilting, beekeeping, small-town politics or a Jane Austen novel, and end up teaching each other a thing or two about life? That actually happened to me.

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