On forgiveness

Ira Lacher reflects on a major theme of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which begins at sunset on September 27. -promoted by Laura Belin

This is the season when Jews all over the world are bound to examine themselves and their actions, even their thoughts, emotions and feelings. During this time, culminating on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we are told that “for the sins of man against God, the Day of Atonement forgives. But for the sins of man against another man, the Day of Atonement does not forgive, until they have made peace with one another.”

I’ll be honest: This is the hardest year of my life to forgive.

Continue Reading...

Grief in the time of COVID

Amy Ward: “We heard that Jay’s passing was peaceful and that two nurses held his hands, but oh, how we hungered to make sure the last words he heard were from those who really loved and knew him.” -promoted by Laura Belin

In early February, our family watched the news about the novel coronavirus. We hoped, as I imagine others did, that our family would somehow remain untouched by the pandemic. That was not to be our fate.

Many of the most powerful COVID-era images that I have seen were taken from New York City or Los Angeles: stark cityscapes that seem far away and nearly foreign. In May, we buried my father-in-law Jay at a peaceful suburban cemetery – not in a big city, but in our verdant hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.

Continue Reading...

Kim Reynolds' job title is governor. Not Christian faith leader

Governor Kim Reynolds has urged Iowans to “unite in prayer” today in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a proclamation presenting elements of Christian theology as fact, Reynolds declared April 9 to be a “Day of Prayer” statewide. An accompanying news release invited the public to participate in the Iowa Prayer Breakfast, which was held virtually this morning. The annual event features Christian faith leaders.

Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg appeared in their official capacity at the breakfast, via separate video links. Speaking from the state emergency operations center with the state flag and seal of Iowa visible behind her, Reynolds hailed the effort to keep “glorifying Jesus Christ through the public affirmation of His sovereignty over our state and our nation.” From the Capitol building, Gregg observed that “Christ’s love for us” will never change, even in challenging times.

A public health emergency is no excuse for elected officials to promote religion, especially not a specific faith tradition.

Continue Reading...

I will not let my Jewishness be hijacked

Ira Lacher: “We hear that as Jewish Americans, we must be for Israel right or wrong and that anyone who is not is an anti-Semite. What rubbish!” -promoted by Laura Belin

During the 1960s, many of us protested the war in Vietnam. War supporters immediately accused us of being unpatriotic. “America right or wrong” became the mantra of the hard-hats.

We protested because it was becoming obvious that America was engaged in an immoral war, which was costing the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese, as well as the reputation of America around the world. That didn’t stop those who believed that America can do no wrong from vilifying us as anti-American. As traitors.

But we were not anti-American. We were anti-war. Anti-government. And we were protesting because we loved America. But hated what it was promulgating.

The same phenomenon is happening today. But it involves Jewish Americans and Israel.

Continue Reading...

Anti-Semitism goes mainstream

Ira Lacher explains the difference between opposing the Netanyahu government’s policies and opposing Israel’s right to exist. -promoted by Laura Belin

There will be controversy.

There will be arguments.

There will be accusations.

There will be widening of rifts.

What there won’t be will be honest dialogue.

Continue Reading...
View More...