April 11, 2002

Eulogies:Albert Spiegel

Albert Spiegel, former president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, died at the age of 86.

Spiegel\’s commitment and dedication to our community was surpassed only by the passion and zeal he displayed as he worked tirelessly to fulfill the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam — making our world a better place.

Your Letters

Letters to the Editor, Point of View in response to Articles.

The Women of Worcester

The third annual daylong symposium sponsored by the Jewish Federation in Worcester, Mass., was titled, \”A Woman\’s Voice,\” without the slightest hint of irony. Less than a generation ago, \”a woman\’s voice\” meant only one thing, the talmudic prohibition of Orthodox men toward hearing the sound of Jewish women in prayer.

Kol isha (a woman\’s voice) was used as the legal barrier against women becoming rabbis and cantors, the excuse for exclusion.

That\’s why I named this newspaper column A Woman\’s Voice, to break down a wall.

Israel Stands Firm on IDF Campaign

In the Byzantine politics of the Middle East, even a suicide bombing is subject to differing interpretations.

After a suicide bomber detonated his explosives aboard a bus near Haifa on Wednesday, killing eight Israelis and wounding 14, Palestinian officials said the attack proved that Israel\’s military operation in the West Bank was ineffective in halting terror. The Bush administration said the attack reinforced the need for Israel to withdraw its forces. Yet, Israeli officials countered that the attack proved the necessity of continuing the operation until the entire network of Palestinian terror is eradicated.

Two Wars; One Just One

Two Palestinian-Israeli wars have erupted in the Middle East. One is the Palestinian nation\’s war for its freedom from occupation and for its right to independent statehood. Any decent person ought to support this cause. The second war is waged by fanatical Islam, from Iran to Gaza and from Lebanon to Ramallah, to destroy Israel and drive the Jews out of their land. Any decent person ought to abhor this cause.

Yasser Arafat and his men are running both wars simultaneously, pretending they are one. The suicide killers evidently make no distinction. Much of the worldwide bafflement about the Middle East, much of the confusion among the Israelis themselves, stems from the overlap between these two wars.

World Briefs

The World Brief, news, media, info, updates from around the world.

Remembering the Fallen

The day before Israel\’s Independence Day is Yom HaZikaron Lechalelay Tsahal (Memorial Day for the Fallen of the Israel Defense Forces), which this year begins on Monday night April 15.

It is characteristically Jewish to place Memorial Day right before Independence Day. Whereas in the Catholic tradition, for example, you have the exuberant Mardi Gras before the austere Lent, in Judaism, you have the Fast of Esther precede the gaiety of Purim, and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) a few days before Succot, traditionally, the happiest of Jewish holidays.

Birth of a Jewish Nation

I have been asked by the Hillel Foundation at Dartmouth College to meet with them on the occasion of Israel\’s 54th birthday. There aren\’t too many of us still around who were there at its birth, and they would like to hear, from the perspective of a participant, what made it possible for the Jewish state to survive while the Palestinian state, also created by the United Nations, crashed in flames.

Hate Israel, Not Jews

It was on full display last year at the global anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa, but the \”demonization\” of Israel has reached a fever pitch during the past month with the surging death toll in the Middle East, say Jewish observers.

Even as Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked this week, anti-Israel critics worldwide increasingly are employing Nazi and Holocaust imagery and analogies to describe the Jewish state\’s behavior toward the Palestinians.

Paths to Peace?

Even before the first Israeli tanks swept into Ramallah at the start of Operation Protective Wall, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was being asked what he intended to do the day after the tanks withdrew. From day one, it was clear that the operation would not in itself put a stop to Palestinian terror. No matter how badly the terrorist infrastructure was hit, it would be only a matter of time until the suicide bombers were back on Israel\’s streets.

Unless, that is, there was some political solution to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.

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More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.