March 28, 2008

Cheney talks Iran in Israel; U.S. strike seen as remote

With U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in Israel this week talking about Iran, the big question was whether President Bush would be willing to use military force in the waning days of his presidency to stop Iran\’s nuclear weapons program.

Letter from London: ‘An English Tragedy’ is timely on stage

In an atmosphere of increasing British anti-Semitism and vitriolic anti-Israel rhetoric in the left-wing press here, the play we\’re about to see, \”An English Tragedy,\” couldn\’t be more timely. Written by South African Jewish playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood (\”The Pianist,\” \”The Diving Bell and the Butterfly\”), it is the story of John Amery, son of a Cabinet minister, who along with the infamous Lord Haw Haw made propaganda radio broadcasts for the Nazis that were beamed to England.

Photo exhibit highlights the human cost of our bounty

In the stark black-and-white photo, two small children play in and around water, as children anywhere might do on a hot day. But there\’s something odd about the image: it isn\’t the shore or a recreational pool they\’re playing in, but a concrete irrigation canal.

Books: Bird-watching and ‘the Jewish question’

No doubt because I once worked at a Jewish newspaper and have written a novel about a woman rabbi — not to mention a work of nonfiction called \”The Talmud and the Internet\” — I am sometimes asked if my new book about bird-watching, \”The Life of the Skies,\” is a Jewish book.

When the rabbi talks politics from the pulpit

In 2006, Rabbi Nancy Myers of Westminster\’s Temple Beth David used her Rosh Hashanah sermon to address the horrors of the Abu Ghraib scandals.

She was about to make a point about acting morally as Jews when a congregant walked down the sanctuary\’s aisle with his hands crossed in a time-out signal. Myers, new at the time to the Reform synagogue, thought the interruption was because someone had had a heart attack, so she stopped talking.

A spiritual boost in Simi

Three-dozen rabbis and cantors are sitting in silent meditation in a sun-filled room at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus at American Jewish University in Simi Valley.

They open their eyes and Rabbi Sheila Weinberg guides them in a mindfulness exercise.

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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.