The Way It Iz

Judaism Requires Abortions?

The United States is a Christian country. We may not have an official religion, but come on – it’s not...

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There is an inherent contradiction when it comes to how the government determines the personhood of an individual. On the one hand, a government must have a defined measure that explains who is protected by their laws. Who gets to vote? Who gets to go to school? Who gets to work? And this does not only apply to citizens of the country.

January 6, 2021, was one of the most surreal days in my lifetime. There are not many “where were you” moments coming out anymore, but when a group of irate supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building following a rally, we all knew that this would have a lasting impact on the nation, and few of us will forget where they were when they first saw the images of people scaling the walls surrounding the Capitol in what seemed to be riot gear.

The Midrash Tanchuma tells over a famous debate between Rabbi Akiva and Roman senator Turnus Rufus regarding the concept of circumcision. Turnus Rufus asked Rabbi Akiva, “Which are better: things made by The Almighty or things made by man?” Rabbi Akiva replied, “things made by man.” After a little back-and-forth, Rabbi Akiva brought a stalk of wheat and some baked cakes, and asked Turnus Rufus which he would rather eat - the wheat made by G-d or the cakes made by man. His point was that man is created imperfect and it is up to him to improve. The bris milah, therefore, is the culmination of the physical perfection of man after G-d created the natural version.

Well, it’s official: Jews are a minority again. If you’re unfamiliar with what determines whether or not Jews get minority status, it generally depends on how we are used in a political argument. If it’s an economic or representation discussion, we’re white. If it’s antisemitism, we’re a minority. Well, we’re not always a minority. It depends on who is committing the antisemitism. If the perpetrators are more of a minority than we are, we’re white. If the perpetrators are white, we’re a minority.

How do you know if you are a true “fan” of something? The obvious area in which that can be answered is sports. If you derive please from a certain team winning, have their merchandise, or attend their games, you’re probably a fan. Another area is media consumption - and again, you can use the same basic questions about the industry. Do you consume their products? Do you attend their theme parks? Do you wear their merchandise? But it does not end there. It seems as though every industry has rabid followers who will only use one company’s product no matter how similar it is to others.

Last week, Lufthansa Flight 401 from JFK to Budapest became quite the story when a large group of Chasidic Jews were unable to board the plane after the first leg of the flight to Frankfurt. According to an extremely detailed report from Daniel Elef of DansDeals, it seems as though a small number of passengers were charged with not wearing their masks during the first leg of the flight. This caused major outrage that oddly united both the Right and Left wings of Judaism (antisemitism tends to do that).