My mother, my teacher

Reprinted from this week’s Jewish Standard.

On Shabbat morning, August 8, 2015, my mother died. On Sunday, October 16, her gravestone will be unveiled. Here is the eulogy I delivered at her funeral.

“My mother, my teacher,” is how we refer to our mothers when we pray for their blessing in the Grace after Meals.
My mother unquestionably was my earliest teacher, but those earliest lessons date from long before my memories coalesced. What I can remember, though, what stands out for me, and what I want to share, is what my mother taught me in her final months of cancer and illness, through both example and conversation.

Continue reading “My mother, my teacher”

How Trump promises to make the 1% richer again

“If they get the chance, Paul Ryan and the Republicans will do what they say they want to do. They are true believers, cult-like in their allegiance to the money power, and religious in their devotion to the alleged character-building benefits of poverty. They are not committed to building a viable political commonwealth. They are committed to something very much darker.”

Charles Pierce in Esquire

How Trump stole from shareholders who trusted him

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A Vox article spells out the scam

The Torah never said

My story in this week’s Jewish Standard:

Israeli rabbinate disqualifies Orthodox converts

Breaks promise given to Rabbinical Council of America in 2007

It is the season for seeking atonement for broken promises.

Which turns out to be convenient timing for Israel’s chief rabbinate, which stands accused of breaking a promise to America’s leading body of Orthodox rabbis — as well as violating long-accepted Jewish law concerning the welcoming of converts.

At issue is the recent decision by the rabbinate, whose decisions determine whether someone can marry or be buried in Israel as a Jew, to require further investigation into the conversions of four people who converted in America under Orthodox auspices.

This despite the fact that these converts had had their conversions investigated and stamped kosher by two leading American Orthodox rabbis: Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz of Chicago, who heads the court of the Rabbinical Council of America, and Rabbi Mordechai Willig, who teaches Talmud at Yeshiva University and is considered another one of the Rabbinical Council’s authorities in Jewish law.

In Teaneck, the Israeli government rabbinate’s refusal to trust America’s leading Orthodox rabbinic group was greeted harshly by Rabbi Shalom Baum, who leads Congregation Keter Torah — and more to the point, is serving a two-year stint as the Rabbinical Council’s president. Rabbi Baum put his name to a press release that “strongly” objected to the chief rabbinate’s action.

“We have already begun an investigation into this latest disgrace and we demand a thorough report of how this could happen,” Rabbi Baum said, in a press release issued by the RCA.

Read the rest….

Thinking about God and Donald Drumpf

Donald Trump God
Demeans women Subjugates women
Wants to deport foreigners Wants to exterminate natives
Huuuge His glory fills the whole world
Makes his chosen vendors suffer Makes His chosen people suffer
 Doesn’t pay taxes  Doesn’t pay taxes
Only begotten daughter is an Orthodox Jew Only begotten son is a Messianic Jew


Thinking about broken links

One of the key virtues of returning my blogging from Facebook and Twitter to my own space is the permanence. I want to be able to return to my record.

But there’s a problem: Link rot.

Fifteen years later, most of the stories I linked to are no longer at their old addresses.

One solution would be to copy and paste the entire source. But that would break the flow (and involve a lot of gratuitous copyright violation.)

Here’s the solution I’m thinking of: Create a field where I can copy and paste the entire article. Save all that data — but only display it if the link has been determined to have rotted away. Run a routine once a month that would check old links. If the link was broken, first try linking to the Internet Archive mirror. If that doesn’t work, link to the locally saved copy of the page.

Detecting a broken link is not trivial, but not impossible.