Reflections on Yom Kippur

— by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Jewish families across America and around the world will begin their observance of Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the year for the Jewish community.  Yom Kippur is a holy day of fasting, prayer, and atonement – bringing to a close a period of our calendar dedicated to reflection and forgiveness.  During these ten days, we give ourselves once again to values at the core of the ancient Jewish faith: justice, community, and repairing the world.  As we emerge from these Days of Awe, we move forward, committing ourselves to the good we will do in the year ahead.

On Wednesday morning, we read from the Book of Isaiah:

This is the fast I desire: to unlock the shackles of wrongdoing, to untie the bonds of those burdened, to let the oppressed go free.  It is to share your bread with the hungry, welcome the poor into your home.  When you see the naked you must clothe him and never ignore your neighbors.

This passage, espousing values so firmly at the heart of our religious tradition, represents the ideals of our great country that we cannot forget.  At the core of the American spirit is the imperative to improve our communities, work with our neighbors, and never abandon those in need.

There is a clear connection between this sacred fast and the words found on the Statue of Liberty, written by Jewish American Emma Lazarus.  Together, we heed the call of Lady Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

From the call of Isaiah to the dreams of our forefathers that we still work to fulfill, these Jewish and American values reflect an innate vision to support one another and build a better world.  In 5773, my hope is that we can continue to support one another and together build a more peaceful and just society.  I wish you a meaningful fast – and that you and your loved ones may be signed and sealed in the Book of Life.
Cartoon courtesy of Yaakov “Dry Bones” Kirschen

Remembering 9/11

Drybones: September 11, 2001

Crossposted from Democratic Convention Watch

On this 11th anniversary of the fall of the towers, the attack on the Pentagon and the downing of the plane in Western Pennsylvania, we are ALL Americans attacked. The DCW team bows its collective head in remembrance of those lost and injured, and of the brave men and women who did all they could in the aftermath.

While this should not be a day for politics, there is new information that the Bush neo-cons were apprised not just in August, but also in May of 2001 that Bin Laden was planning an attack on American soil. Rumsfeld and company chose to believe that Saddam Hussein was the greater threat. Read here. Think of everything that went wrong AFTER 9/11, the unnecessary war in Iraq, the ineptitude in chasing down Bin Laden by the Bushies, the intolerance directed against innocents. Remember it today, act on it November 6th.

Matt and I are Native New Yorkers, and Oreo is originally from the 'burbs. We grew up with the Towers being part of everyday life. Huge, a giant shadow, but just part of what we knew. I personally remember being a kid and going on school trips to see its construction. To those memories, there is this from Dan Meth.

We wish you peace on this sad anniversary. 


And now they meet again

— by Yaakov Kirschen

Today’s Golden Odie cartoon was published in 1981.

In 1981 Yitzhak Shamir was Israel’s Foreign Minister. The news was that the Polish-born Jew was meeting with the Polish-born Pope. What a fascinating meeting that must have been for both men.

Shamir would go on to serve two terms as Israel’s Seventh Prime Minister, the first from 1983 to 1984 and then 1986-1992.

Yitzhak Shamir died June 30 at a nursing home in Tel-Aviv following a long illness. He was given a state funeral, which took place on July 2 at Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, and was buried beside his wife, Shulamit, who died the previous year.

Icchak Jeziernicky (later Yitzhak Shamir) was born October 22, 1915 in the predominantly Jewish village of Ruzhany (Yiddish: ראָזשינאָי), Russian Empire (now Belarus), the son of Perla and Shlomo, who owned a leather factory.

Before the establishment of the State of Israel, Shamir was a member of the Irgun, which broke away from the Haganah. He was the country’s second longest-serving prime minster after David Ben-Gurion. Shamir became the commander of the Lehi after the death of Avraham Stern and worked for the Mossad from 1955-65.

Dry Bones: Election, Lag b’Omer

Reprinted courtesy of Yaakov (Dry Bones) Kirschen

— by Yaakov Kirschen
Today’s Golden Oldie is from the Lag Ba’Omer holiday back in 1999. I’m running it today because tonight we’ll be celebrating the bon-fire holiday.

Back then we were having an election and Mr. Shuldig had saved all the campaign literature for burning. This year we’re also having an election but it hasn’t quite started and it’s too early to have a stock of campaign leaflets to burn yet.