‘It’s Over’

 – by Steve Wenick

Tomorrow the election will be over but the sniping will go on and on and on.

Whether Obama is reelected or Romney is elected it will result in the losing side predicting that the end of civilization is at hand. Part of the reason for that predictable doomsday reaction can be attributed to the media’s persistent mantra which warns in the most foreboding tones, “This is the most important election in American history”.

If I were cynical I might suspect that the media’s hyperbolic declaration is just another device used to bump up their Nielsen Ratings to gain, more sponsors, a larger share of the market, and thus increase their bottom line. On the other hand consider this: every generation prides itself on its own importance and the impact it has on the future generations and the fate of our country. The hubris of each generation is second to none other.

Soon the cheers of the victors and the moans of the vanquished will fade and in the not too distant future we will hear the drumbeat of the faithful as they embark upon their inexorable march to the 2016 Presidential Election.

Cartoon reprinted courtesy of Yaakov (Dry Bones) Kirschen http://drybonesblog.blogspot.com

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

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.