Conservative Judaism 2017: ‘God Is Without Boundaries’

The Hebrew word for holiness, kadosh, means “separate” or “boundary.” The essence of Judaism is boundaries between Jew and gentile, between the Sabbath and the other days of the week, between man and women, human and animal, adults and children, etc.

From the Temple Beth Am Shuvuot program: “God is without boundaries. Torah, too, can be accessed through limitless windows. As we accept Torah, on Shuvuot, we will do so with every soul. Every perspective. Every faith.”

“Please bring diapers and school supplies (backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils) to TBA, to be made available to refugees, immigrants…”

Interfaith Panel 8:45-10:15 p.m.: “How God’s Voice Sings Through Your Tradition” (Ballroom)

Andrea Hodos is the Director of Moving Torah, and the Program Co-Director of NewGround: a Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change. She is a strong believer in the power of both ancient and personal stories to help us understand ourselves and one another better, and brings her beliefs and passions together in a performance project called Sinai & Sunna: Women Covering, Uncovering & Recovering.

Atilla Kahveci is currently the Vice President of Pacifica Institute, that is dedicated to interfaith dialog, and improving social cohesion among different segments of the society. Pacifica Institute has been organizing interfaith conversations, lectures series, luncheon forums and panels of Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Combatting Cancer of Extremism. Mr Kahveci is sitting on the board of various Interfaith Organizations like Christian Muslim Consultative Group, Interreligious Council of Southern California and Southern California Muslim Jewish Forum. In the summer of 2016, Mayor Eric Garcetti awarded along at City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission Interfaith Dinner Pacifica Institute’s efforts to organize panels of Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Combatting Cancer of Extremism.

Reverend Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard is program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement. The Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard combines her experience as a pastor and expertise as a community leader to run programs that train pastors to take on civic engagement work. Rev Najuma is the founding Pastor of Word of Encouragement Community Church, in Los Angeles.Smith-Pollard also is a inspirational speaker and trainer, author, radio personality and community activist. Her areas of expertise Preaching, Women Clergy, Sexual Violence, Faith Leadership, Black Church and Civic Engagement.

Randolph Dobbs was born in Oakland, California, and raised in Salinas near Monterey where he attended Hartnell College. Mr. Dobbs is a member of the Regional Bahá’í Council of the State of California. He was elected to the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Los Angeles in the mid-90’s and serves as its secretary. He is a past president of the Inter-Religious Council of Southern California and serves on its Executive Committee as well as the Advisory Board of the Guibord Center – Religion Inside Out. He also serves as a Religious Director in the Office of Religious Life at USC, as a member of the Board of Directors of the University Religious Conference at UCLA and is part of the Interfaith Collective in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Los Angeles. His articles on religious matters appear on various websites including Examiner.com, Beliefnet.com and Iranian.com.

Marium F. Mohiuddin From the local mosque to national organizations, Marium F. Mohiuddin has dedicated her life to working toward helping and advocating for the American Muslim community. Professionally, she has worked in communications and publishing for the past 15 years. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, she joined the staff of the Austin American-Statesman as an editor in the Features department. In 2013, Marium launched her communications firm merging her two passions – nonprofit work and communications – and in 2016, she took that passion one step further when she went back to school to get her MBA in nonprofit management.

At 10:30 pm: “Nazis in Montana: Lessons from a Jewish community under attack. A group of rabbis from across North America traveled to a small rural town in Montana this spring. They came with the intention of comforting the Jewish community and left with a deeper understanding of the beauty of tight-knit communities, the strength of the leadership, and the distressing power in the hands of virulent anti-semites. Cantor Chorny will share Torah, stories, and opportunities that have arisen in the wake of the troubling events.”

Also at 10:30 pm: “Creating Transgender Inclusive Jewish Spaces Dr. Patrick Rock, Director of Education at the Youth and Gender Media Project (Chermisqui Hall) This interactive workshop will discuss the ways in which Jewish spaces can be both inclusive, and alienating, to transgender individuals. We will discuss best practices around transgender inclusion and concrete ways for you to make your own community more affirming.”

At 11:30 pm: “A Jewish Response to the Refugee Crisis: Mark Hetfield President & CEO, HIAS (Hersch Hall) Join Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, for a Tikkun L’eyl Shavuot session about the global refugee crisis. Participants will explore how Jewish text, values and history call on us to respond – both here in the U.S., and internationally”

* “The Others: Igael Gurin Malous Talmud Teacher at Temple Israel of Hollywood (Chermisqui Hall) How the invisible, the ugly, the marginalized and the weak become strong, beautiful, sexy, important and respected. A journey of self exploration through the Talmudic texts or how this boy became a man…”

* “The Space Between: Reverend Kirsten Linford Senior Minister at Westwood Hills Congregational Church (Kopelove Hall) Often, God is found most presently and most powerfully in the spaces between – between human beings, between us and God, between the sound and the silence, between the lines, and even between spiritual traditions. For me, the connection to Jesus is one of inbetween and has been greatly informed and deepened by Jewish voices and experiences. I would love to share my stories with you, to hear your own, and to offer up the labyrinth as a way of in-between prayer that is meaningful to my community.”

* “Building a Stronger and More Inclusive LGBTQA Community One Unique Voice at a Time (Panel Discussion) Rabbi Rachel Bat-Or Director, JQ International Helpline Services and Members of the JQ Int’l Speakers Bureau (Dorff Nelson Chapel) The LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Ally) community often speaks with one voice about the ever-present danger to all of us. But we each have a unique voice, which adds increased nuance and texture to the whole community. Those of us on the panel will share our process of finding our own voices and how each one blends into and, at the same time, changes the community as a whole.”

12:30 am. “What does the Torah teach us about today’s refugee crisis? How do we respond? Tyson Roberts Temple Beth Am Refugee Task Force (Pilch Hall) Text study and discussion, update on what Jewish communities have done thus far, and brainstorm what we can do in the near future. Step one: Please bring diapers and school supplies for refugees and displaced families in the LA area! (Note: Notebooks and pens/pencils should be brought before 5pm; backpacks and diapers can be brought any time.)”

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LAT: ‘How L.A. County is trying to sign more people up for food stamps — and why it’s not easy’

That seems like a good use of government resources — get more people on welfare.

At my lowest moments, I never even considered getting unemployment benefits or food stamps.

Los Angeles Times:

In addition, many immigrants who are in the country legally are eligible to receive benefits, but those who are here illegally are not. Still, some who are eligible choose not to apply out of fear it will affect their ability to become a citizen or it will endanger their families.

That fear has only grown worse since Trump took office, officials and outreach workers say. Bartholow said her organization has received reports from across the state of people calling in to cancel their benefits.

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LAT: ‘You’re just there, trapped’: Why one Mexican woman decided to ‘self-deport,’ long before Trump’

Everything that made her self-deport, I think we should do at ten times the intensity so that more illegals self-deport.

Still, many will argue that it is a real shame that such a beautiful and talented woman is no longer contributing to America. Where will we find future brain surgeons and runway models if not among mestizos?

Los Angeles Times:

Any time a cop passed her on the road, she began shaking. When police set up checkpoints in her neighborhood, her phone buzzed with warning text messages.

She worried about getting carded at bars. Boarding planes. Attending college. Anything that required an ID, which she didn’t have because she was in the country illegally.

For a decade, Paula Flores Colorado felt crippled by a gnawing fear that eventually became unbearable.

To find peace, she returned to Mexico in 2009.

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Apocalypto (2006)

Greg Johnson: “At the end of that movie, not a single person in the movie theater was not relieved to see the white people show up and provide a little adult supervision.”

Greg: “I want a complete ban of future race-mixing and a complete amnesty on past race-mixing [so long as people identify as white]… We define what is white today.”

“We want to be a strong and resilient people, and not so brittle that we go to pieces when we get our 23andMe results back that show we’re .3% of North African descent… The one drop rule does not exclude me. I exclude the one drop rule!”

Host 1: “We [Latin America] do not do well with democracy. We were founded by a kingdom.”

Host 2: “It’s deeper than that. It’s in our genes. When Latin America has right-wing dictators, they prosper.”

Host 1: “We’re not as high trust as the Anglos or the Nordics. We do tend to like strong leaders and more authoritarian. That’s what people crave in Latin America.”

Greg: “In France, when you have democracy, there’s a tendency for the parties to be petty and pusillanimous and it is impossible for multi-party democracy to keep a bead on the common good. You have this horrible drift and malaise. For instance, France under the Third Republic. France was in this terrible malaise for several generations. Then when they were finally defeated in WWII and Philippe Petain proclaimed the French state, the French loved it. There was final a patriotic paternal figure running the country and the pusillanimous parties who’d allowed the country to rot had been broomed out of power. The United States has clearly gotten to the point where the political parties, if you allowed business as usual, are running the country into the ground. You need somebody to come into power who represents the common good and he has to knock heads together and make tough decisions to get society back on track. You can’t restore things with multi-party democracy.”

Host: “I don’t think democracy will work with asians or mestizos.”

Greg: “Asians are high IQ but low trust. You can’t have high IQ, low trust and multi-party democracy. You can’t have political pluralism.”

“We’re not going to have a functional democracy much longer. We don’t have one now.”

“There was this Jew writing in the New York Times writing that Hillary has to be two-faced and corrupt, that this is good for America. So corruption is our strength now? Brought to you by the same tribe of swindlers who gave us — diversity is our strength.

Host: “Whatever ideas are tried and discarded in N. America and Europe are used in Latin America. How can you nip this in the bud?”

Greg: “Short of shooting a few dozen marxists, nothing… America’s ruling class lost its sense of mission. It was hollowed out and taken over by Jews and after that it was child’s play to launch the cultural revolution of the 1960s.”

“Europe is where our civilization comes from. The United States is just an ersatz bush-garden knockoff copy of Europe but Europe’s elites are slavishly dependent on American trend-setting. It’s disgusting.”

“America fosters a shallow sense of identity.”

“Eastern Europe needs to put aside its humility, its inferiority complex, and lead. Why not in Venezuela? Why not in Argentina? Why not among the white population of Mexico?”

Host 2: “Spanish people have this huge inferiority complex. I’m below the Anglos, the Germans, they’re the master race.”

Greg: “Franco and Salazar made fascism acceptable. They survived WWII. Salazar was utterly incorruptible. He led his country.”

“The Anglo world is totally pozzed.”

“The Christianity of the Anglo world is Judaized. It’s Protestantism.”

“There are two forms of the Jewish Question. One is the Inquisition. Once you make them Catholic, you have to question if they are sincere. Post Napoleon, once they’ve been made citizens, are they citizens or do they have dual loyalty? Our universal impulse makes Jews more problematic than they were when they were an unwelcome and unloved group in our society because princes found them useful. If only we had patriotic princes like Edward I in England.”

Host 1: “In Mexico, Jews are hated.”

Greg: “In Hungary, ‘Jew’ is just an all-purpose insult.”

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Reflections On Little Rock

This was written by Hannah Arendt in 1957 and published in 1958 (hat tip to Kathy Shaidle). I will excerpt and comment.

First, some background from Wikipedia: “The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.”

Hannah Arendt: “It is unfortunate and even unjust (though hardly unjustified) that the events at Little Rock should have such an enormous echo in public opinion throughout the world and have become a major stumbling block to American foreign policy.”

One impetus for American racial integration was to distinguish the country from Nazi Germany (which modeled its racial policies on America’s, Hitler admired America’s ruthless expansion) and another impetus was to better compete with communism in the Third World.

Hannah: “…the country’s attitude to its negro population is rooted in American tradition and nothing else.”

This is nonsense. All countries with America’s racial demographics have had similar problems and blessings. There’s nothing unique in America’s racial challenges.

Hannah: “The color question was created by the one great crime in America’s history and is soluble only within the political and historical framework of the Republic.”

If you want to take a moral approach to analyzing America’s history, there were many crimes, not just slavery. America’s ruthless expansion will be viewed as a crime by all those sympathetic to the crushed. Also, America’s color question is not soluble by the currently acceptable means. No nation has solved such matters except by slaughter and eviction.

Hannah: “…the color problem in world politics grew out of the colonialism and imperialism of European nations — that is, the one great crime in which America was never involved.”

I don’t find it useful to look at history primarily in terms of a particular moral lens. Stronger nations inevitably subjugate weaker ones. America grew as big and powerful as its circumstances allowed, just like Germany and Britain and Japan and other great powers. No great nation has ever stopped itself from growing more powerful and dominant for moral reasons. That’s not how the world works.

Hannah: “The tragedy is the unsolved color problem within the United States may cost her the advantages she otherwise would rightly enjoy as a world power.”

World power depends upon one’s ability to project offensive force. It has nothing to do with a nation’s morality or its civil rights. The advantages that come with world power have nothing to do with a nation’s internal morality. Such power does not come from moral claims, it comes from the point of a missile.

Hannah: “The principle of its political structure is, and always has been, independent of a homogeneous population and of a common past.”

Nonsense. The United States was founded and built by those who were genetically Englishmen (85% of the country at the time of its founding was Anglo). As Samuel Francis noted: “The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people.”

Jared Taylor writes:

Since early colonial times, and until just a few decades ago, virtually all Whites believed race was a fundamental aspect of individual and group identity. They believed people of different races had different temperaments and abilities, and built markedly different societies. They believed that only people of European stock could maintain a society in which they would wish to live, and they strongly opposed miscegenation. For more than 300 years, therefore, American policy reflected a consensus on race that was the very opposite of what prevails today.

Those who would impute egalitarianism to the Founders should recall that in 1776, the year of the Declaration, race slavery was already more than 150 years old in North America and was practiced throughout the New World, from Canada to Chile.[2] In 1770, 40 percent of White households in Manhattan owned Black slaves, and there were more slaves in the colony of New York than in Georgia.[3] It was true that many of the Founders considered slavery a terrible injustice and hoped to abolish it, but they meant to expel the freed slaves from the United States, not to live with them in equality.

Thomas Jefferson’s views were typical of his generation. Despite what he wrote in the Declaration, he did not think Blacks were equal to Whites, noting that “in general, their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection.”[4] He hoped slavery would be abolished some day, but “when freed, he [the Negro] is to be removed beyond the reach of mixture.”[5] Jefferson also expected whites eventually to displace all of the Indians of the New World. The United States, he wrote, was to be “the nest from which all America, North and South, is to be peopled,”[6] and the hemisphere was to be entirely European: “… nor can we contemplate with satisfaction either blot or mixture on that surface.”

It is understandable that Jews such as Hannah Arendt are more comfortable thinking of the United States as a proposition nation, but it was on ties of gentile blood and gentile soil that the country was built.

After a ludicrous beginning, Arendt’s essay turns serious and honest.

Hannah: “This is somewhat less true of the South whose population is more homogeneous and more rooted in the past than that of any other part of the country.”

“…the Negroes’ visibility is unalterable and permanent.”

“But the principle of equality, even in its American form, is not omnipotent; it cannot equalize natural, physical characteristics.”

When it comes to the Humanities and the Social Sciences, race must be the starting point for understanding humanity. Different races, on average, have different gifts.

“Since the Supreme Court decision to enforce desegregation in public schools, the general situation in the South has deteriorated.”

“…without discrimination of some sort, society would cease to exist.”

“…social conformism tends to become an absolute and a substitute for national homogeneity. In any event, discrimination is as indispensable a social right as equality is a political right. The question is not how to abolish discrimination, but how to keep confined within the social sphere, where it is legitimate…”

“If as a Jew I wish to spend my vacations only in the company of Jews, I cannot see how any one can reasonably prevent my doing so; just as I see no reason why other resorts should not cater to a clientele that wishes not see Jews while on holiday.”

“The churches are indeed the only communal and public place where appearances do not count, and if discrimination creeps into the houses of worship, this is an infallible sign of their religious failing.”

Nonsense. Most Americans choose to go to churches that are heavily segregated by race. That’s how people work — they prefer their own kind. Most people choose to live, work, socialize and worship with people of their race.

“Children are first of all part of family and home, and this means that they are, or should be, brought up in that atmosphere of idiosyncratic exclusiveness which alone makes a home a home, strong and secure enough to shield its young…”

“To force parents to send their children to an integrated school against their will means to deprive them of their rights which clearly belong to them in all free societies — the private right over their children and the social right to free association. As for the children, forced integration means a very serious conflict between home and school, between their private and their social life… The result can only be a rise of mob and gang rule…”

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