|sally ryan for the new york times|
Of course Darfur is bad; and as you might have seen over the weekend in Tablet, David Simon says that New Orleans is bad, too. These are the self-evident lessons we Jews have been
I admire Simon his cantankerousness. And I think he's morally correct to at least question communal priorities that don't place enough emphasis on our obligation to help the truly oppressed in our society. What could be a greater lesson of our own one-time enslavement?
Equally, I keep thinking about that number I read today in the Rothstein article. $45 million. I think about our aching, troubled buildings. I think of the hundreds we have each Shabbat, seeking a meaningful connection to Jewish life. I think of the meals we make for the sick; the shiva minyans we organize; the work we're doing with the New York State prison system via the Osborne Association; the hunger and feeding programs we're starting. So many demands by Jews; so many needs of the poor non-Jews in our community and beyond. Given the near universal accessibility of the internet; the accessibility of the Holocaust Museum in DC; the millions of tourists who visit Israel and tour Yad Vashem; is it heretical to ask whether or not we need yet another Holocaust museum?
For more than three thousand years we have been remembering our enslavement in Egypt through a small, concise book--the Haggadah--and the ritual of remembering has sustained us as a people as well. Songs and food played no small part, too.
The synagogue, which has sustained Jewish life for two thousand years, is a bargain compared to these museums.
Whatever happened to Jews making sound investments?