Three Great Reads from the Jewish Journal

What does Jewish tradition teach us about seeing other perspectives? Can Israel move past division? How is Beverly Hill’s Dr. Sheila Nazarian fighting antisemitism online?

…it’s a lot more interesting and useful to study the different sides of a conflict, especially one as complex and intractable as the Israel-Palestinian conflict… because, regardless of where one sits politically, appreciating complexity is a fundamental Jewish value.

A Jewish state cannot thrive on disagreement alone. Alongside the Jewish spirit of Mahloket (disagreement), it must also have a government with a mandate to implement a long-term policy. Alongside the Jewish spirit of Mahloket it must also have stability. The Jews of Israel (and the Arabs too) want to have a Mahloket as if they still reside in the Diaspora, as they can still have a debate without consequences – and also want to preserve their state without it falling apart.

This might not be a possible undertaking. This might not be feasible.

[Dr. Sheila Nazarian] saw the attacks happening in Israel and the anti-Zionism and antisemitism that was spreading around the world on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. So she used her huge following to stand up for her people and her values.

Three Great Reads from Around the Web

Can a Fitbit help you “know thyself?” How do we know we’re not dreaming? Does success make us miserable?

If you become convinced that the self is unknowable, there are a few different ways you might react. You might decide to “go with the flow”, to live out your days in happy ignorance of your “true” nature, but in sentimental harmony with the world around you. Or you might turn your attention to the body…

Knowing what separates wakeful reality from dream states seems rather simple on its surface. After all, even if a dream feels quite real in the moment, it’s unbound from continuity and the natural laws of our (presumed) waking lives. Yet proving that you’re awake, rather than just intuiting it, has been a perilous task for philosophers across the centuries.

Does success make us miserable?

Sigmund Freud was one of the first to propose this peculiar form of distress in an essay he published more than a century ago… There are so many examples of this paradox these days that it’s easy for anyone to delude themselves into believing the most successful are the least happy.

Commentary on Parashat Korach

This week at the Jewish Journal, Parashat Korach is under discussion. Parashat Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32) – tells the dramatic story of a mutiny incited by Korach against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Korach is joined by Datan and Aviram as well as by 250 distinguished members of the community who offer incense to prove they are worthy of the priesthood. The earth opens up and swallows the mutineers.

He spoke to Korach and to all his company, saying, “In the morning, the Lord will make known who is His, and who is holy, and He will draw [them] near to Him, and the one He chooses, He will draw near to Him.”

-Num. 16:5

Yael Weinstock Mashbaum: It may seem callous of Moshe, not a fitting response when there is discontent within the nation. But, it is actually a brilliantly calculated move that ultimately highlights the flaw in Korach’s argument.

It can also be argued that the new recruits were, deep down, sympathetic to Moses but stood by indifferently. It can be easier to respect an antagonist than someone who agrees with you but remains silent.

Indifference, an unwillingness to become involved, is an even greater wrong than taking an incorrect position. As the popularized version of John Stuart Mill’s quote goes, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Moshe did not personalize or take offense to Korach’s challenge to his leadership, but rather he taught us how to respond to situations like this through “falling on his face,” showing the ultimate sign of humility and selflessness, and turned to Hashem to resolve the matter. While Korach thought himself to be superior to all others, he psychologically projected his own need for honor onto Moshe, and incorrectly believed that Moshe had the same drive for respect and admiration. He was wrong.

Three New Jewish Podcasts

Just in time for the weekend, three new podcasts about Judaism, Jewish culture, and Israel.

Paul Parducci is a hell of a talented guy. He’s an actor, writer, director, producer, YouTube creator, and a good friend. Join the guys for this fun conversation as they discuss among other topics, acting, relationships, and approaches to staying healthy.

In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to Dr. Malka Simkovich—Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago—about Second Temple Judaism and how it can help us understand what it means to be a Jew in our own time.

Jenny Camhi and Jessica Kort are the Chief Talent Officer and Director of Communications and Strategy, respectively, of The Leichtag Foundation. In this 1st episode in a three-part mini-series, Dan and Lex speak with Camhi and Kort, on location at Leichtag Commons — a Jewish community farm, education center, co-working space, and more, located in Encinitas, California and operated by the Leichtag Foundation.

Today’s Hot Issues

Three Great Reads from the Jewish Journal Three Great Reads from Around the Web Commentary on Parashat Korach Three New Jewish Podcasts