web analytics
July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


What’s Your Jewish Perspective?

If you let your imagination run and your fervor for being Jewish soar, how would you finish a sentence that begins: “On Shabbos, I…?” Or “Judaism inspires…”? Or “Israel can depend…”?

There is an age-old exercise that can be used to illuminate one’s views, or to compare and contrast them with the views of others. The premise is simple. The beginning of a sentence is given, and you then complete it. You make a full sentence out of an initial fragment, taking it in any direction you wish. Participants may agree to permit answers consisting of two or three sentences, as long as those sentences form one thought. The responses can shine a light on the mindset of the participants.

The exercise can be used in schools and at political meetings, in social settings and at job interviews, as a party game as well as an interesting way to pass some time on a long Shabbos afternoon. Topics can span the spectrum of human thought and endeavor.

For our purposes, we will focus on Jewish-related subjects and call it “What’s Your Jewish Perspective?” A variety of themes can be utilized, including halacha, culture, lifestyle, food, religious identity, prayers, Jewish holidays, ethics, and morals, Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, Jewish humor, Jewish politics, and Israel.

The goal is to complete the sentence in a profound or thought-provoking way that invites discussion. A person should not take an unreasonable amount of time in formulating a response, and responses should not ramble on or go off topic.

In this exercise there are no right or wrong answers – only thoughts and opinions and beliefs to be evaluated, considered, mulled over, discussed, or debated. After a response is given, other participants may comment or ask the respondent for further explanation before a discussion begins.

To illustrate the possibilities, The Jewish Press asked distinguished representatives from the fields of Jewish politics and religion to complete 10 beginning sentence fragments. First we’ll see what those in the political realm had to say.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League since 1987, is a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry and discrimination.

Alan M. Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard Law School and a prolific writer who’s been called “the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.”

Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, is widely credited with reviving the ZOA after ascending to the group’s presidency in 1993.

Here are the beginning sentence fragments and responses from Messrs. Foxman, Dershowitz and Klein:

Peace in the Middle East

Foxman: can and should be achieved in our lifetime.

Dershowitz: will be difficult to achieve because so many Arabs and Muslims refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Klein: won’t happen until the Palestinian Arabs stop promoting hatred and violence against Jews and Israel in their media, schools, sermons and lectures; outlaw terrorist groups and arrest their members, as Oslo requires; and accept Israel as a Jewish state.

In the next ten years, Israel

Foxman: will not only continue to be a start-up nation model but will also begin to be a spiritual and cultural center uniting the three great faiths.

Dershowitz: will face great dangers from Iran and from more sophisticated weaponry as the technological gap narrows.

Klein: will be even stronger and more Jews will move there.

An independent Palestinian state

Foxman: will only come about if the leadership of the Palestinian people begins to educate its children toward coexistence and peace.

Dershowitz: if peaceful and committed to the prevention of terrorism, is in the best interest of Israel.

About the Author: Harvey Rachlin is an award-winning author of thirteen books including “Lucy’s Bones, Sacred Stones, and Einstein’s Brain,” which was adapted for the long-running History Channel Series “History’s Lost and Found.” He is also a lecturer at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “What’s Your Jewish Perspective?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest Indepth Stories
Terms of Surrender

Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”

Michael Oren, Israel's Former Ambassador to the United States

ALLY is a terrific read because Oren has a mission: Defending&protecting the Jewish State of Israel.

George Soros: No friend of Israel

George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”

President Obama

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

More Articles from Harvey Rachlin
Golda Meir

It will be hard for many to accept that some of Golda’s gems may not have come from Golda’s mouth

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

Our current feature consists of two parts: (1) Israel and Jewish politics and (2) Jewish organizations.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Everything I imbibe is with my inimitable fervor for being Jewish.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/whats-your-jewish-perspective/2014/05/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: