It seems ironic what a weekend in Washington, D.C. can inspire these days. The daily paper or Twitter feed is consumed with two political parties unable to talk to one another, a once-revered athlete who has colossally fallen from grace, a bizarre and tragic hoax involving a rising football superstar that raises only suspicion and intrigue, and overall stagnation and pettiness surround the country’s most pressing issues.
In my head, I always hear this week’s Torah portion, Va’era, in Charlton Heston’s voice. Standing before Yul Brynner’s Pharaoh in the ever so slightly over-the-top movie The Ten Commandments, he booms the refrain of the Exodus story over and over, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let My people go.’” It never ceases to thrill me. There’s just one problem: Charlton Heston got it wrong.
Shabbat Shalom. My name is Ilana Crankshaw and I am a freshman at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
This past fall as the conflict between Israel and Gaza heightened like many of us I began to worry. I was concerned for the safety of those in Israel and Gaza. More specifically I was worried about my friends who live in Israel. I sent messages to two of my close friends living in there. I asked if they were okay and told them I was thinking about them. One of my friend’s who is living in Jerusalem for the year sent me the following message.
In diesem Wetter. In this weather, in this windy storm,/ I would never have sent the children out./ They have been carried off,/ I wasn’t able to warn them. In this weather,/ in this gale,/ I would never have let the children out./ I feared they would become sick./ those thoughts are now in vain. In this weather, in this storm,/ I would never have let the children out,/ I was anxious they might die the next day./ Now, anxiety is pointless.
Thanksgiving has come and gone - and a favorite American tradition to go along with leftovers is the watercooler comparison of families. Whose Uncle said what? Who did brother x or sister y bring home for the holiday? What internal craziness happened while watching football or the parade. Family dysfunction! The perfect antidote to tryptophan.