“Now, as a progressive American Jew I don’t think gender should determine who’s in and who’s out. But I do think that if everybody’s in, nobody’s in. Let’s rethink what we mean by “egalitarianism.” What if it meant “open to all who bother to make the effort”? What if synagogues distributed fliers that said: “Welcome! We are very glad you are here. Our service is somewhat traditional, because that traditional form works for us. You may be a little lost at first. So we warmly invite you to join our weekly Siddur 101 class, where you can learn the ropes.” People who choose to accept the invitation obtain the rewards. Those who don’t, don’t. Not only would such an approach allow longtime participants to get more out of the prayer experience, but it would also suggest to newcomers that there’s something worth working toward. Things that come cheap usually feel that way.”—
“As an orthodox Rabbi who reveres the Bible I do not deny the Biblical prohibition on male same-sex relationships. Rather, I simply place it in context. There are 613 commandments in the Torah. One is to refrain from gay sex. Another is for men and women to marry and have children. So when Jewish gay couples come to me for counselling and tell me they have never been attracted to members of the opposite sex in their entire lives and are desperately alone, I tell them, “You have 611 commandments left. That should keep you busy. Now, go create a kosher home with a mezuzah scroll on the door. Turn off the TV on the Sabbath and share your challah with many guests. Pray to G-d the prescribed three times a day for you are His beloved children. He desires you and seeks you out.”—
“Hanukkah begins the night of DECEMBER 1, thus inspiring the joke around our office that this year is “Thanksmukkah,” because, for real, you’ll be eating turkey leftovers with your latkes this year.”—Modern Tribe
“A group of leading historians held a press conference Monday at the National Geographic Society to announce they had “entirely fabricated” ancient Greece, a culture long thought to be the intellectual basis of Western civilization.”—
But there is one big problem. In reference to relations with Jews, the Message reads: “Recourse to theological and Biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable.” And there is a bigger problem: Speaking at a press conference, Greek Melkite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros—who is actually based in Newton, Massachusetts (so you would think he would have some sense of relations with Jews)—commented on that passage, saying, “We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people—all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”
The word you’re searching for is “supersessionism”: it is the dogma, which Bustros appears to subscribe to, that holds that Christians, and their holy books, replace (or supersede) Jews and theirs where there are points of conflict. It is important to note—as Allen, who owns the Vatican beat as few reporters own few other beats, does—that the landmark Second Vatican Council “has been understood to reject” supersessionism. It is also important to note that supersessionism is a deeply offensive doctrine. Writing some years ago, Tablet Magazine contributing editor Leon Wieseltier named it “the ancient grounds of anti-Semitism,” and noted, of supersessionism’s implicit corollary that Christians have an obligation to proselytize, “An affirmation of the Christian mission to the Jews is a delegitimation of Jewish belief.”
“Here’s the thing about crop mobs: They’re never actually about the work being done. They’re about the moments that surround the work. Of course the farmers enjoy watching a roving band of mobsters make quick work of a long put-off task, and I personally love doing something that doesn’t involve a back-lit screen and poorly cushioned office chair. But crop mobs are really about the moments when farmer and mobster connect.”—Kyle D. Hebert: Crop Mob at Blue Gentian Farm | Fair Food Fight
“As members of a tradition that sees each person as created in the divine image, we respond with anguish and outrage at the spate of suicides brought on by homophobic bullying and intolerance. We hereby commit to ending homophobic bullying or harassment of any kind in our synagogues, schools, organizations, and communities. As a signatory, I pledge to speak out when I witness anyone being demeaned for their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. I commit myself to do whatever I can to ensure that each and every person in my community is treated with dignity and respect.”—Jewish Community Pledge | Do not stand idly by
Sally Draper was born in Ossining, New York to Don and Betty Draper. Sally ran away to California in 1969 and attended Berkeley after the end of the Vietnam War. After a brief addiction to LSD, she decided to become a college professor. She was a professor of Gender Studies at Berkeley University until her death. She died in an accident while building a summer home in San Francisco. She had two children and is survived by her wife, Susan.
The right of photographers to stand in a public place and take pictures of federal buildings has been upheld by a legal settlement reached in New York.
In the ever-escalating skirmishes between photographers and security agencies, the most significant battlefield is probably the public way — streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas — which has customarily been regarded as a vantage from which photography cannot and should not be barred.
Under the settlement, announced Monday by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Federal Protective Service said that it would inform its officers and employees in writing of the “public’s general right to photograph the exterior of federal courthouses from publicly accessible spaces” and remind them that “there are currently no general security regulations prohibiting exterior photography by individuals from publicly accessible spaces, absent a written local rule, regulation or order.”
“It’s true that if johnny can’t add he won’t amount to much, but it’s also true that if Johnny is reading college-level history texts for fun and doesn’t have a model of someone who has actually “made it pay” the odds are equally against him.”—
“As far as they were concerned, I was a stranger," the 66-year-old says. "They called Ron’s family in Vermont and said, ‘Can you give permission for us to talk to David?’ And his 75-year old mom said, ‘Of course, they’re partners.’ So, they came out and they said that he was dead on arrival.”—
Stuff like this makes me want to channel my inner Aaron Hawkins and take it to the next level: let’s blow some shit up. I’m glad Mr. Wilson ended up with a happy ending but most gay people still don’t get that.
We recently experimented with crowdsourcing the review of outgoing campaigns from MailChimp’s servers. Normally, if our Omnivore algorithms detect something suspicious about a campaign, we’ll automatically suspend the account and follow up with a review by our internal Compliance Team. But we’ve been testing the idea of also sending the campaign to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service for manual review by humans. We simply showed the email to a “turker” and asked them, “Is this spam?”
The experiment only involved sending roughly 7,000 email campaigns over to be reviewed. But within the first 2 days, we started getting back some unexpected, yet fascinating results.
Not only did the right-wing, attention-grabbing, sketchy-ass Rabbi Yehuda Levin abandon Carl Paladino after the New York Republican gubernatorial candidate apologized for warning that children were being “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option.” Yesterday, he revealed the hazardous circumstances under which he learned of Paladino’s perfidious turnabout to the politically expedient position that homosexuality maybe isn’t bad for kids:
“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich. While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I said, ‘What?’ And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami.”
(Let’s pause and note that Paladino was eating a pastrami and salami sandwich. I don’t care how kosher it was, he’s about to be dead.)
As for Paladino’s having cited the concerns of his gay nephew? “He discovered now he has a gay nephew?” Levin replied. “Mazel tov! We’ll make a coming-out party!” Sources say he was being sarcastic.
In honor of National Coming Out Day, here’s a reading list of classic gay literature from Jacket Copy. And if you’re looking for a more up-to-date list, here are the 2009 Lambda Literary Awards winners and finalists. And in honor of Columbus Day as well as National Coming Out Day, please see our dearly missed Rane Arroyo’s poem “Blue Lagoon,” Rane who could not “imagine not being a poet, being as anonymous as the wind.”