Rabbi Avi Weinstein

Archive for July 19th, 2009|Daily archive page

Maureen Dowd: Uninformed, or Just a tinge Anti-Semitic

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Either Maureen Dowd, or some snarky editor at the NYT, gave her column the title Pharisees on the Potomac. Her point was to recount the hypocrisy of the Republican leadership. If you look up Pharisee in the OED, you will find that the second definition legitimates this usage, but then again, look at the second definition of a Jew “…a grasping extortionate person.” Does that allow the NYT to have an editoral entitled “Medoff Jewed lots of Jews in Florida”? The only difference is how educated the NYT staff might be.

One assumes, and hopes that this is a literacy problem and nothing more for Ms. Dowd, and whomever edits her column. Still, the larger issue is the fact that this word is part of the English language and is not considered an epithet or defamatory.
One may not defame a people in the NYT, but their Sages and their Ancestors are fair game.

Gettysburg Visitor Center and Battlefield: Unforgettable

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2009 at 10:04 pm

It has been long overdue for me to take my twelve year old son to Gettysburg, PA. It’s about a 90 minute drive for an unforgettable afternoon. The new visitor center and museum offer an orientation that does what it is supposed to do. It makes you want to see the battlefield. The newly restored Cyclorama, a 360 degree mural that weighs thousands of pounds is presented succinctly, but brilliantly.

Six thousand soldiers died, and over 40 thousand maimed in three days of relentlessly fierce fighting. The spirit of the Union and Confederate dead hover over the place, as palpable as a humid day in July. Go visit! It is as moving of a place as any in Washington DC.