Happy חנוכה (or Hanukkah or Hanukah or Chanukah or Khanukah). I hope that this festival of lights is illuminated with joy, hope, health, love and inspiration for you and your entire family.
ImaBima has posted this week’s Haveil Havalim, the NaBloPoMo edition.
Check it out for blog posts on the following topics:
Funny Things…good to start with a laugh
Israel and the Jewish World
Judaism and Torah
…read Haveil Havalim, the NaBloPoMo edition and enjoy!
Today I finished reading the third in Maggie Anton’s series Rashi’s Daughters. The series of three historical fiction weave the lives of our ancestors in 11th century France with the study of Talmud and the incredible lives of Rashi, his three daughters, his sons-in-law, grandchildren and community. The popular volumes read accurately to me considering that outside of Rashi’s writings and responsa of the time we have little documentation of life in Troyes, France at that time.
If you haven’t read them, I encourage you to visit your local library or bookstore, open one of the volumes and start reading. I imagine that you will end up taking the book with you.
Maggie Anton is not the only contemporary author writing about Rashi. Elie Wiesel recently wrote a mini-bibliography about Rashi which has gotten good reviews. You can read Maggie Anton’s review on the Mixed Multitudes blog (from My Jewish Learning).
Have you read the books by Anton or Wiesel? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Read and enjoy!
How well do you know the maps of the Middle East, North Africa, and the “Stans?” Try your hand at this online map quiz called Rethinking Schools.
(Quick follow-up to my last post on the Pope’s visit:)
Here is the text of the beautiful prayer he placed in the Western Wall (courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs). View the prayer as well as a photograph of its placement in the wall.
Written prayer by Pope Benedict XVI
God of all the ages,
on my visit to Jerusalem, the “City of Peace”,
spiritual home to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike,
I bring before you the joys, the hopes and the aspirations,
the trials, the suffering and the pain of all your people throughout the world.
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
hear the cry of the afflicted, the fearful, the bereft;
send your peace upon this Holy Land, upon the Middle East,
upon the entire human family;
stir the hearts of all who call upon your name,
to walk humbly in the path of justice and compassion.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him!” (Lam 3:25)
Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage visit to Israel is creating quite a bit of press coverage. Unlike Pope John Paul II visit a few years ago, Benedict XVI seems to be on a personal/church/religious mission rather than on a mission of interfaith understanding, bridge building and politics.
Many interesting stories accompany his visit:
Trembling Before the Pope (the story of the Latin Patriarch, Fouad Twal, and his view of Catholics in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip)
A Muslim cleric and head of the Palestinian Sharia court, Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi, gave an unscheduled speech today at an interfaith gathering attended by the Pope. Once the Pope heard a translation of the Sheikh’s remarks he walked out, perhaps fulfilling one of Patriarch Twal’s concerns. Read another take on this story on CNN.
The Pope’s comments after visiting Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust musuem, instigated many comments. Read a few in Ha’aretz, al-Jezeera, BBC, the Forward and YNet.
I hope that the Pope’s visit leads to greater respect, understanding and peace between peoples and a willingness of all to turn away from hate and intollerance.
UPDATE: A Holocaust Survivor says that the criticism of the Pope is exagerated (YNet).