Home > Sermons > SERMON: Miriam, Maharats, Misogyny … & Ariel Sharon

SERMON: Miriam, Maharats, Misogyny … & Ariel Sharon

January 13, 2014

The year 2014 is here and none too soon! I had begun to dread the end of the year. 2013, like other recent years, ended with an onslaught of the 10 Best of Everything! When I grew up the only thing that seemed to count at the end of the year was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” – one person who had made all the difference in the world! Now, Time magazine makes no difference in the world and so it’s “Man of the Year” has been replaced by a never ending series of media and websites “Top Ten of the Year”: the top ten most influential people, top ten movies, top ten TV programs, top ten discoveries, top ten diseases, top ten news stories, top ten photographs, top ten spices … it is never-ending! Our people – the Jewish people – also have our list of “top ten” – we find them in next week’s Torah portion: the Ten Commandments – but they are not for a given year, they are for EVERY year.

But this year, amongst the top ten lists there were two that captured my attention, because they were, in fact, Jewish lists. The first was a list that came from the Simon Wiesenthal Center listing the top ten anti-Semitic/anti-Israel slurs for the year 2013. The list had the usual culprits: Iran’s Ayatollah Khameni, Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, the leaders of the BDS –Boycott and Diversement and Sanctions Organization. But as I went through the list I couldn’t help but think: there is something sick about this. Do you think that Catholics put out a list of the ten worst anti-Catholic statements? Or Italy puts out a list of the ten worst anti-Italian statements? Why make up a list of all the people who said bad things about the Jewish people … and is there really a top ten? Shouldn’t we Jews be thinking positive as the year ends and a new one begins? Why focus on our tzores when there really is so much that is good? READ MORE

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