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Homosexuality, Judaism, and Hypocrisy – by Rabbi Yaron Gottlieb

This is a word that seems to unite religious people of all backgrounds around the world.
It also drives a knee jerk reaction, causing them to panic, babble incoherently, or simply pretend the word doesn’t exist.
I’ve been asked to explain the Orthodox Jewish response to homosexuality, and while I’m not going to panic or babble, I [...]


Winning Friends and Influencing People 3: Anti-Semitism, The Hiatus, and Secret GLBT Business.

I’ve written before about the story of my paternal grandmother’s Holocaust survival. In short, her father, a religious Jew, made friends with the local priest long before the catastrophic events that wiped out Polish Jewry.
As Jews from my family’s village were packed off to the concentration camps, this priest managed to forge papers for my [...]


An Interfaith Adventure: Evangelicals, Alcohol, and a Very Strange Night

Every so often, someone comes up with an idea so bizarre, it must have merit.
I have written before about my belief in the importance of grass roots inter-communal dialogue – the sort of interactions that do not take place in formal settings, in which difficult questions can be asked, and even occasionally answered.
So when a [...]


AJN 3 – John Searle: A Very Bizarre Suggestion

John Searle’s commentary on the community survey (AJN 15) is a study in how to say as little as possible in 800 words. One brief section, however, demands attention.
Along with the expected motherhood statements that pepper his piece, Searle also indulges in frantic dissimulation.
To give the appearance of responsive governance, Searle concedes that certain areas [...]


The Community Survey: Civil Discussion, the “Volunteer” Canard, and Intimidation

Yesterday, Mum and I attended the afternoon session of Andrew Marcus’s discussion of the community survey, at Monash University.
I urge everyone who can, to get hold of a copy of the survey results. At the presentation, we were also offered “Key Findings from the 2006 Census” on Victoria’s Jews, collated by Markus and Tanya Aronov.
Markus’s [...]


Young Jews, Drugs, and Alcohol

I remember kids with dead eyes and expressionless faces. My words bounced off them – at first – like a tennis ball against a concrete wall.
Even after ten years, I’d panic at every first meeting: how could I ever get through to them?
Not all these kids were regular substance abusers, and they didn’t have appointments [...]


Part Five – Axis of Honour: Dislocation, Family, and Terror

You probably remember the refrain, during the Bush years, that the Islamists objected to our freedoms and our way of life – that this is why America was attacked on September 11.
This is not exactly in the realms of profound analysis, and belonged with Bush’s ill advised response soon after the attacks, that America was [...]


The Big Sunday: Thousands visit and The Shtick

Yesterday was quite surreal.
After The Sunday Age published a story on this blog, we received unprecedengted traffic: 3,235 people visited the site (according to Wordpress statistics). This is a record for the blog, and outstrips the numbers that arrived when the initial Age story was published a couple of months ago.
This brought an expected spike [...]


SJ Signs off – temporarily

Dear Readers,
As you will have noticed, over the past couple of weeks, all posts have been written by contributing writers (Yoram, Malki, Frochel, The Hasid, Malki, and Paroggan).
The same reasons that initially forced me to conceal my identity have forced me to cease writing completely and  suddenly. Fortunately, a wonderful group of people enabled the [...]


Thank you, and Good Night

The Sensible Jew is about to go on indefinite hiatus.
Before I sign off, however, I would like to thank our guest writers, Yoram Symons, Malki Rose, Frochel, Hasid, and Paroggan for keeping the site filled with content over the last couple of weeks.
I would also like to thank Yvonne Fein for her invaluable input, suggestions [...]