WASHINGTON, D.C., January 15, 2013 -- Today, religious leaders gathered under the banner of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence to call on Congress to act swiftly to pass comprehensive legislation to address gun violence.
"We seek to bring our communities together in support of reasonable steps taken to prevent future suffering such as that endured by the bereaved and traumatized families of gun violence victims...
All of these arguments going on around me, arguments about whether we have the right to have guns, or whether guns kill people or people kill people, or whether gun control will save lives.
America is facing a choice about guns that will have to be settled in public opinion, in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the courts. The question is whether it is right to place further restrictions on the possession and use of firearms.
Words are powerful. In Genesis, chapter one, God creates through words: “God said, ‘Let there be light!’—and there was light. . . . God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters,’. . . . God now said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image,’ ” (Genesis 1:3, 6, 26).
Dear World Union Family, We all share family in Kiev and throughout Ukraine, and that makes the crisis there personal. The headlines do not tell the full story of the fears our congregants are facing, nor the underlying threat to our community. Help is needed. As we write, Rabbi Alexander Duhkovny, rabbi of our Progressive communities in Kiev and Ukraine, expresses hope that the situation on the ground will improve as the Ukrainian Parliament has approved a restoration of the Constitution of 2004 which limits Presidential power. Yet, we know that in recent days the situation was tragic. Unconfirmed reports indicate that nearly 100 people were killed on Thursday, many of whom were victims of police snipers shooting from rooftops. Fires were spreading, electricity is still unreliable, food is scarce, and the banks and public transportation were closed.
Last week, Member of Knesset David Rotem described the Reform movement as "not Jewish" and "another religion." Rotem is a member of Likud-Beitenu, the lead party in the majority coalition.
The wording of the verse gives rise to this debate. The text states that “Noah was a righteous man,” but immediately follows with the phrase “in his generation, he was above reproach. . . ” All of us, including the ancient Rabbis, are left to wonder if Noah is exceptional or not, if his righteousness would be universally righteous or simply righteous in his time.