The Traditionalists Who Are In Touch With The Times

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Chabad of Pacific Beach

Chabad of Pacific Beach, provided by Rabbi Yossi Tiefenbrun

Normally, most people don’t think of Hassidic Jews as those who are in touch with the time. After all, they keep women separate, they don’t use phones on Shabbat and they generally don’t even think that the earth is older than 6,000 years (5776 to be exact).

However, you go to their website, to their Facebook, their twitter, their email newsletters and even the Chabad itself and you will see young Rabbis who know how to use tech, who know how to talk to young people and who know that the world today is open to everyone and excludes no one.

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Obama, Bibi and Iran: the Liberal Jew Dilemma.

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I don’t know for certain, but I am pretty sure that the Irish-Americans, who have long been away from the green fields of Ire, would be very irate if United States signed an accord with England that nearly all but guaranteed the destruction of Ireland. I don’t think we would guess and wonder about the loyalties of the Irish-Americans, we would simply understand that all non-Native Americans (except the ex-slaves) have some ties to their country of origin, no matter how far removed. This is no different for American Jews. For American Jews, Israel the country of origin remains in our DNA as all countries of origin for all people. A Jews is a bit more complicated, as Jews may also feel affinity for Morocco, Iran, or ex-Soviet Union due to the centuries spent there as well, although those ties falls off by the second and third generation.

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Union City Tzedek

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He was 33, gaunt to point of bones. His long, thin fingers, raw, as if washed over and over trying to get something. Long coarse black beard with silver strands and thick glasses dominated his eyes. His eyes have a piercing black look that is attentive, kind and completely disarming. When he prays, he bows maniacally and words are wails of a man not praying but begging while others around him murmur mechanically without thought or feeling. In this man there is genius and suffering at the same time.  Had Jesus been a Chassid, he’d look just like Jeshua from New Jersey.

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Isolation is followed by dehumanization followed by annihilation.

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My physics teacher Mr. Stimson said a wise thing: a fight turns to punches when the two sides run out of words. Thus to cut off all words is to ensure that there will be punches.

It took a long time for Hitler to condition Germans to hate Jews.  Because Germans and Jews lived and worked together side by side, since the enlightenment allowed equal rights to all Jews, Germans now considered Jews to be as one of them and for conditioning to dehumanize had to take a long time and a lot of effort.

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