Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New Year

Rosh Hashanah

Happy New Year to my Jewish friends and readers. It is the time of the year when synagogues become exclusive clubs and charge an arm and a leg for a ticket to let a person take part in a service. What happens to all those people who don't have an extra few hundred dollars to spend? Are the less fortunate ones purposely kept out of sight? It is not so long ago when Jewish people were very poor, especially back in the Pale. I don't think charging admission to attend a service would have been an acceptable idea under those conditions.

In front of G-d we are all supposed to be equal, rich and poor alike. How is it then that the society holds the well-to-do in higher regard, no matter how their money has been made? I can name people who couldn't have cared less about their religion in their younger years. The same men who wouldn't have been interested in Jewish girls and bragged about their Gentile conquests then, are now honored members of a congregation, having finally settled down with a Jewish wife, perhaps in a second or third marriage.

My journalist daughter pointed out to me that her name shows up on the official Kahanist list of the top "Self-Hating and/or Israel Threatening Jews." She is there with Noam Chomsky and Daniel Barenboim, in good company. She doesn't write much about Israel but has brought up the suffering of Palestinian women in the past. I guess anyone who believes in peace and isn't a pro-Israel militant is a danger. But in reality, religious extremists are a threat to mankind, not depending on what their beliefs are. Christians, Muslims and Jews can be equally dangerous, even to their own brethen who happen to see life in a different light. Just think of what's happening in today's Iraq or what took place in Northern Ireland.

Have a wonderful year.