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Articles written by Jim Shipley

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 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    May 24, 2019

The final curtain

“A Near Death Experience.” Ever had one? There actually is such a thing. Been there—done that. Well, I did—and it ain’t a picnic. About two months ago I developed a cough that would not go away. We complacently kept the same primary...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    March 29, 2019

What's a Jew to do?

Since the first large wave of Jews arrived in the U.S., we have fought for human rights. It is in our own self-interest to do so. We believe in taking care of our fellow man, in equal rights, equal opportunity, etc. You know, the stuff that allowed...

 

Yes, we are different

We watched a Netflix program the other night titled “Mossad.” It consisted of interviews with mostly former Mossad agents and executives. At one point the interviewer asked “Why is the Mossad pictured in so many nations as a bunch of...

 

Answering #ifnotnow

Civility. It was something basic to our society. We were taught at home to be respectful of other people, specifically those older than ourselves. We were taught to listen to other peoples’ opinions, not interrupt and then offer our own take on...

 

Is there no place for me?

Religion does play a part in politics. When John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic elected president in 1960, the rumble was that the Catholic vote was united —there was an underlying fear that “The pope would now rule American politics....

 

Call it what it is

I was born into what was known as the “Sha, Still” generation. Jews, who had been in the U.S. since long before the Declaration of Independence, still did not want to call attention to themselves in the 1930s. The fear of a backlash and stronger...

 

Anti-Semitism as a political issue

There was a time when “real” anti-Semitism was alive and doing well in the United States. I have written before that had we moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, two years earlier than we did, we could not have bought a house there. It was not until...

 

Can we talk?

Dialogue and argument among Jews are as old as our people. When God told Moses to “get out of town” not every Jew in Egypt agreed. “Too dangerous!” “Moses is meshugana.” Luckily for us all, the “ayes” won and the Jews became a...

 

Nation-state law: Good for the Jews?

It’s an old story and has resonance probably only for people of a certain age whose life made it almost necessary to look at everything through the “I am a Jew” lens. Back in 1969, When I told my 93-year-old immigrant grandmother “Bubby! We...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    July 27, 2018

Where Jews are losing

Jews used to be used to losing. The poor shlep. The cringing schlemiel. The Hebrew prayers that call for God’s help; God’s blessing. While Jabotinsky was exhorting the Jews of Eastern Europe to either leave for what was then Palestine or arm...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    June 29, 2018

No such thing

In my last column I tried to reduce some 5,000 years of our history to less than a thousand words. I apologize for the gaps. So, now let us turn to the “Palestinians.” If you search history you will find that the land that is today Israel did...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    May 25, 2018

A definition of insanity

It’s an old expression: A definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way time after time and expecting different results. It’s been said many times about the Arabs in Israel time after time. And of course, not much ever changes....

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    April 27, 2018

Fading memories

Truthfully? I don’t remember when I first heard the word “Holocaust.” In the 1940s I went to Bala Cynwyd Junior High and then Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, where out of 1500 students, less than 20 were Jews. In my senior...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    March 30, 2018

We are all tribal

Our Torah tells us of a man named Abram who probably lived in what is now Iran. He was head of a small “Clan”—also identified as a “Tribe.” The Tribe consisted of a group of loosely connected family members: sons, daughters (of which Abram...

 

Therefor, choose life

Here are some late night thoughts as I approach my 89th year. God knows (he or she, assuming of course...) that I am not a theologian, or for that matter—in the eyes of many who are—a religious person. A Jew? Oh yes—first and foremost and for...

 

If I forsake you

My dad was not a big believer in religion. I found some of the reason when I studied the life of my grandfather, Abraham Shiplacoff. Abe was a devout Socialist of the “Old School.” And, while he believed passionately in his Judaism—he was...

 

Fading memories

Some years ago, the French actor Robert Clary appeared on a television interview. He was famous for another television program—Hogan’s Heroes, a comical take on a prison camp in Germany during the Second World War. In the interview, Clary, for...

 

So, what else is new?

The Jewish Community is divided. Oh my, what a shock. There was a time that we were one Tribe. As the Community grew, the kids moved on, just like today. And so, as each family grew we became 12 tribes –The tribes split—and not harmoniously....

 

Almost the same

I wrote a column about the extreme left and the extreme right. I did that before Charlottesville, the chants of “Jews will not replace us” and the murder of a 32-year-old woman. Still there is some validity to the following: The late Eric...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    July 28, 2017

Science and religion-compatible

There is an interesting documentary on YouTube about a recent archeological expedition in Iraq and Iran—what was ancient Persia and before that Babylonia. In ancient texts and evidence in excavations there are stories about Sodom, Gomorrah and the...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    June 30, 2017

On the other hand...

In the fabulous opening of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye engages in a uniquely Jewish argument: taking two dissenting opinions and agreeing that they are both right. This is possible because of Talmudic study; an exercise in which only Jews can en...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    May 26, 2017

A division of long standing

A disagreement between Jews? Whoda thought? That three Jews in a room could not agree on much—except that they disagree. It is part of our DNA. Look to any Orthodox Study Group and you will see the same arguments dealing with Torah interpretation t...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    April 28, 2017

Where is the pride?

YouTube is one of the marvels of the Electronic age. You can play eight hours of the singers and jazz artists of the 1940s. You can take a Friday and play Yiddish and Israeli music all the way up to Shabbat. And then there are the other sites....

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    March 31, 2017

It's real, it's here-face it

You would think by this point in the 21st century we would have learned. But we delude ourselves into thinking it doesn’t exist. It does. Anti-Semitism is alive and well and growing—right here in the good old U.S. of A. There was a wave of positi...

 

A matter of perspective

In 1950, my family moved to Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It was a lovely, leafy area with stately homes and a storied history. Once my parents bought their home we were shocked to find that just shortly before we moved, a law was...

 

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