Articles written by Jim Shipley

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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...

 

Two Jews walk into a room

Well, what happens if they don’t? This month, a bunch of Europeans and others walked into a room in Paris to decide what actually had already been decided in 1947 and discussed continually since then: That the best solution for the Holy Land of...

 

Oy! What a year!

While as Jews we celebrate our own New Year with a religious flourish for 10 days, usually in the fall, tell me you won’t do at least a little family and friends this weekend. What a year, right? It looks mightily like we will, in this country of...

 

The 'Fighting Jew'

I have begun re-reading Menachem Begin’s book “The Revolt—The Story of the Irgun.” It still makes fascinating reading some 60 to 70 years after its original publication. The book opens with Begin having a spirited discussion with his Soviet i...

 

Going to war against a Movement

I wrote some thoughts down, posted them on my Facebook page and wrote a truncated version to the Orlando Sentinel, which was printed as a letter to the editor. So, here are some further ramblings. 9/11 was a tragedy. We have had a few in our...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    July 29, 2016

Time was

When he was younger, our son Adam (now in his 50s) asked me “Dad, what will happen when the last old Jewish guy dies?” What he meant, metaphorically, was what do he and his generation do when they no longer have access to the stories, the culture...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    June 24, 2016

Good for the Jews?

There is an old Jewish joke (are there any new Jewish jokes?) about a young man rushing in to his grandmother’s kitchen in 1969 and exclaiming “Bubbe! We just landed a man on the moon!” The grandmother stopped chopping liver and looked up. She...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    May 27, 2016

Follow the money

There is a war going on in the United States. It is being fought on college campuses across the nation. This battle is not about Affirmative Action or the ridiculous costs of a college education. Not even about Bernie and Hillary—that’s a...

 
 By Jim Shipley    Opinions    April 29, 2016

Bernie, BDS and the Saudis

Bernie Sanders drew a reported 28,000 people to a rally in Brooklyn. That’s a lot of folks for a 74-year-old man to draw to a speech. But, it doesn’t seem to translate into wins in primaries. Bernie has struck a chord with unhappy Democrats (and...

 

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