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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

When will justice come for the Justice?

By Rabbi Dov Fischer




Ginny Thomas and Anita Hill's teachable moment



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ginny Thomas and Anita Hill are at it. This is quite a story.

Justice Thomas's wife, Ginny, calls Prof. Anita Hill at her Brandeis University office and leaves a voice mail that apparently says, according to ABC News:


"Good morning, Anita Hill. It's Ginny Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought, and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. Okay have a good day."
The call apparently is left on the phone machine at Hill's office at 7:30 a.m.

Hill reacts by contacting the Campus Department of Public Safety, which in turn passes along the message to the FBI.

Our synagogue congregation just recently emerged from the High Holy Day season, a season of forgiveness. During the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we studied — directly in the text of the Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah (Laws of Repentance) — the laws of seeking forgiveness. We considered times when circumstances point to seeking directly from G-d (as when we have transgressed in terms of ritual observance), and situations (as when we have wronged another person) when they point instead, first, to asking forgiveness from the person wronged. There were, through many of the classes and sermons, intelligent questions: "What if we don't ask forgiveness — will G-d forgive us anyway?" "What if we are asked to forgive, but the wrong perpetrated against us makes it too painful to forgive?" There were some really piercing and intelligent questions and some deep discussions. We discussed parameters of forgiveness, even the very tricky and awkward question of how, or even whether, to ask forgiveness if the wronged person does not even know what we did hurtfully behind his back. Sometimes, perhaps in the context of unawareness, it may be best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Here, we see so much of that teaching and those questions playing out in a non-Torah context between two ostensibly accomplished and intelligent women. For our pedagogic purposes, let us assume that the New York Times report is correct — even though we know, from experience, that the New York Times can report incorrectly, too. But let us assume accuracy here.

Is Ginny Thomas forging a bond, seeking to move forward from the past? Is she "reaching out" to Hill, as she has told the newsmedia she is doing? Well, yes, she is reaching out — but . . . in friendship? Or with unresolved anger? Has Ms. Thomas let go of the anger, the resentment of twenty years ago? What is she hoping to accomplish with her phone call? On the one hand, we can say that she essentially meant well, hoping finally to bury the hatchet, or would not have left such a message on a voice machine. On the other hand, Mel Gibson andAlec Baldwin also have left relatively recent messages on voice machines. If they were looking to bury the hatchet, they still — as Garth Brooks once put it - were leaving the handle sticking out.


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And what of Hill? If you had received such a message, from a person whose identity you clearly know, someone you know will not conceivably represent a harm to you — even if you never liked her and still cannot stand her — would you respond to it, particularly if the call were once in a decade (rather than part of a campaign of harassing midnight phone calls)? Would you, if you found such a message inappropriate, merely delete it? Or would you call 9-1-1 and wait for the police, and initiate a process reaching an FBI that, we would hope, is otherwise busy monitoring voice messages from Al Qaeda and from local crime mobs?

The story is sad but profoundly instructive. It is imperative for each of us, little by little, to "let go" of the hurt. We Jews believe, in one of our core 13 beliefs gathered by Maimonides as the essence of Jewish faith, that G-d punishes those who have perpetrated wrongfully, and He rewards those who have acted justly. There is no guarantee that He strikes immediately. Rather, He acts in His own good time, whether dropping a surprise cash award on someone's door, or miraculously healing someone ill . . . or otherwise acting. Sometimes he acts a year later, sometimes two, sometimes ten or twenty years later. But He balances all, consonant with the teaching of Rabbi Hillel recorded in Pirkei Avos, who said when seeing a skull floating on the water: "Because you drowned others, you were drowned — and those who drowned you will themselves ultimately be drowned."

So it is incumbent on us to let go of the hurt. It may take time. No one, but no one, has the moral right to tell someone else in the heat of her hurt exactly when to let go of it, but it must be let go. Certainly, the hurt and evil may be remembered. Sometimes, it must never be forgotten. Thus, it even may be taught to others, as we recount every Yom Kippur what the Romans did to our rabbinic martyrs, and as a new generation builds Holocaust Museum to teach what happened in the 1940s. We may hold the memory, refuse to forget, and teach it to others with a determination that, maybe it will happen again, but never again with such abject Jewish silence the world over . . . and, maybe just maybe, if we resist the tendency towards apathy and silence, then maybe it will not happen again so easily either.

But, even then, we must let go. We mourn the sorrow of a parent's death for a year because, sometimes, maybe the pain is so intense that takes a year to let go. But then we move on. We ultimately have to let go.

If we fail to let go, we emerge with an embarrassing dogfight or catfight between people who have attained prominent positions of achievement in our society. If we fail to let go, we cannot reach the zenith of our potential. We cannot perfect our souls to their apex. Warm and loving people around us shy away, while we attract bitter and vengeful friends who listen patiently to our bitterness in exchange for enjoying our audience to hear them rant about theirs. No one enjoys the stereotypically curmudgeonly man or bitter woman.

By contrast, as we let go — yes, remembering and knowing what was done to us and who did it; but moving on with love, warmth, and humor — we attract the kinds of people we most would cherish as friends: people who victories and joys we celebrate, even as they rejoice in our achievements and great moments. And we leave it to G-d Almighty to reckon accounts with a Perfect Justice that only He can mete.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Dov Fischer is an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and serves as the rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County.


Previously:


On gin joints and Divine destiny

To be alone
Give Your Rabbi a Break

© 2010, Rabbi Dov Fischer