Some of you may be Game of Thrones followers—I have never seen it. For me, I am enthralled with the current winning streak of Jeopardy champion James Holzhauer. I love trivia, and I love gambling. James has put the two together in a way never seen before. Another confession: last week after he reached the $1 million mark in winnings, I started to wonder if he was Jewish (he’s not), but upon a Google search about it, a charming story of the most successful second place finisher against James came up. Adam Levin set a record as the best loser Jeopardy has ever had.
Jeopardy is more than the name of a game show, however. It is a state of being exposed to injury, danger or death. It has also been top of mind this past week. We just participated in a meaningful service of reflection and community hosted by the area Chabad Houses in response to the shooting in Poway, California. This is another example of the manifestation of hate against Jews (and other groups as it never seems to be just one minority that a shooter is after).
At nearly the same time, we learned that famed “Gray Lady” (New York Times) published an anti-Semitic political cartoon in their international addition. I am appreciative of Bret Stephens Op-Ed in that very paper criticizing and calling for action for having published it as well as the NYTs Editorial Board apologizing as well, but at what point does a recurring error over time become inexcusable? When my childhood rabbi taught about tshuvah (repentance), I took to heart two major concepts. First, was that after three sincere apologies to someone you have wronged, if they choose not to forgive you, it is now on them. You are absolved. Secondly, tshuvah loses its meaning when you continue to commit the same transgression. Repetition of the act undermines the authentic nature of the repentance that is required.
As I have written before, I observe a growing commonality between the extreme right and White Nationalists and the extreme left as it relates to their views of Jews, Judaism and Israel. It is incongruent to respect Israel as a country, but hate Jews as it is equally so to love and care about Jews, but shout “from the river to the sea,” engage in BDS or hate Israel.
As it relates to communal security, your Jewish Federation is moving quickly since the inception of our Community Security Initiative to do what we can to provide education, guidance and resources (financial and otherwise) to help improve security across our entire community. Under the leadership of Bill Humphrey, our Director of Community Security, we are making great strides in a fairly short period of time. Bill came to us after retiring this past December from the Dallas Police Department as Deputy Chief. He oversaw SWAT, counter- terrorism, intelligence and other key departments. Needless to say, we feel safer when Bill is here.
1) A storied game show where a contestant is given the answer and must provide the corresponding question.
2) A too common feeling among our Jewish community in these times
What is Jeopardy?
PS - Want to see what else I've been saying? Check out my past articles.