Shabbat with Ukraine’s Refugees

A group of volunteers from Israel has been helping Ukrainian Jews as they make their way to the Holy Land. Cole Aronson writes about his Shabbat with refugees in the Moldovan capital of Chișinău (formerly Kishinev):

Tonight is different from all other nights. “Stand and leave the tumult; too long have you lived in the valley of tears” reads the third verse of L’kha Dodi, the central hymn of Friday night’s liturgy. Tonight, God has brought these people to a safe waystation between war in Ukraine and a Jewish nation free in its land.

A man in his early thirties standing next to me knows the first few lines of the sh’ma, the central Jewish prayer recited twice each day, which he says, eyes shut, while holding an infant son. After he finishes his own recitation, he gestures at me to say the rest of my own prayer louder, so he and his child can hear what our ancestors have said for thousands of years. After the sh’ma, we continue: “He is the Lord our God, there is none besides Him, and we are Israel His people. The One who saves us from the grasp of kings—our King, who redeems us from the hands of tyrants . . . ”

In Kishinev, these lines aren’t a memory but a description. My sh’ma companion, his son, and the others are traveling to new lives under the guard of a Jewish army, itself much of the answer to two millennia of dispersal and powerlessness.

Read more at Common Sense

More about: Judaism, Moldava, Refugees, Sh'ma, Shabbat, War in Ukraine


Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University