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AJC Avraham Harman Leadership Award

My husband Peter and I are honored to be receiving this award on Monday, November 29, 2010 in New York City.

Please join us –

The St. Regis
Two East 55th Street at Fifth Avenue
New York City
6:00 PM

More information >>

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Update 11/13/10 – My message to the audience in Miami was that our priority – regardless of our individual level of observance, or the depth of our faith in God, we still, all of us, Jews by Birth, Jews by Choice, and Jews by Osmosis, must first start with the study of the Biblical narrative – our historical, oldest narrative, containing our roots – spiritually, politically, and psychologically. The audience was enthralled and it was a heartwarming event.

IF YOU MISSED IT, AND YOU LIVE IN THE DC AREA:

I will be speaking on this topic again next month:

Congregation Har Tzeon – Agudath Achim
Silver Spring, MD
December 18, 2010
10:00 am

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I am pleased to be giving the following lecuture in Miami:

3 Secrets of a Happy Jewish Identity: Study, Defiance & Joy

For more information, or if you would like to attend, please visit: www. caje-miam.org/melton.

It is free to the public, and hosted at Temple Sinai of North Dade.

Check out the video

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No To Mosque at 9/11 Site!

Pope John II, a sensitive spiritual statesman and leader, persuaded the Order of Carmalite nuns from establishing a monastery right next to Auchwitz – it was a matter of sensitivity and another satisfactory location was found. Hiroshima happened 65 years ago, and only now with enough time and healing are Americans included. The 9/11 was just a few short years ago! Please spare us the pain and move the mosque to another location.

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This week, the tragic death of former NFL QB Steve McNair and his lady friend, was blasted all over the news.

Indeed, it is tragic. However, McNair did not die for us; he did not sacrifice himself for our country.

On the other hand, the very young Marines in the blistering heat, carrying more than 100lbs of equipment on their backs, and “schlepping” through unknown and rugged terrain, in what the commanders have acknowledged to be one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan –get little individual media attention.

It seems to me that the kudos and coverage that McNair is getting, is out of proportion with the sacrifice, bravery, and price that the 10,000 marines are paying.

Let’s get balanced in the media – our values are screwed up.

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As the author of After the Apple – Women In The Bible: Timeless Stories of Love, Lust, and Longing, I devote chapter 9 of my book to the relationship between David and Bat Sheba.

The story of David’s adulterous relationship brings to mind Governor Sanford’s recent episode.  The Governor has said that he is using David as a role model, and that like the Biblical King, he plans to put the “pieces together.”

But Governor, not so fast, it is not that simple….

David’s story is a prime example of the Bible’s “tough love” approach to life. The Bible is compassionate when it acknowledges that humans are fallible, but it also holds us responsible for our actions. It teaches us that sexual behavior must be subordinate to a tradition of moral and ethical beliefs and restraints. It’s not so much whom we lie with, but whom we lie to.

When David flouts the biblical law, the consequences of his behavior impinge on the future lives of his family. The death of the baby born to the illicit relationship is both historical, and serves as metaphor to the dire consequences that followed his actions. David remains King and humbly confesses his sin, but his private life is strewn with tragedy and he ceases to be a moral authority to his children.

The Bible’s next point is to teach us in no uncertain terms that neither king nor pauper is ever above the law. Both must abide equally by the law’s boundaries and parameters. Repentance helps in the healing process, but at the same time our actions and choices will bear consequences to which we all must hold ourselves responsible.

While the Governor draws on some parts of the David story, it’s important that he study the story in its entirety in order to gain the full measure of its wisdom.

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Made in God’s Image?

Each month I will post an item for discussion within the community.

It is my hope that this blog will help bring you back to the biblical narrative as a source of wisdom, guidance, and purpose.

Topic: “Made In God’s Image?”

Discussion: In one of my recent meetings with my Oasis group, we were discussing how amazed we were at the mystery of the statement that we are all “Made in God’s image,” and yet, the mystery is that God has no image.

As we delved deeper, the two main points became clearer: On one hand we are privileged, unlike the animal world, to be made in the image of the divine, but that alone will produce hubris; So, hand-in-hand with this comes responsibility. And the responsibility is, “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it, and rule the fish of the sea; the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on the earth…” Genesis 1:28. We must take responsibility for the welfare of the world. A balance is needed in our lives.

All creatures, regardless of gender, race, and economics are made “In The Image” and the group discussed the fact that the seeds of democracy are planted in this overarching biblical theme that we are all of equal worth and unique.

Thought: Do you agree with this interpretation? How do you explain the contradiction of “In His Image” when there is no image?

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