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Rosh Hashanah Girl

From the creative minds of Michelle Citrin and the Jewish Robot & Shabot 6000’s creator, William Levin comes this video Rosh Hashanah Girl – a spoof on the Obama video, Obama Girl.

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Finkelstein to fast this Yom Kippur

The professor who cannot stop his vicious self-hatred has been mothballed by DePaul. When he was denied tenure, it was only a matter of time. According to the Chicago Tribune, his name initially appeared on the class list and then was removed. DePaul placed him on paid leave for the entire year, but Norman will have nothing of it.

Finkelstein told the [Tribune] that he planned to wage his own campaign against the administration.

“I intend to go to my office on the first day of classes and, if my way is barred, to engage in civil disobedience,” Finkelstein said. “If arrested, I’ll go on a hunger strike. If released, I’ll do it all over again. I’ll fast in jail for as long as it takes.”

Classes start on September 5th. Assuming that Norman does go to his former office on Sept. 5th, he could in theory sit there the whole day until business hours are over. According to the Illinois Compiled Statues (720 ILCS 5/21-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 21-3) a person can legally enter a public building, and if not bothering anyone, can stay. Ever if he were to stay there after they close, most likely the worst offense is a class A or B criminal misdemeanor. Hardly the kind of thing that gets you locked up in jail long enough to have a hunger strike.

In order to really get locked up for a longer period of time, he would have to do something more drastic and take a bigger risk than just trespassing. He could refuse to speak, and be completely non-cooperative. If there is a court order barring him from DePaul, and he trespasses, that could put him in more hot water. If he were to break into his old office, that would be even harsher.

I don’t really see him sitting in jail for more than a few hours, since they have better things to do in Chicago than allow this dude to make a hunger strike, when they have violent criminals that need cell-space.

If Norman is serious about a hunger strike—hardly the kind of thing to do if you hope to get hired at any school—then the hunger strike will have to be at DePaul to get any attention. And figuring that the arrest and release and arrest cycle plays out a few times, it could very be that come September 21st, Norm might be fasting somewhere.

The Halacha is Norman that if a person fasts on Yom Kippur without kavanna (that is Hebrew for conscious intent) that the fast is for Yom Kippur and repentance, they still receive the benefit of the fast.

Instead of seeking vengeance — consider doing some introspection as to why you ended up in this place. Instead of continuing to blame the Zionists and Dershowitz for your troubles, try taking some responsibility for your actions. DePaul didn’t give you tenure because of your unbecoming pugilistic nature, not respecting other views, and getting into personal and vicious arguments on the national stage. (And not because you lack language skills or poor scholarship.)

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As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the gates of repentance are open to you at every moment. It is precisely when a person has reached a critical stage, that they are sometimes able to look and see the error of their ways.

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Human error

Get out of bed, cry out in the night; pour out your heart like water before the face of Hashem…(Eicha 2:19)

Todays is a national day of mourning observed for nearly 2000 years on the anniversary of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem. Basically, both Temples were destroyed because of human error. There was no computer malfunction. There were no acts of “god”. There was no overloaded control systems, and no faulty wiring.

While human nature is to always blame others when things go wrong – the Jewish way of remembering the human error which destroyed the Temples is to accept responsibility for what happened. And I don’t mean in the “I take full responsibility for what happened” way that public figures say when they are caught cheating, which almost sounds like they are sorry, but they are not. No, we actually accepted responsibility for the errors, established a day of mourning and fasting, and seek atonement even today.

And while much attention is rightly focused on the destroyed city of Jerusalem and other national tragedies over the last 200 centuries, the only way to go about fixing the errors is with corrective action today and in the future. The past human errors cannot be erased. Only future human error can be avoided. The human error which caused the hard drive to crash and meltdown, the security breach, the data loss, and the system malfunction, can be fixed with a simple do-it-yourself patch, and software upgrade.

The patch is Ahavas Yisroel aka love your fellow Jew i.e. network sharing and open sourcing , and the the upgrade is available by free download. Simply pour out year heart like water before God about so much trouble in the world – your own, your peoples, the world’s – and the software will be installed automatically.

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Liberation from Hunger

Rav Kook said that Passover and the Exodus from Egypt brought the power of liberation to the entire world.

Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger Worldwide
Jewish World Watch: Helping Darfur Refugees
Be’er Sova: Ending hunger in Be’er Sheva
Meir Panim: Soup Kitchens in Israel