New from T’ruah
On May 22, Haaretz reported that American billionaire Irving Moskowitz has purchased an old church compound in the West Bank, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The settlers for whom he bought this property have been secretly refurbishing it in preparation for moving in. Moskowitz pulled this off using a shell company in Sweden and a non-profit organization in the United States. (Read Haaretz's follow-up coverage.)
That means that U.S. tax dollars are subsidizing constructing a settlement whose sensitive location threatens the possibility of any two-state solution.
A d'var Torah for Parashat Naso by Rabbi Michael Lezak
“Joseph’s master had him put in prison…but even while he was there in prison, God was with Joseph.” -Genesis 39:20-21
Bulletproof glass separates me and my congregant. David [not his real name] and I sit opposite one another, in identical, soundproof, cinder-block visiting cubicles at a prison an hour’s drive from my home. He’s wearing a loose-fitting prison-orange v-neck with a black crewneck underneath. As our eyes connect, we smile. He reaches for the gray plastic phone attached to the wall on his side. I reach for mine. “Hi David, it’s really good to see you.”
“Rabbi Lezak, thank you so much for coming. Tell me how you’ve been. How’s your family? How are things back at the temple?” Months behind bars had not dimmed the menschy light that I recognized in David when we first met many years prior. On the tabletop in front of him sat a ballpoint pen, a yellow legal notepad, and a soft-bound JPS Tanakh.