Showing posts with label Supreme Court. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Supreme Court. Show all posts

March 31, 2019

Meeting The Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Remembering Amos Oz."

Wow, this was so awesome today--I got to shake hands with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

We went to the memorial today for famous Israeli author, Amos Oz. 
I love Oz’s literary works–he is a genius–even as I find myself disagreeing with some of his ideology: Yes, I agree with his humanism and the need to have peace with the Palestinians, but also I am steadfast that Israel must remain strong in the face of the numerous threats it faces, especially after the terrible lessons of the Holocaust. However, as much as I came to honor Oz, I felt is was a dishonor to him that the memorial was in great part turned into a political discourse for leftists (even as it was stated that Oz himself separated his pens for literature and politics).

I am convinced that in the end, it will be the moderates, and not the proliferating extremists (left or right) that bring peace, security, and justice to Israel and the Palestinians. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

October 5, 2018

Justice Under The Microscope

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "We Are All Kavanaugh."
Under the microscope of the media, political pundits, and the FBI, no one is guiltless. 

When it comes to promoting and appointing people to the highest positions of our great nations, businesses, and organizations, we need to ensure the highest integrity. 

At the same time, we need to weigh the good and the bad in people, and not hold them to a bar that no one can live up to. 

This is a difficult time for the nation where we must always protect women's rights and also protect people from being presumed guilty.  

Let's hope for Heaven's guidance in ensuring a good decision for the Supreme court and the Justice System.  

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 20, 2018

Justice Is Absent

This artist rendering of "Law and Disorder in the Court" reminded me of what is going on now with the nomination hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. 

This is not a vetting process, but political chicanery, as Dr. Christine Blaseley Ford comes forward with last-minute allegations of groping from a high school party almost 40-years ago. 

Being a #MeToo victim of a serial sexual predator in elementary school, I understand the severity of these acts and the injustice of the abusers going scot-free their whole lives. 

Yet the timing of this right before the Judiciary Panel vote, the single accuser, the 40-years that have passed without a peep, the lack of anyone corroborating the story, the holding of the accusation for almost 2-months all create at least an air of suspicion on this whole thing. 

I truly empathize with any victim of sexual abuse, and for that matter the victim of any violent abuse or assault, and I too seek justice for these victims.

However, this latest political theatre is once again undermining our system of democracy and the ability to get anything done. 

Trust in the system is broken because criminals go unpunished, and also because anyone can be accused of anything any time with barely a shred of evidence. "Innocent until proven guilty" has been chucked out the window. 

The breakdown of the system of cooperation, compromise, and commitment to progress irrespective of politics in the halls of Washington, D.C. is perhaps the biggest threat that we as a nation now face.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 27, 2015

Supreme Court Of People and Of Heaven

So yes, I am a firm believer in live and let live. 

That goes for long time friends that have actually converted away from our cherished Jewish traditions to friends or relatives that choose a gay or lesbian lifestyle--it's their choice!

And everyone has free choice to do what they think is right--that is the nature of free choice--if we weren't free to choose, then how could we be responsible for our choices?

But what I am confused about sincerely with the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in legalizing marriage for gays and lesbians is not the concept of where everyone is equal under the law, but the open contradiction with the Torah (Biblical) texts that I am familiar with since I was a child in Yeshiva:

1) Leviticus 18:22--"Thou shalt not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 

2) Leviticus 20:13--"If a male lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death, their blood is upon them."

I understand that many advocating for gays and lesbians have explained these texts as no longer applicable today (ref: Huffington Post):

- That the Biblical passages "do not refer to homosexuality as we know it today" (i.e. those that are consensual, not cultic rites, etc. )

- That they "are conditioned by the cultural and historical realities of the authors" and one needs to consider the greater biblical context for G-d's love and caring of all. 

But looking at the strict text of these passages, they don't seem to read as conditional (there are no conditions identified), and for those that believe that the Torah is divine (written by G-d) and is timeless, then how do we reconcile it with our wanting to be loving and accepting of ALL people who aren't hurting themselves or anyone else?

Adding to the confusion, we read just this week about extremists like ISIS killing gays by brutally throwing them off of roofs and routinely about arch enemy Iran hanging them in the public square. 

Also going in my mind is the question of there being separation of church and state in this country, yet does legalizing gay and lesbian marriage affirm that separation or does it cross it by legislating against the strict scripture that many hold inviolate. 

Similar to the debate on abortion rights, these are where modern day-to-day issues and traditional religious teachings and values can be difficult to harmonize. 

I am truly happy for gays and lesbians that they can marry if they choose and find their happiness--everyone deserves this, but religiously, I am left unsure of how to reconcile this with the Torah as written. 

Can we think that we are free to choose the individual commandments we believe in or not or to find explanations where we don't understand them or they don't make sense to us--if so, how do we know we are doing what G-d wants of us or whether we are going astray?

In the end here the Supreme Court affirmed the right to choose and to respect all people under the law--this is fundamental to our basic beliefs in freedom, human rights, and love of our fellow man.  

But in so doing, will some see this as encroaching on G-d's law and if so, what is the impact to those that are deeply religious and/or hold strictly heterosexual marriage as sacrosanct?

Surely each person must follow the dictates of their conscience which G-d has granted us, but pitting the Supreme Court of us earthly beings potentially against that of Heaven--this is a truly tricky and slippery slope to understand and reconcile. ;-)

(Source Photo: Twitter @WhiteHouse)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 1, 2013

Washington DC In 1892

This is a beautiful lithograph from Currier and Ives that I came across of Washington D.C.

It is called Chesapeake Bay Area - The City of Washington. 

It's amazing how much less developed things were just a little more than a century ago. 

You can clearly see the major landmarks and institutions like The Capitol, the Washington Monument, and The White House, but not much else in terms of government.

Notice that even the Supreme Court building isn't there--it wasn't completed until 1935. 

We are a fast-growing and advancing society with a maturing government and capital city that today makes this historical photo look almost as if it's from fairy tale. 

It's nice to look back and see how far we've come and introspect on where we are going. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark