Monday, December 10, 2012

Gone Fishing...

Actually, I am not much for fishing but I have stopped updating this blog. Feel free to browse older entries here or check out Lifting Sinai, Temple Sinai's blog, which includes my latest entries.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I'm working on site feeds and other ways to link this blog with Facebook and Twitter but until then...

I am now tweeting @jon_roos

Thanks to my trusted advisor, Shemesh, I also understand that nobody tweets with an underscore in their screen name.  Haters gonna hate anyway so I'm not changing it.  I understand I may be a total loser.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Death and Dishonor

The recently released video of US Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters dishonors our country and demands punishment.  However, the outrage also struck me as odd.  I once heard Sister Helen Prejean talk about the way the death penalty sows hate in our society.  In order to kill someone under the banner of legal, state-sponsored action, we all have to hate that person to the point that we dehumanize them first.  Nobody wants the state to murder a person with human value and dignity equal to our own.  But monsters? Those we can kill.  Likewise with war.  It should not surprise us that the people we have trained and sent to remote corners of the world for multiple, year-long tours to hunt and kill our enemies would celebrate their success in this way any more than it surprises us when Rob Gronkowsi spikes the ball with such energy after a touchdown.  In fact, we seem to prefer that kind of response, Gronking, to quieter more "honorable" responses like Tebowing (students from a NY high school were suspended for Tebowing; nobody's been suspended for Gronking).

Sebastian Junger's Washington Post piece, We're all guilty of dehumanizing the enemy, says it best: "As a society, we may be disgusted by seeing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters, but we remain oddly unfazed by the fact that, presumably, those same Marines just put bullets through the fighters’ chests."

Something is definitely wrong here, but it's not with those marines alone.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beit Shemesh

In case you have not been following the stories from Israel about religious efforts to impose greater control over women in the public sphere.  A recent opinion piece in the NY Jewish Week tells of the "recent YouTube video, gone viral, highlights the activity of abusive haredi activists in Beit Shemesh who are hurling insults and epithets at females whom they believe are not dressing properly."

You can see this news story from Israeli TV about the situation, be sure to close the ads on the bottom of the screen so you can read the English subtitles.

Read the full Jewish Week article here.

Rabbi Asch will address this topic in her sermon this Friday night at services.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Clean Yourself Up

I just did it and I hope you will, too. I joined Temple Sinai's WIN/Clean Currents partnership. The temple gets a $20 donation, you get electricity sourced from renewable (wind) producers and you show your support for the Sinai-WIN partnership.

Get out your PEPCO Bill (you'll need the account number) and click here: