Showing posts from November, 2021

Fear, in Jacob's day and in our own: Comments on Parashat Vayishlach and the Rittenhouse verdict

  This is adapted from my sermon on November 20, 2021 at the United Synagogue of Hoboken, referencing the Rittenhouse verdict: About 30 years ago, the award-winning Israeli novelist David Grossman wrote this children’s book, איתמר פוגש ארנב - “Itamar meets a rabbit.” It’s a story about a boy named Itamar who loves animals of all kinds, except that he is terrified of rabbits. He is so scared of rabbits that he refuses to even look at a picture of a rabbit in a book. He is so scared of rabbits that when he goes to the zoo, he makes his parents warn him when they are approaching the rabbit cage so he can close his eyes. As a result, the only ‘rabbits’ he has ever seen are in his imagination. They are huge and ferocious and they eat children, and they even have teeth on their tails. Until one day, Itamar is in the forest and sees an adorable little creature that he has never seen before, and he strikes up a conversation with this animal, at which time he learns two surprising facts. (a