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Interesting quotes from famous Jews
My father never lived to see his dream come true of an
I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up. They have no holidays.
Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So, for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one.
The time is at hand when the wearing of a prayer shawl and skullcap will not bar a man from the White House, unless, of course, the man is Jewish.
Even if you are Catholic, if you live in New York, you're Jewish. If you live in Butte, Montana, you are going to be a goy even if you are Jewish.
The remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us forty years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil!
Even a secret agent can't lie to a Jewish mother.
My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.
It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it.
Don't be humble; you are not that great.
I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I had lost exactly two weeks.
-Joe E. Lewis
A spoken contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying.
Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.
A politician is a man who will double cross that bridge when he comes to it.
Too bad that all the people who know how to run this country are busy driving taxis and cutting hair.
A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.
I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.
Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done.
When I bore people at a party, they think it is their fault.
"DAILY JEWISH WISDOM" is found @ Beliefnet.com
Fear builds walls to bar the light. - Baal Shem Tov
Engage in Torah and charity even with an ulterior motive, for that habit of right doing will lead also to right motivation. - Talmud: Pesahim, 50b
The sword comes into the world because of justice delayed and because of justice perverted.- Ethics of the Fathers 5:8
Ever since Rabbi Akiba used the Passover seder to plan a revolutionary struggle against the Roman occupiers, the Jews have used the seder to begin concrete work on tikkun (healing and transformation).
- Rabbi Michael Lerner, the Tikkun Magazine Passover supplement 2006
To work out ends of righteousness and love are you called; not merely to enjoy or suffer.
- S.R. Hirsch, "Nineteen Letters," 1836
“Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself.” Golda Meir
The worship of God, though desirable as an end itself, can somehow never be in the right spirit, unless it impels one to the service of man. - Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan
Concentrate on three things and you will not fall into the grip of sin. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before Whom you will have to give account and reckoning.- Pirkei Avot 3:1
We cannot learn from general principles: there may be exceptions. - Johanan, Talmud: Kiddushin
A truly generous man is he that always gives, whether it be much or little, before he is asked.- Orchot Tsadiqim
The best security for old age: respect your children.- Sholem Asch
A Jew can be Jewish with God, against God, but not without God.- Elie Wiesel
He who promotes his own honor at the expense of his neighbor's has no portion in the world to come.- Judah b. Hanina, Genesis Rabbah
Even if all the world tells you, "You are righteous," consider yourself a sinner. - Rabbi Simlai
Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism and falsehood. The liturgical movement must become a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that continue to destroy the promise, the hope, the vision.- Abraham Joshua Heschel, "On Prayer"
Lose with truth and right rather than gain with falsehood and wrong.- Maimonides, "Tzavaah"
Seek the good in everyone, and reveal it, bring it forth.- Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1811), "Likutey Moharan"
Just as we love ourselves despite the faults we know we have, so should we love our neighbors despite the faults we see in them.- Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov
A man should never impose an overpowering fear upon his household. - Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 6b
If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.- The Talmud
Love unaccompanied by criticism is not love....Peace unaccompanied by reproof is not peace.- Genesis Rabbah 54:3
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CVRnews.com on Rabbi Adele plus 2016 interview articles and letter
|8/21/2013 9:08:00 AM|
She studied to become a rabbi
"Tikun Olam" is a beautiful Hebrew saying that means "fixing the world."
Adele Plotkin of Chino Valley, who reads and writes Hebrew fluently, lived in Israel for many years. She decided a few years ago to become a rabbi. She just recently finished her schooling at Rabbinical Seminary International in New York.
"After moving here, I felt a need in the community and I am very community minded, so after encouragement from a Rabbi friend of mine, I decided to become a Rabbi," Adele said.
"Becoming a rabbi and the things I had to learn wasn't that hard for me because I grew up with it," she added.
Some of the qualifications Adele had to have to become a Rabbi were to study other religions, know Hebrew, know the Tanach (known to Christians as the Old Testament), and read the Torah to name a few.
"The goal of Judaism is not to preach to people, but to encourage them to think through the problems of society in an ethical fashion and therefore help build a better community," Adele explained.
In the Jewish religion there are many ancient customs they observe like items of clothing during prayers.
"During prayer and study I wear a 'Tallis' (a prayer shawl) and I always wear the skull cap as a reminder that I need to live by the law," said Adele.
Another custom done during the holidays of Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur is the blowing of a rams horn.
"The symbol of blowing the ram horn is to open the gates of heaven so God will listen to our prayers," Adele smiled.
Adele enjoys being a Rabbi because she loves helping people.
"I like being a Rabbi knowing I can help others in need and to go forward in life in a better fashion," said Adele.
Another Hebrew word that Adele lives by and it would be nice if everyone did, and she explained the meaning of was "Sovlanut" which means, Accepting ourselves and others in their imperfections and working together in peaceful cooperation to make the world a better place.
Adele can be reached at 928-237-0390.
There are many comments of all sorts after each article and the mayor's statement as well as a few letters to the editor. An interesting read if one likes seeing the variety of characters we have here to coexist with... Both at the CVR Review website and their facebook page...
Rabbi Adele Plotkin said she received assurances from the Town of Chino Valley that its prayers at council meetings were neutral, not favoring any specific religion. She said she’s disappointed that is not the case. (Ken Sain/Review)
Chino Valley criticized for praying in name of Jesus
Councilmember objects to anyone objecting to Christian prayers
Chino Valley Councilmember Lon Turner said he was offended that she was offended.
The issue is the invocation that starts each Town Council meeting. One of the members of the council usually gives it, and it almost always ends with, 'We pray in Jesus's name."
At the Dec. 8 council meeting, Brown spoke out during call to the public.
"You may not realize this, but not everyone who attends these meetings is Christian," Brown told the Council. "And when you say at the end, 'in Jesus Christ's name,' it's very offensive. I'm not Christian, and I think you need to take this into account."
She suggested they consider making changes to respect the diversity in the community.
Following its custom, a member of council gives the response to the public at the next scheduled meeting. Mayor Chris Marley said Turner specifically asked to give the response in this case at the Jan. 12 meeting.
"I want her to know that I'll pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, so help me God," Turner said. "And when I pray, I'll pray in Jesus's name. See here in the United States of America many men and women have died for your freedom of religion. That does not give you the right to tread on mine, nor my right of free expression. If the idea of my prayer offends you, then that offends me."
In May 2014 the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that local governments could open meetings with a prayer in the Greece, N.Y. vs. Galloway case.
There are differences between how Greece, N.Y. and Chino Valley handle invocations that lawyers would no doubt exploit.
In Greece, a minister was invited in to do the invocation and the town did not review or in any way attempt to tell them what to say. Staff went through the town directory and invited all ministers, it just happened that there were only Christians churches listed in the directory.
In Chino Valley, a member of the council gives the invocation, making the argument of separation of church and state a little less clear. And there is a non-Christian congregation listed in the town's directory.
"I did ask a couple of years ago [to give the invocation at a town meeting] and was told very specifically, 'No, no, no, we don't take in clergy - we do it ourselves," said Rabbi Adele Plotkin of the Beit Torah Jewish congregation in Chino Valley. "But they assured me then that it was neutral, which apparently it isn't."
Plotkin said she's been asked to give the invocation before council meetings in Prescott and Prescott Valley and said those two governments have a policy of neutral prayers that don't favor any one religion.
Some town governments, after the Greece, N.Y. ruling, have even invited atheists to give the invocation because in writing the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy urged local governments to respect minority religions and views in their communities.
"In rejecting the suggestion that legislative prayer must be nonsectarian, the Court does not imply that no constraints remain on its content," Kennedy wrote. "The relevant constraint derives from its place at the opening of legislative sessions, where it is meant to lend gravity to the occasion and reflect values long part of the Nation's heritage.
"Prayer that is solemn and respectful in tone, that invites law makers to reflect upon shared ideals and common ends before they embark on the fractious business of governing, serves that legitimate function. If the course and practice over time shows that the invocations denigrate nonbelievers or religious minorities, threaten damnation, or preach conversion, many present may consider the prayer to fall short of the desire to elevate the purpose of the occasion and to unite lawmakers in their common effort. That circumstance would present a different case than the one presently before the Court."
Marley, who was a full-time pastor at Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott before moving to Chino Valley, said the council did allow a non-Christian to deliver the invocation in the past.
"Three or four years ago we had a Native American prayer that was read for the invocation," he said. "That was pretty cool."
Marley said the council does not discuss its response to the public before it is given and that the person giving the response speaks for themselves and not the entire council.
"We have folks of several different faiths who are council members," Marley said. "But I don't know the religion of all of them."
A national atheist group, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, said it faxed a letter to Town Hall to object to the practice.
"Though courts have permitted prayer at government meetings in limited instances, they have not allowed government officials to give those prayers in their official capacity," the letter states. It is signed by Madeline Ziegler, Esq., a legal fellow with the foundation.
After hearing Turner's response, Brown said she was disappointed by it.
"I think it would be more appropriate to have an invocation that would be all inclusive and say, in God's name. Then you wouldn't offend any part of our population. I think that's a fair way to handle it.
"By no means was this a criticism of the religion, it was just [asking them] to be respectful of everybody who comes to that meeting."
Plotkin, who has been one of two rabbis in Chino Valley since 2009, said that she leads a small group of people in services each week, usually rotating between their homes in town.
She said for major Jewish holidays, a local church has agreed to let them use part of their facility and does all it can to create a neutral environment.
"That kind of prayer is religious coercion," Plotkin said. "You have to have respect, and that's something that these people trying to push their religion on others don't have."
Follow Ken Sain on Twitter at @ksainjr. Reach him at 928-445-3333, Ext. 2021, or or email him at [email protected]
February 6, 2016
2/3/2016 6:30:00 AM
Chino Valley mayor temporarily suspends invocation
Council wants to discuss criticism in work study session
Chino Valley Mayor Chris Marley announced at the Jan. 27 Town Council meeting that they would not have an invocation then, or at its next meeting. Council wants to discuss the invocation at its next work study session because of recent criticism over praying in
Chino Valley Mayor Chris Marley announced at the Jan. 27 Town Council meeting that they would not have an invocation then, or at its next meeting. Council wants to discuss the invocation at its next work study session because of recent criticism over praying in "Jesus' name."
Chino Valley Mayor Chris Marley announced at the Tuesday, Jan. 26 Town Council meeting that the usual invocation would be suspended for that meeting and the next scheduled meeting on Feb. 9 because of criticism of praying in Jesus' name.
Instead, Marley called for a moment of silence so those who wish to pray could do so before the meeting began.
"This guy right here [pointing to Vice-Mayor Darryl Croft], he told me, he said we need to be able to sit and talk as a council at the study session," Marley said. "When we did the communications part [last study session] the rest of council let me know that I can't really speak for the entire council, I can speak for myself.
"We need to sit and discuss that."
Because of open public meeting laws, the council as a group cannot discuss issues facing the town privately, Marley pointed out.
The invocation issue is on the agenda for the Feb. 9 meeting, with a recommended action of directing staff to make changes to the town's policy. There was no indication in the agenda what those changes might be.
The tradition of the Chino Valley Town Council is that one of its members leads the invocation. Resident Sherry Brown, who is a member of the Governing Board of the Chino Valley Unified School District, objected during call to the public at the council's Dec. 8 meeting with a prayer that ended, "We pray in Jesus' name."
Council member Lon Turner gave the response to the public at the Jan. 12 meeting, saying he objected to her objection. Turner stressed last week that he was objecting to her efforts at curtailing his free speech, not to her religious beliefs. He said he felt the headline in the Jan. 20 Chino Valley Review did not accurately reflect his statement.
Before announcing they would suspend the invocation for two meetings, Marley wrote a "Mayor's report" that appeared in the Jan. 27 Review saying that he wanted the invocations to continue and that council members should be able to pray according to their own beliefs, but that accommodations would be made because of the criticism.
"From his statement, it's apparent that Mayor Marley continues to fail to understand the constitutional restrictions placed on him and the rest of the Town Council when they are acting in their official capacities," wrote Madeline Ziegler, a legal fellow with the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin. That group has represented atheists and others who are concerned about religion in government across the country.
"Town Council members, sitting in the Council chambers at a Town Council meeting, do not have a right to "pray according to the dictates of their own consciences." At those meetings, Mr. Turner, for example, is not Lon Turner, private citizen, with the right to free exercise of religion. He is Councilman Turner, representative of Chino Valley, Arizona, who has a constitutional duty to remain neutral on religious matters to avoid giving the appearance that the Town favors Christianity."
She wrote that she hoped the council would rethink public prayers when they discuss the issue.
"It is encouraging that the mayor has suspended the prayers and is bringing the matter up for discussion. Hopefully this will give him and the Council time to realize that the government cannot use its power to coerce local citizens, some of whom are not Christian, to join government representatives in praying to Jesus."
Rabbi Adele Plotkin, who leads Beit Torah, a Jewish congregation in Chino Valley, said she believes there is still room for prayer at the meeting, but suggests the town follow the models of Prescott and Prescott Valley, which is to invite local clergy and other citizens to do the invocation in a manner that doesn't exclude any religious beliefs. For example, instead of ending a prayer with "in Jesus' name," saying "amen."
That is how the town in the most recent United States Supreme Court ruling on the issue, Greece, N.Y., did it and the court upheld their right to do so on a 5-4 decision.
However, a controversy began over that practice in Phoenix last week because that council decided it had to allow a representative from the Satanic Temple to do the invocation at its Feb. 17 meeting. Some of its members are trying to block them from giving the invocation and the Satanists have promised to sue if they do.
Other councils around the country have allowed atheists to deliver the invocation.
There is currently only one Satanic Temple listing in Arizona so it's unlikely they would request to give an invocation in Chino Valley. But, inviting others to give the invocation may mean that council cannot reject requests that a majority of residents might not support.
Marley, quoting an unnamed local pastor, wrote that Christians have a mandate to pray in Jesus' name.
"To ask a Christian to pray in any manner other than in Jesus' name would be to ask them to violate their conscience, since they would have no assurance that their prayers would be heard should they do so."
Plotkin said that forcing Jews to stand and pray along with such a prayer is one of the three cardinal sins of their faith, engaging in idolatry.
"I don't know if they're aware of the exclusionary effect," Plotkin said. "Having a moment of silence is a pragmatic solution, but if the council member is able to do a neutral prayer, I don't have an objection."
2/3/2016 3:54:00 AM
Letter: Respect all with your prayers
As I follow the events about the Chino Valley Town Council invocation issue, it astounds me that so many do not understand what the issue is. Nowhere was there any question raised about the existence of a Supreme Being!
The issue raised was the use of a name for the Holy One in prayer that is not accepted by many in the town. Use of it is therefore offensive to and/or excludes a number of folks. Such is viewed as idolatry by some.
For these people it is forbidden to agree to such a prayer (e.g. through an affirming amen) or appear to agree (such as through participating with a group blessed with such a prayer.) For Jews, the prohibition stems from the first three of what are known as the Ten Commandments and from a tractate called Avodah Zara, Foreign Worship.
A solution to the issue is simple. If we must have invocations, and like in the military, only those able to do sensitive religiously neutral prayers should be asked to do the invocations for Town Council in a public forum of mixed religions. Likely, there are clergy in town able to be sensitive and non-offensive as well as willing to do invocations. It would be nice if they were allowed to step forward to help out the Council even as I have offered.
I pray we can find an amicable, respectful solution soon and avoid further divisiveness and hate speech.
Rabbi Adele Plotkin