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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 24, 2009 The economics of Passover The story of Passover, told every year at our But the'story of Pesach actually, in many family Seders, recounts, as we all know, the ways, begins long before Moses. It begins with redemption of our ancestors from slavery to Joseph and is a tale as~much about economic freedom. The key moments in the life of Moses, oppression and the value of the individual as from the baby basket in the Nile found by an itis about the exodus from Egypt. Egyptian princess to the burning bush to the Recall, if you will, what happened to 10 plagues to the final release of the Jews by Joseph, Jacob's 11th and favored son. (And PharaohandthepartingoftheReedSea--these please keep in mind this is a shorthand are the images we know so well. imprinted in version; for greater detail and a far better our consciousnesses as if they were lullabies interpretation, please ask your rabbi.)Hewas sung to us every night in our cribs, given a "coat of many colors" by his father. Letter from Israel Smoke and mirrors not so bad? By Ira Sharkansky equivalent of almost all of the territory the Palestinians say they held prior to the 1967 When people agree, they do not need politi- war. It was actually the Jordanians in charge cians.Oneofthethingsthatpoliticiansdoisto of the West Bank prior to 1967. and Egypt arrange deals when there are disagreements, in Gaza. but Israelis are willing to overlook The easy way is to compromise. But what those details. In exchange for land over that happens when the parties are not inclined? line that it will keep, Israel has offered other Then it is time for deceptions. These include land. The Palestinians have offered a cessation empty promises, commitments not intended of violence, but not much else that I can see. to be kept, posturing as if everything is all There remains the problem of Hamas. right, acting as if there will be a deal when4t Israel has been helping itself and helping the is pretty sure that there won't be. Fatah regime of the West Bank by going into Often it requires smoke and mirrors, or the the West Bank frequently, and taking away or geometry involved in squaring a circle, otherwise neutralizing Hamas personnel seen The purpose is to save face for those who as a threat toboth Israel and Fatah: know. Without this, it is doubtful that Fatah would Politics is a noble craft. If it is done well, it survive. If llamas captures the West Bank, and comprises the most civilized way to handle uses it against Israel like it has used Gaza, disputes. It is better than one on one dueling, the West Bank may experience something and far better than warfare, like Gaza. A case in point is what has been happening, Fatah cannot thank Israel in public for andwhat I hopewillcontinue betweenofficials keeping it alive, but we can live without that. oflsrael and the Palestine National Authority. The new government of Prime Minister As I read the news, there is no deal close, or Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister likely. Palestinians cannot ratchet down from Avigdor Lieberman have threatened this ar- the right of refugees to return to homes they rangement by saying that the Palestinians are left 60 years ago, as well as what they call the not ready for a state; that it would be better to 1967 border of Palestine, the dismantling of talk about something else. Jewish settlements over that line, the disman- They've broken the mirror and stopped tling of the barricade Israel is building to keep the stnoke. eviloutofthecountry, andpermanentMuslim President Barack Obama and other world controlofwhat the Jews call the Temple Mount. figures havesaidthat Israeland Palestine must Some think the Palestinians are exagger- work t~ward a two-state solution. Palestinian ating for the sake of bargaining. Maybe. But President Mahmoud Abbas (whose term has maybe not. Some see more flexibility when they expired, but let's not bother about that detail) listen to Palestinians in Hebrew or English has said that he will not negotiate with Israel than when th~ same people speak in Arabic. unless its government agrees to a two-state There is a concern that if Palestinian lead- solution. ers cannot renounce slogans they have been How to fix the mirror and produce enough repeating, and teaching in their schools for smoke to keep it ~loudy? generations. Surely there is language that will do it. It can't be fun being tossed from the roof Netanyahu has already said that he will of a tall building, as happened to one of the continue working toward a peaceful solution. moderate Palestinians in Gaza. Those who know-Netanyahu say that he is There are signs that majorities of both Pal- flexible. Some gay that he is so flexible that he estinians and Israelis want to avoid violence, adopts the view of the last person who speaks Smoke and mirrors is what 1 see in play with him. over the last few years, and what I see as the For some years now, it has been the task of greatest hope for the time being, the United States President to make Israel an What do I mean by the time being? offer it cannot refuse. Sometimes it looks like As long as it takes, a carrot, sometimes a stick. Both sides had agreed.that they were ne- Netanyahu has a good point about the Pal- gotiating toward a two-state solution, but they did not get anywhere. Israelis offered the Sharkansky on page 19A and his brothers grew jealous of him. They So here's another lesson we can teach our sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites for 20 children out of Passover. We were slaves once pieces of silver, and he ended up in Egypt. inEgypt.andasslaveswereunpaidservants, a where he was falsely accused of making lower class to a ruling elite, viewedaslessthan advances on a married woman and sent to by cruel masters. And when we were given the jail. While imprisoned he interpreted the richeswewereowed.Godremindedusquickly dreams of his inmates, one of whom became tha(wealthisnottobeworshipped. Righteous a cook for Pharaoh. and when Pharaoh had values (see the !0 Commandments) are. troubling dreams the cook mentioned Jo- Todaymanyofusaresufferingaharshreal- seph's interpretive skills. Pharoah had Joseph ity as our economy falters. We're postponing released from prison, and Joseph listened retirements, going back to work, feeling"less to Pharoah's dreams about seven thin cows than" as our personalwealth diminishes, our eating seven fat cows, and seven scrawny buying power drops. It's an unfortunate truth ears of corn devouring seven ripe ears. and that for many of us there is a sense of power predicted seven fertile years followed by seven and self worth in how much we can buy, what lean years. Joseph recommended stockpil- we own, where we live. And oftentimes the ing grain, and thus became the Viceroy people weassociatewitharereflectiveofour over Egypt. Eventually, his brothers visited socio-economic status. We hang out with and were forgiven by Joseph, and they and people of similar standing. What happens. their families moved to the land of the Nile then. when our status changes? Do our friends and the pyramids, as did many other Jews also change? Do we feel so insecure that we during the time of famine. Thus Jews came hide our heads, scared that our erstwhile to live in Egypt. friends may look at us differently? And do There are varying accounts as to why the any of us look differently at our associates Jewswereenslaved.Theymayhavebeenonthe whose social rank has changed? The other wrong side of warring Egyptian factions. Or lesson of Passover is that greatness is based they may simply have been an easily oppressed, not on how much we have but on who We are. easily singled oul: minority. But the bottom Moses forsook his riches for a staff to guide line (don't we always come to a "bottom line," his people, and is considered the greatest Jew a financial term. in our decision making?) was who ever lived. that theEgyptians, in the midst of one of the Remember. if you have friends who have greatest construction endeavors in human fallen on hard times, nottolooktheotherway, history, needed cheap labor, and they found but to look more closely than ever to see the it with our ancestors--with Jews. value of every person, the beauty of equality, The lens through which I'm looking, the the grace of good will. Don't ever pass over interpretation I'm choosing to make this year, someone because they don't have as much as centers on. not the transition from slavery you. Pass on what you can. Be generous with to freedom, not the civil rights aspect of the your friendship. Be kindest when conditions Exodus, but on the economic oppression of are toughest. What you will have freed then a minority, and the powerful, violent (the is what truly matters most--your heart, your 10 plagues weren't the doings of a pacifist) soul, your humanity. overthrow of a tyrannical overlord. Remember And that's the good word until next week. that when the Jews were set free by Pharoah, The opinions in this column are those of the they took riches from the Egyptians, gold and writer and not the Heritage or any other in- jewelry, as back pay for their labor. It was this dividual, agency or organization. Send your wealth that was later turned into the idolatry thoughts, comments, and critiques to the" of the golden calf. which God then destroyed. Heritage or email dpbornstein@gmail.com. By Ed Ziegler Why should you care about "honor kill- ing" since it has nothing to do with you and yours, or does it? Imagine living next door to someone, or working with someone, who believes it is OK to kill his or her own fam- ily member for something as innocent as dressing incorrectly. Read this article then consider what they might do to you if they feel you innocently offended them. their prophet or their religion? The term "honor killing" is considered the murder of a family or community member by one or more family members, when it is believed the victim has brought dishonor upon them. According to Wikipedia. the United Nations Population Fund estimates that the annual worldwide total of honor killings may be as high as 5.000. Not only is this murder, it is also the heartless methods used. The techniques are virtually any way you might imagine. The victims are shot, st~bbed. clubbed, strangled, axed, stoned, tortured, set ablaze or decapitated The vast majority of honor killing victims are women. It is difficult to understand the thought process where a woman can be considered guilty of dishonoring the family because she was a rape victim. You would be wrong if you thought that honor killings occur only in third-world countries. It is very scary knowing that honor [THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. ] killings are happeningeverywhere.Yes, every- where, even here in the United States. Dicle University in Turkey performed a survey on honor killings. The findings have Ed~tGenr~nta~mtUS ~Lffr~p~aG~e .e~r shown that in the communitywhere the killing occurs there is little to no stigma attached to this cold-hearted act. Furthermore, actions of this nature are frequently incorrectly attrib- is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- Society Editor Booidceep uted to individuals with little or no education. dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box. 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky Steve Levine Tim Boxer" David Bornstein Gail Simons MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Production Department Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 David Lehman Teri Marks Louis Ballantyne email: news@orlandoheritage.com Elaine Schooping Gil Dombrosky Gloria Yousha Paulette Harmon Kim Fischer Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Of all those surveyed, 60 percent were either high school or university graduates, or at the very least, literate. Furthermore, of the 180 perpetrators interviewed in prison because of honor killing, 100 percent said they did not regret their actions. On July 23, 2008, The New York Post reported that a Pakistani, Chaudhry Rashis. strangled his 25-year-old daughter, San Deela Kawal, because she wanted out of an arranged mar- in killing? riag. This honor killing occurred in a suburb of Atlanta. At his arraignment the father said, "I have done nothing wrong." In 2005, during a four-month period in Berlin, six Muslim women where brutally murdered by family members. Their crime was that they wanted to break free and live a Western lifestyle. Within their communities, the killers are revered as heroes. On July 19, 2007 Reuters reported that a woman was brutally raped, stomped on and strangled for two hours, by memb.ers of he~: family and friends. This "honor killing" was carried out in her London home because she had fallen in love with the wrong man. In November 2004 Muzzammil and Aasiya Hassan founded Bridges TV station near Buf- falo. N.Y. On Feb. 17. 2009 Fox News reported that Muzzammil beheaded his wife Aasiva, it is believed, because she wanted a divorce. In an interesting twist for honor killings, on March 27. 2009. the Independent World News in the United Kingdom reported that 18-year- old Elifwas told by her father to kill herself in order to save him from going to prison. She is still on the run from her family seeking to blot out her perceived dishonor. Here in the United States there have been more instances of the so-called honor killings. How many more and for how many years, who can predict? It makes sense that a picture is worth a thousand ~4ords. Thus, to get a better feeling of these, fanatics, people who can hate so deeply, I recommend you view these two links. and . Armed with the above information stop and think about how such a killer might treat you, someone not in their loving family. Someone, not of their faith, an infidel. Be ever mindful. Be aware that this could even happen in your own neighborhood. Ed Ziegler is a board member of the New Jewish Congregation and president of its brotherhood. He can be reached at edziegler@ thevillages.net.