Friday, August 20, 2010

Was looking at the Spiegel website the other day; it had various links to continuing issues from WWII. It had a more spiffy than usual picture of a young Adolf in a brown shirt and brown tie. We usually look at WWII as the Germans had too high a debt load and were crushed too much etc. This might have been true in some emotional sense. The war aim of Germany during what became WWI was to gain some strategic depth from Russia. The German generals were afraid that Russian railroads could deliver troops to the eastern frontier of Germany too quickly. With the defeat of Russia and the creation of Poland that war aim seems to have been achieved however.
Hebrew University Professor wins a prize in mathematics.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'Beware the ides of March' may be a line from Julius Caesar. An interesting anachronism in our calendar is the month September which by its root would be the seventh month, making March originally the first month of the year. The sap begins to flow that month and, to judge from history the dictator/father figure/god is in danger. Our recent liturgy focuses on Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. We don't talk much about Moses, but it was Moses who challenged the father figure and secured the Jews a future. Passover celebrates this challenge/liberty and embeds the accomplishment of the challenge in finding a proper set of rules which celebrated example, as much as IQ, may be why 'Jews are smart.'