Shortly before Rosh Hashanah, my friend and colleague, Rabbi Danny Schiff, invited me to have a Zoom conversation with him, for the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, about the year that has passed in Israel, and what may lie ahead. Conversations with Danny are always illuminating, so I readily agreed.
Towards the end of our conversation, Danny asked me what I thought might be the most “realistic but pessimistic” scenarios for the coming year, but at the same time, also the most “realistic but optimistic” ways things could unfold as well.
Optimism is good for the soul these days, and as our tradition has it that the Gates of Repentance are still open, beckoning to us, through Hoshana Rabba next week, it seemed appropriate to share our exchange even now, the day after Yom Kippur.
Rabbi Dr. Danny Schiff is the Foundation Scholar at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the founder and president of MOJI, the Museum of Jewish Ideas. He is a noted teacher and researcher in Jewish ethics.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Rabbi Dr. Schiff grew up in Melbourne. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Melbourne. Rabbi Dr. Schiff received ordination, as well as his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters degree, from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (H.U.C. - J.I.R.). He also received his Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree, as well as an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, from H.U.C. - J.I.R.
If you share our desire to forge a community of people engaged in reasoned discussion and respectful disagreement when it comes to Israel, please subscribe today.
Music credits: Medieval poem by Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gvirol. Melody and performance by Shaked Jehuda and Eyal Gesundheit. Production by Eyal Gesundheit. To view a video of their performance, see this YouTube:
Our twitter feed is here; feel free to join there, too.
Our Threads feed is danielgordis. We’ll start to use it more shortly.