EASTER -- THINK ABOUT IT
By GLENN MOLLETTE
Easter is an exciting day for Christians around the world. Churches around the globe look forward to celebrating the resurrection of Christ.
Clergy persons look forward to a one day larger attendance. Church choirs and music programs try to shine brighter and give their best effort. For one day the light and victory of new life and victory over death rings bright in a world filled with so much gloom and death.
Merchants will sell some clothes as some people still buy new outfits for Easter. Some people are like me in that I got over worrying about what clothes I wear to church a long time ago. I still dress up sometimes of course but I don't mind wearing an old suit.
Attitudes are changing toward Easter in America. Many church crowds have dwindled, and Easter doesn't seem to resurrect some of the religious dead anymore. There was a day when people who never attended church all year would rise up and go. Today, that's happening less.
I actually have heard regular church attenders say they aren't going on Easter Sunday. "Too many people and not enough seats or parking," I have heard recently.
Regardless of what you do on Easter please take a moment and think about life and death. Death is real. We are all going to die. The cemetery is a lonely place. The only hope I know of dealing with death and the cemetery is the story of Easter. Easter is about Jesus who was crucified for the sins of the world. The Bible says he arose from the grave and was seen by more than five hundred people.
His disciples were beat down and had given up all hope after his crucifixion. When they saw Jesus they were totally transformed from men who were emotionally devastated to men who were filled with hope, vigor and power. They literally hid and ran for their lives when Jesus was arrested and crucified. After they had spent time with the risen Jesus they were willing to face anything and literally die for him. These men were filled with new hope and victory.
Don't we all need this today? Surely every person on the planet needs hope and victory. We need it for daily living. We need it as we face the hour of death. We all can use some newness of life to just face today.
Thomas is known for being a big doubter but he changed his mind when he literally touched the risen Jesus. In the Bible story he exclaimed, "My Lord and my G[-]d," John 20:28. We don't have that privilege of being convinced like Thomas. However, Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
This week once again Easter rolls around on the Calendar. Think about it. Think about all of it. Think about life, death, eternity, heaven, hell and the cemetery. Think about all that stuff. It can be morbid. The point of Easter is victory and celebration and more. I choose the point of Easter and if by chance it's all a hoax what do I have to lose? If it's all true I certainly have a great deal to gain.
Glenn Mollette, Washington, D.C.
Mollette, Glenn, contributing columnist
Reuben, Liz editor
Israel Teitelbaum, contributing columnist
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OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP
Last week Ameinu joined with nine other American Jewish organizations in a letter calling upon President Trump to maintain long standing U.S. policy in favor of a two state solution and to oppose any Israeli moves to annex any territory in the West Bank.
Dear President Trump,
The undersigned organizations unequivocally support efforts to reach a durable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and endorse the priority that you have placed on addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We strongly urge you to pledge that any peace initiative your administration proposes will be based upon the principle of a negotiated two-state solution – as codified in bipartisan resolutions recently introduced in the House of Representatives and in the Senate – and to clearly express your opposition to unilateral measures outside of this framework, including annexation by Israel of any territory in the West Bank.
We, the undersigned, believe that a two-state solution is the only formulation to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will ensure Israel’s future as Jewish, democratic, and secure. While that solution is unlikely to hew precisely to the 1967 borders, any territorial adjustments must result in a signed agreement between the two sides. Annexation of the West Bank, whether in whole or in part, could destroy any chance of a negotiated two-state solution between the parties. We believe that it will lead to greater conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, severely undermine, if not entirely eradicate, the successful security coordination between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and galvanize efforts such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that are intended to isolate and delegitimize Israel. It will create intense divisions in the United States and make unwavering support for Israel and its security far more difficult to maintain.
West Bank annexation is a topic that is currently being debated in Israel, and was endorsed right before the election by Prime Minister Netanyahu himself as an electoral pledge. It is increasingly being touted as a measure that the United States would potentially support, despite concerns that it would damage Israel’s fundamental security while putting its core interest in maintaining a Jewish and democratic state at risk. This would effectively run counter to shared American and Israeli democratic values and long-standing US-Israel mutual interests.
We recognize that the current environment may not be conducive to direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and a permanent resolution. However, we also believe action should not be taken by either side that would make an ultimate two-state solution unviable. We respectfully request that you affirm long-standing bipartisan consensus that the two-state solution is the essential path to an Israel existing alongside a future state of Palestine in peace and security and that you declare that the United States will not support any Israeli proposals to annex the West Bank, in whole or in part.
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Israel Policy Forum
National Council of Jewish Women
Union for Reform Judaism
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
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10-16 Nissan, 5779 April 15-21, 2019 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES -- 622nd Web Ed.
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