Stop the Gun Violence

The Gun Violence has got to stop.  The latest cold blooded murders of the 2 Roanoke, Virginia reporters is yet another heartbreaking example of why we must assert more control of the selling and ownership of guns in this country.  It is out of hand.  From Charleston, to Aurora,  Trayvon Martin, and Sandy Hook the murders of so many people by disturbed individuals who have access to guns is alarming.  That is why I am proud to be President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and why I am proud we are dedicated to doing something about this in our country. Won’t you  join with us? 

CCAR Resolution on Gun Violence

August 11, 2015

WHEREAS some 34,000 Americans die as a result of gun violence every year; and

WHEREAS statistics strongly affirm that gun laws, when properly enforced, reduce gun violence; and

WHEREAS some 60% of guns that are used in crimes can be traced to 1% of the gun stores in America; and

WHEREAS gun manufacturers have the ability to hold those “bad apple” dealers accountable for their sales practices, record keeping, employee training and cooperation with law enforcement; and

WHEREAS personalized, or “smart gun” technology can prevent accidental shootings, prevent law enforcement agents from being shot with their own service weapon, and make stolen shipments of guns useless to those who steal them; and

WHEREAS after the Sandy Hook school shooting, President Obama vowed to use “all the powers of this office” to reduce gun violence in America; and

WHEREAS there are powerful national legislative and non-legislative campaigns to reduce gun violence in America; and

WHEREAS, in a 2000 resolution, the CCAR took a strong stand in favor of gun control[i]; and

WHEREAS Reform rabbis embrace a responsibility to challenge America’s conscience and to heed the biblical injunction that we must not stand idly by the blood of our neighbor[ii]; and

WHEREAS this responsibility calls upon us to embark on a moral offensive by sending a message to our elected officials that we care deeply about gun violence and will hold them accountable and by leading our congregations and institutions to become actively involved in this cause in our communities; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Central Conference of American Rabbis:

  1. Commits to deepening our gun violence prevention advocacy effort; and
  2. Urges the members of the congregations and communities we serve to demand that their Representatives and Senators enact effective gun violence prevention legislation; and
  3. Endorses broad dissemination of the Religious Action Center’s Community Resource Guide to implement the Reform Movement’s strategy for addressing gun violence prevention advocacy; and
  4. Calls upon our mayors, police chiefs, sheriffs, county executives, governors, and federal government, who collectively purchase some 40% of the guns sold in the United States each year, to use that purchasing power to press gun manufacturers to create safer dealer networks and safer gun technology through the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation’s Do Not Stand Idly By campaign; and
  5. Encourages CCAR members to become involved in broad anti-violence coalitions in their local communities to press for effective gun violence prevention at all levels.

[i] Resolution on Ending Gun Violence, adopted at the 111th Convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; March, 2000.

[ii] Leviticus 19:16

Giants say “It Gets Better”

Bravo to the World Champion San Francisco Giants who made this “It Gets Better ” Video!  Asmany of you know I am a baseball fan.  This is a wonderful and inspiring moment for Major League Baseball.  They have set an example and now the Boston Red Sox have announced they too will make an “It Gets Better” video reaching out to LGBT and questioning youth.  Ok Dodgers where are you? Ok Angels where are you?

Gifts of Baseball

This past weekend I actually got to watch two innings of a BASEBALL game.  Yes spring Training games are underway.  I am thrilled.  I admit the game that I watched (which was a late night rerun of a game played on Shabbat) was between the Rockies and the Diamondbacks.  Cactus League.  Neither are my favorite teams but I could feel the baseball magic reappear.

There is a magic to baseball.  It is the precision and slow pace of the game that appeals to me.  It is the strategy that most people miss in what kind of pitch to throw.  How the batter will place the ball.  The choice of the fielder.  The sometimes subjective calls of the umpire behind the plate depending on the size of the box he draws in the air.  All of these make baseball an antidote to the very destructive hectic pace that our lives run to in this 21st century.

So I welcome back baseball in my life.  And look forward to the Beverly Hills Normans making their début next weekend as high school ball gets underway.  There is an especial joy in cheering on one’s son and the boys he has played ball with through now many years. Some since they were little boys on Daddy Ball teams.    That is the real joy.  It brings tears to my eyes.

Thanks for baseball.  It helps me to cope with the world.

PLAY BALL

I resisted all week. But cannot do so any longer! Baseball Season is here!! Hooray!   Pitchers and catchers reported this week to Florida and Arizona.  And the actual spring training games begin in the coming week.   And so we are off! PLAY BALL!

The races begin in earnest as our reconfigured teams get used to their new players.  My sweet Angels bid adieu to Hideki Matsui.  Thank goodness.  He was in my opinion uninspiring.  My Angels still don’t have their lead-off guy settled and they traded my favorite catcher–Mr. Napoli to the Blue Jays with Juan Rivera for Vernon Wells.  I am holding my breath cause Wells’ numbers don’t add up to their numbers.

So I am not sure what Moreno and company are thinking.  Feels like they are not thinking.  Yikes.

Position players report today and every one else will be joining together by tomorrow.

So I am excited by the beginning of the 2011 season. (Remember the All-Star game will be in Phoenix this year).  But let’s hope my Angels settle down early.

Post Season Joy

The Playoffs are rockin’ in earnest.  Halliday’s no-hitter. Lincecum’s 14k’s.  The Yankees usual dominance. The post season of Major League Baseball is in literally full swing.

I have to say a bit wistfully I don’t know really who to cheer for.

 

I do own a Yankees hat.  But that’s the only one of the playoff teams.  I know it is weird for an Angel fan to have a Yankees hat. But I think it is left over from one season when my son was on a Yankees team!  The truth is the Yankees have dominated the Twins in post-season play not just this year!

It is hard to cheer for the Rangers since I am used to rooting against them. But they will likely put the Rays out of their misery.

I guess I could root for a National League Team.  Giants make sense since I am the anti-Dodger. But the Phillies look so good and I have never been a Braves person. Not even sentimentally to win one last one for Bobby Cox.

I am just grateful that there is still baseball to watch.  No matter the team. I love the game! But you already knew that.

I am just happy the 2011 schedule has been announced with a shortened spring training and an April 1 start. The Angels will be at the Royals. Hmmm, I have never been to Kansas City.  Baseball and BBQ…before Pesach. Sounds about right.   First time the season will not start on a Sunday or Monday in a very long time!  But it just means baseball will be back sooner.

Onward to the World Series.

Da’ Bruins #Omaha

I thought it would never ever happen but I rooted for da’ Bruins.   As you know I am a Trojan fan. USC. My blood runs cardinal and gold.   Yes even with NCAA sanctions in place my Trojans are part and parcel of who I am.  Even at the gym the other day when I was wearing my 2007 Rose Bowl Championship and the cute guy sharing the lat pull says to me: “Is that the year they have to give back?”  I reply: “Yes, but we don’t have to give the t-shirts back!”  Because I don’t want to be separated from my Trojan wear!

But watching the College World Series of Baseball in Omaha, Nebraska-I will confess I have been rooting for UCLA.  Don’t tell my friend “M”.  She doesn’t read my blog (not a plugged in type) and she would never believe that I rooted for her Bruins.   They played really well so far.  Last night beating TCU 6-3.  Their pitcher Gerrit Cole had 13 strikeouts.   It was art. Even if they were wearing powder blue and gold.  He is a local boy from Newport Beach and in 2008 was a first round draft pick of the Yankees but opted to go to UCLA instead.  And Bruin fans should be glad he did.  He is one of the reasons this team is in the CWS.

My Trojans aren’t in the CWS this time. But the other Pac -10 team I have been rooting for is Arizona State.  I am partial to their baseball team (only) because my son loves them so and dreams of playing for their program. We always go to ASU games when we visit Spring training in March. They lost one game to Clemson and now have to fight back to avoid elimination at the CWS.  But they can do it. They were the number 1 seed.  A very talented team.

So Bravo to ASU and yes, to UCLA on their great baseball teams this years. 

I guess rooting for these other colleges is practice for the spring of 2013 when my son God willing (and he passes summer school) will play for some other school than my Trojans.

Stephen Strasburg lives up to the hype in debut – latimes.com

He did it last night! The kid from San Diego State, last year’s number 1 MLB draft pick made his major league debut after a short minor league preparation.  The Washington Nationals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates (mychildhood fav team) in an impressive 14 strikeout night.  He had the Pirates swatting at his 98 mph fastballs that occasionally tipped the radar gun at 100 MPH!

It is a big jump from college ball to the Major leagues. But this kid is the one to watch.  I wish I had been in Nationals Stadium and I hope to see him play this year.  I saw the Nationals play the Padres over Memorial Day weekened alas he was still in Double AA ball.

 I hope he doesn’t burn out his arm.  It will be a joy to see him master the game. But by the looks of it he is well on the road!

Stephen Strasburg lives up to the hype in debut – latimes.com.