From Tikkun

Tikkun to heal, repair and transform the world
A note from Rabbi Michael Lerner Join or Donate Now!

Dear  Tikkun Ally ,

I want to invite you to a day long consideration of a  NEW BOTTOM LINE IN THE PROFESSIONS. It will be a rather amazing gathering of teachers, lawyers, social workers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, writers, journalists and media workers,  and just about any other profession you can think of professionals at the University of California, Berkeley, (Clark Kerr Campus, Waring at Parker) , Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to discuss a New Bottom Line in the Professions.

You can register of line at: http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/bapuc

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that most of us went into eductiton, law, medicine, government service, academia, psychology, non-profit work,  etc. because we wanted to make a real contribution to ending the suffering of others, and in some way or other to help offset some of the craziness in our society. Even some of the most “hard nosed” and materialistic colleagues we meet at work were, at one point in their lives, more idealistic and caring, until they were beaten down by the way that professional life is structured and by a set of cynical assumptions about the world and about ourselves that were ingrained into many. Yet underneath the selfishness and materialism (and, for some, despair and giving up on their original ideals), there still remains a small but viable part that wants a more caring world if anyone thought it possible.

The purpose of this meeting Sept. 21st  is to organize to challenge the “old bottom line” that dominates our culture and the consciousness of too many of our colleagues and clients/patients and the institutions in which we work.

We seek to replace that with a “New Bottom Line”-so that our activities and the functioning of our institutions, legal system, medical system, hospitals, and the media are judged to be “efficient,” “productive,” or “rational” not only to the extent that they maximize money or power, but also to the extent that they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical and ecological sensitivity, enhance our capacity to treat others as ends in themselves (in religious language: embodiments of the sacred), and to respond to the universe not only from a narrow utilitarian and instrumental consciousness but also with awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the grandeur of all that is. Taking that new bottom line seriously will necessarily involve many dramatic changes in the way that our institutions function, as well as in the ethos that governs our professional lives.

Our project is aimed at changing American society at its roots, to be sure, and in that sense is very radical. But it’s also very conservative, going back to the deepest aspirations of human beings throughout our history, expressed not only in religions but also in art, music, poetry, fiction, and humanistic philosophies. Work used to be seen as a vocation, connected to our own sense of meaning and purpose for our lives. It still could be!

This New Bottom Line is actually at the core of much of what human beings already want. As the Principal Investigator for a major NIMH study of the psychodynamics of the world of work, I and my team discovered that a large section of our society both deeply wants a different kind of world, summed up best in the New Bottom Line, but simultaneously is addicted to a narrow vision of “reality” which makes them feel certain that the world that they want is impossible, and that they might even be thought of as crazy were they to express their highest goals to others. As a result, they become “realists,” accepting a world that is far from their highest vision, and then accommodating to it. In subsequent work I discovered that these issues impact not only on working class people, but on most of the professionals in our society, particularly those connected with law, medicine, health care, and teaching.

Change that seemed utopian 40 years ago seems less so today. The amazing changes in the status of women and minorities, the legalization of gay marriage, the candidacy of Barack Obama-all would have seemed to be the fantasies of people without grounding in reality forty years ago. So I’ll understand if you at first think that this project for a New Bottom Line is utopian and unrealistic. All I ask is that you give me one day to introduce you to others in your profession who want a New Bottom Line and with whom you can strategize to begin a campaign to challenge the Old Bottom Line in your field. That’s why I’m inviting you to this gathering on Sept. 21st.  We are meeting with people in a variety of professions because we know that the kind of changes we seek in our own work cannot be achieved unless we are part of a larger movement of change that is taking place simultaneously (over the course of the next decades) in many other professions as well.

And we’ll have some wonderful resource people who have done some of this work already: Law professor and Associate Editor of Tikkun Peter Gabel (you may remember his articles in the Harvard Law Review, and his role as a founder of Critical Legal Studies, but his approach to law today has evolved in ways that set him apart from the moral relativism implicit in some aspects of CLS), Professor Rhonda MaGee USF Law School, Svi Shapiro author of Losing Heart: The Moral And Spiritual Mis-education of America’s Children , Peter Geyman, M.D. author of The Corrosion of Medicine: Can the Profession Reclaim its Moral Legitimacy, Bill Benda, M.D.and Sunny Schwartz of the S.F. Sheriff’s Dept. Restorative Justice Project.

Yes, it costs-but only to pay for the actual costs of the day and publicity (the presenters are all volunteering their time): $75 if you register before Sept. 15th ($100 thereafter) by sending a check to Tikkun/NSP at 2342 Shattuck Ave, Suite 1200, Berkeley, Ca. 94704 or by enrolling on line at www.spiritualprogressives.org/bapuc . We at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) are part of a 501-c-3 non-profit, contributions to which are tax deductible and gratefully accepted should you wish to help us support this project even if you can’t come on the 21st of Sept. If you’d like to work with us, let us know: dlapedis.@tikkun.org. The NSP is NOT for new age flakes nor is it a religious organization-it’s for anyone who knows that some part of what deserves to be valued and placed in the center of our lives is not subject to measurement or empirical verification (that’s what we mean by “spiritual”). For more info or to register on line: go to http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/bapuc

It’s that same New Bottom Line that has led us to make our major project a campaign for a Global Marshall Plan (to dedicate 1-2% of the Gross Domestic Product of the U.S. and other G-8 countries each year for the next twenty years to once and for all end both domestic and global poverty, hunger, inadequate health care, inadequate education and to repair the global environment. This plan takes all the separate efforts (like the One Campaign, the Millennium Goals, the various poverty and health care and education campaigns) and puts them together in one unified package, extending them globally. I’m enclosing our ideas, so you can read about our Global Marshall Plan (a related version of which was introduced into Congress recently by Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Pete Stark, Lynn Woolsey and 15 other Congressional reps). You’ll see that they deal with all the reasonable objections from the past about how to protect these funds from getting siphoned off by government or local elites to how we are going to pay for this to how we can ensure that this isn’t a repeat of the Ugly American syndrome of Western arrogance and insensitivity to local realities. If you are already a member of NSP or a subscriber, you should have received inside the Sept/Oct issue a 32 page description of the Global Marshall Plan, and for those who are not yet subscribers, we’d be happy to mail that to you if you tell pete@tikkun.org where to send it.

Perhaps you’d like to work with us on that if not on changing the bottom line in your profession? I’ll talk about the Global Marshall Plan a little at our gathering on Sept 21st, because it is a policy manifestation of what a New Bottom Line would look like when applied to foreign policy. Our main focus, and why we need you there, is to help strategize about what that New Bottom Line would look like in your profession.

If you are not able to come, and want to work on the Global Marshall Plan (or financially support it) or help us build the New Bottom Line campaign (or financially support that) , let me know by emailing me at RabbiLerner@tikkun.org or by sending financial support to Tikkun/NSP at 2342 Shattuck Ave, Suite 1200, Berkeley, Ca. 94704.  I hope to see you Sept. 21st.

Warm regards,
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor, Tikkun and Chair (along with Princeton Prof. Cornel West and Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister) of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and author of 11 books including The Politics of Meaning, Healing Israel/Palestine, and the 2006 national best seller The Left Hand of God.

Information on High Holiday Services late Sept/early Oct. in S.F. and weekly Torah study in English, both led by Rabbi Lerner, is available at www.beyttikkun.org.


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From Flylogic Engineering’s Analytical Blog

« New author- Begrüßenswert Herr Karsten Nohl

Today we are taking you one step deeper into a microchip than we usually go. We look at transistors and the logic functions they compose, which helps us understand custom ASICs now found in some secured processors.

To reverse-engineer the secret functionality of an ASIC, we identify logic blocks, map out the wiring between the blocks, and reconstruct the circuit diagram. Today, we’ll only be looking at the first step: reading logic. And we start with the easiest example of a logic function: the inverter:

To read logic, you first have to find the transistors and decide where Vcc (+) and ground (-) are located. Transistors are easy to spot. They will always look very similar to those two transistors marked in the picture: A rectangle shape with a line in the middle. Vcc is always next to the larger transistors (PMOS) and ground is closer to the smaller ones (NMOS).

Once you identified the transistors, you draw a small circuit diagram that shows how they are connected to each other. In the example, the inputs of the two transistors are connected and so are their outputs on the left side. From this circuit diagram you can read that whatever you assert at the input, the output will be forced to the opposite state — an inverter.

Every gate will follow these basic principles, but vary in the number and constellation of transistors. A 2-NOR gate (Y = !(A|B) ), for instance, is composed of 4 transistors in this setup:

Once you figured out a gate, you can recognize every occurrence of that function on the whole chip because the exact same shape is always used for the same function. Generally, you only need to read a few dozens gates at most to generate a map of functions across whole chip. Get a head start on reading logic and check out the logic gate collection at The Silicon Zoo.

Here is a challenge for you to try (open in GIMP or Photoshop and toggle between the different layers):

It’s about the hardest function found on most chips with a total of 34 transistors, 3 inputs, 2 outputs, and time-variant behavior. The solution will be posted next week.

From Esser Agaroth

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Mossa’ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Ki Thezei 5768

Ramadan DecorationAll around certain neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and all through my long journey home every night from work, through the “oppressed and occupied [by Arabs] territories,” I see these tacky Ramadan, crescent-shaped decorations, hanging in windows. I do not remember seeing them in previous years. But it is possible I am just blocking out their memory.

Anyway, I cannot help but laugh when I see them. Now it seems that not even Arabs are immune from the tacky materialism of holiday money-making. I used to think this was a tacky Western thing, or a tacky American thing. Apparently, Islam is not immune.

Now, I have to admit that all of these crescent moon decorations strung together look kind of cheery. Although, I suppose the same could be said for a Hamas summer camp for kids….

Also, “cheery” (I guess) are these traditional lamps. But they ARE pretty tacky looking. I distinctly remember seeing news stories in previous years which included the display of these cool looking aluminum lamps, which are given as Ramadan gifts. What happened? I mean the lamps pictured here are REALLY tacky looking.

Now before anyone criticizes me for hypocrisy, let me just say that there are some very cool Sukkoth decorations you can get for a reasonable price. They can also be put away and saved for future holidays, as they are of classic design and content.

Yes, I even like to string lights in my Sukkah, as long as they are not the flashing kind, which ARE very tacky. You can buy them in the Ge’ulah neighborhood in Jerusalem. Just don’t tell anyone what the “Luces Feliz Navidad” on the label means. (wink) They are not tacky; they are cool! They also come in a variety of shapes, like chili peppers. (Not sure where to get those, though)

But I digress…

Here’s a Ramadan joke to cap off this post for all of my Muslim friends… Oh, that’s right; I don’t have any.

So, here’s a Ramadan joke to cap off this post for all of my Muslim enemies. Sorry, but it’s not really offensive. I tried. Honestly, I did.

When I was in Me’ah Sha’arim for Shabbath a few years ago during Ramadan, I noticed that there were two night time cannon blasts which went off about an hour apart. The cannon blast, of course, signifies official “night time,” informing Muslims that they may now break their daily, daytime fast.

The sound of two cannon blasts about an hour apart puzzled me. So, I asked my friend, a Yeshiva Mashgiah and in whose house I was staying if he happened to know the significance of the two cannon blasts.

His response?

“The second cannon blast is for those Muslims who hold by Rabbenu Tam.”

Yuck, yuck, yuck…

From Cato-at-liberty

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Yesterday, Berwyn Heights, Md., mayor Cheye Calvo spoke at the Cato Institute about his experience on the receiving end of a misdirected drug raid. He sat down later to record today’s Cato Daily Podcast [MP3].

Calvo recognizes that he is one of the lucky ones because nobody in his family was hurt and because he is in a position to object to this kind of treatment.

If you haven’t felt outrage at the drug raid epidemic across the country, and the danger it creates for citizens and law enforcement, maybe it will help you to know that they shot the dogs.

Audio and (soon) video are on the Cato website. Radley Balko’s study “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America” can be purchased here.

They shot the dogs.

From Israel Magazine

Est-ce qu’un ministre du gouvernement israélien envisage d’enlever le président iranien ? Dans une interview accordée à l’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel, le ministre Rafi Eytan (parti des retraités) (en photo) a laissé entendre que le Mossad pourrait avoir recours à la capture d’Ahmadinejad. Eytan, qui fut également officier des services secrets israéliens, était interrogé sur la période durant laquelle il était au Mossad, et sur les opérations menées pour capturer des criminels nazis. « Il est tout à fait possible que le Mossad envisage de capturer le président iranien Ahmadinejad pour le conduire devant le tribunal international de la Haye, tout comme cela s’est produit avec le criminel nazi Adolf Eichmann, dans les années 60 », a-t-il déclaré. Lorsqu’il lui a été demandé si le Mossad procédait toujours à de telles opérations, il a répondu : « Cette période est terminée, mais cela ne veut pas dire pour autant qu’elle appartient au passé ». Ce à quoi Eytan a ajouté : « Je ne suis pas pour de telles opérations, mais les criminels doivent répondre aux accusations dont ils font l’objet devant un tribunal ».

From Israel Magazine

Nous le savons, Israël a des représentants un peu partout dans le monde. Qu’ils soient médecins, chercheurs, joueurs de football ou encore artistes, ils font tous la fierté du pays. Le hasard nous a fait découvrir, à Londres, une chanteuse israélienne pas comme les autres. Sa scène, ce sont les quais des métros, son public, les voyageurs de passage. Si son parcours a été semé d’embûches, il a été récemment couronné de succès puisque Hadar Manor a été désignée en février dernier « La Reine du Métro » ! Un parcours qui méritait d’être raconté…


Hadar Manor, 29 ans, est née au Mochav Ginnaton près de Beth Shemen aux pieds des montagnes de Juda. « Lorsque le temps s’y prête, on peut voir tout le chemin vers Jérusalem Est et Tel-Aviv Ouest » nous dit Hadar avec fierté.
Ses parents, David, venu d’une famille yéménite de Netanya et Yardéna, kiboutznikit ashkénaze, se sont rencontrés à l’armée et ont décidé de construire une maison au Mochav. Hadar se rappelle que la question « De quelle origine es-tu ? », l’a suivie tout au long de sa jeunesse.
Sa mère, nous confie-t-elle, cuisine aussi bien le goulasch (plat ashkénaze) que le djahnoun (plat typique yéménite). « Le plus important, c’est qu’en chacun de nous, il y ait quelque chose de quelqu’un d’autre et que dans tout ce mélange de culture, naisse quelque chose de gracieux. » Elle adoptera, elle aussi, cette philosophie quelques années plus tard, en se mariant avec le Londonien Adam Tiernan Thomas, photographe créatif de profession, rencontré là-bas.

Entre New York et Londres
Hadar a toujours rêvé de faire de la musique et d’écrire des chansons mais elle ne commencera sa carrière qu’après avoir effectué son service militaire. Juste avant d’entrer dans Tsahal, elle part en Europe où elle fait la connaissance d’un groupe de jeunes musiciens venus de plusieurs pays, qui lui expliquent qu’ils font le tour de l’Europe, en jouant dans les rues. Ils lui donnent une guitare, lui apprennent quelques accords et elle décide de les accompagner. Elle retourne peu après en Israël pour faire son service militaire qui durera trois ans, car elle suit les cours d’officier et elle terminera avec le grade de Lieutenant, recevant une distinction des mains de Moshé Booguy Yaalon, alors Chef d’Etat-major.
Après l’armée, elle part à Amsterdam où elle séjournera quelques mois. « J’ai vécu là-bas dans une communauté d’artistes, descendant une nouvelle fois dans les rues pour jouer ma musique. Ensuite, je suis partie à Londres ».
Pourquoi Londres ? « Lorsque j’étais en secondaire, j’ai passé une mauvaise période, je n’arrivais pas à dormir la nuit ! La seule station radio que l’on pouvait écouter à cette époque était « The Voice of Peace », du légendaire Abie Nathan. Les programmes étaient essentiellement composés de succès anglophones des années 60, 70…. Depuis, je suis accrochée à cette musique ».
Hadar a toujours eu la sensation que la vraie vie se passait ailleurs et que le mochav n’était qu’une salle d’attente. « J’ai toujours voulu vivre à l’étranger. J’hésitais entre New York et Londres. J’ai choisi Londres et j’habite dans un immeuble qui regroupe des dizaines de familles juives, catholiques, musulmanes, russes, chinoises, et la paix règne ».

suite dans Israel Magazine N*89

Cari Amici,

speriamo di farvi cosa gradita nel ricordarvi il secondo incontro del ciclo di conversazioni sulla storia delle Comunità ebraiche in Italia, promosso dalla

FONDAZIONE  MAIMONIDE

Via Dezza, 48 – 20144 Milano

Tel.: 02485931 – e.mail: f.maimonide@yahoo.com

NUOVI LIBRI E NUOVI DOCUMENTI PER LA STORIA DEGLI EBREI D’ITALIA

II. “Le donne ebree nella storia d’Italia.”

Milka Ventura Avanzinelli (Università di Firenze),

martedì 16 Settembre 2008

La conversazione si terrà, come il solito, presso l’auditorium della Casa di Cura Privata del Policlinico in Milano, Via Dezza 48, dalle ore 18,30 alle 19,45.

Un cordiale saluto

La Fondazione Maimonide