Two Father’s Day gifts and responding to Seth Rogen

In his July 27 WTF podcast with Marc Maron, Seth Rogen related to how his parents lied to him about Israel as he grew up. Further, he questioned Israel’s right to exist, and in the outcry that followed in the Jewish world he nonchalantly protested “Can’t you take a joke?”

My Israeli-American doctor friend Adda remarked that Rogen represents the challenge in America particularly for young people. “There is a straight progression from his comments, to the hate-filled ignorance of young adults who take a PC culture of denigrating Israel” as the common currency of progressive speech.

Adda also remarked that this Sunday, August 16, 2pm, we have set up a Zoom Event as the “perfect response” to Rogen’s misfiring in his promotion of a Jewish themed movie.

Popular Israeli-American comedians Avi Liberman and Benji Lovitt will Zoom into the homes of an international audience with reflections on the American-Israel relationship, Jewish identity, and how their profession allows them to analyze and understand current issues to the point that they can gauge its humor. No doubt they will find the humor in what Seth Rogen does not “get” about Israel

Registration is at: www.afkmc.org

Prior to Rogen “Oedipally” going after the Israel lessons of his parents, in late May and early June I was in discussions with Lovitt and Liberman to set up the Zoom event.

Then on Father’s Day June 21, and the day after, June 22, I received two life-changing gifts.

On Sunday my sons David and Alex presented me with a card that would make any Jewish father or mother kvell with pride, and a sense of triumph in transmitting values to the next generation.

Printed on the Father’s Day card:

“Some Psychologist say that a DAD can be ONE of the most IMPORTANT ELEMENTS in the formation of a CHILD’s CHARACTER … in other words … I’m MOSTLY YOUR FAULT!

Oh Well, Happy Father’s Day!”
My sons’ then wrote:

“You’ve taught us to be driven to achieve our goals, to be selfless serving others, and instilled a love for Israel. We appreciate everything you do for us to help us live a fulfilling life. Thank you for making us your fault.

Love, David & Alex”

Tears are in my eyes each time I read this.  I am wondering what Seth Rogen would write to his parents.

My second gift was Monday, after Father’s Day. It was a reason to regard each day as PRECIOUS and to recommit to my personal “mission” of 42 years of professional service for the Jewish People and Israel.

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The pathology report from the first procedure on July 9 was of a T-1-Highgrade, a highly active cancer but remaining outside the muscle walls. The 2nd procedure occurred on August 6, and the results were revealed to us this Wednesday, August 11. Cancer had invaded into the muscle walls.

With the support of my two sons, and my beautiful bride of 34 years, Jocelyne, who I call my Egyptian Jewish princess, as she was born in Cairo, Egypt, and with the support and prayers of scores of friends in the Jewish and Christian Israel support community, we will not only beat this, but will thrive in efforts to bring American Jews and non-Jews together for Israel.

In the midst of the battle, on June 27, Ambassador Ido Aharoni, spoke on our American Friends of Kaplan Medical Center (AFKMC) Zoom on how Israel became “Start Up Nation.” Sherwin Pomerantz spoke of his unique role in facilitating US state governments’ involvement in Israel’s economic miracle. Short personal stories from two Christian volunteers, Jerome Baxley, and Adeline Smidt, related their love of Israel and the Jewish people, and their volunteer service at Kaplan Medical Center.

On the AFKMC July 30th Zoom the Mossad’s Col. (retired) Avner Avraham discussed the 60th Anniversary of the Eichmann Capture, and the 44th Anniversary Entebbe Rescue, in preparation for our AFKMC July 2021, 45th Anniversary “Miracle@Entebbe” national event.

Col. Avraham’s friend Shir Peled related her role as a real-life “Fauda” undercover agent for Israel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Upcoming on August 27, Rabbi Joe Potasnik, Exec. VP of the New York Board of Rabbis, along with Rabbis Ron Brown and Eric Greenberg of Synagogue Connect, and other community leaders will reveal how American shuls will deal with Rosh Hashanah in a Covad19 World, especially with thoughts on how to include Israel, and engaging post-college age young adults for a meaningful role in Rosh Hashanah services.

Not bad as a group effort while fighting Cancer. I am wondering if there are any rewards from this kind of Israel support programming from the Jewish Funders Network?

This Sunday’s Zoom will begin with my introduction and dedication of the event to strong Zionist, Rebecca Balcher, my mother who died at 90, fourteen years ago. Her Yartzeit is next week, fittingly on Parshat Shoftim – Judges, as she graduated high school at 15 in St. Paul, Minnesota, then went on to get a law degree taught by Professors Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun who would later become US Supreme Court Justices.

The lesson for this Sunday may be that perhaps Seth Rogen should learn more of the meaning of the 5th commandment, Honor thy Father and thy Mother, and the heritage he was given of a love for Israel.

 

About the Author
Lou Balcher served from 2004 - 2013 as Director of Academic Affairs to Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region. He also served as Education Director for Congregation Tifereth Israel in Bensalem, PA, and as administrator and teacher for Gratz College's Jewish Community High School. He is a former Membership Director for the Philadelphia and Cincinnati regions of B'nai B'rith International. For three decades, he has coordinated post-college young leadership programs for Young Jewish Leadership Concepts. Additionally, he consults as National Director of the American Friends of the Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel which serves more than one million Israeli citizens.
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