The Newsletter of Fig Tree Books LLC
June, 2020: Issue #7
Fredric D. Price, Founder & Publisher
When I was in junior high school in Newton, Massachusetts, a middle class suburb of Boston with a large Jewish population, my friends could not believe that I, a blonde blue-eyed Jewish girl, had a brother named Fernando.

“Is he adopted?" they would ask.
SONG: The Platt Brothers (Jonah, Henry & Ben) sing Ahavat Olam
The brothers perform Ahavat Olam [ You have loved the house of Israel, your people, with Eternal Love. Torah and Commandments, Statutes, and Laws you have taught us.
Adonai, in our lying down and rising up, we will meditate on your Statutes, and rejoice in the words of your Torah] in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut Israel Independence Day
DON'T BE SHY: SEND US A QUESTION & ANSWER IT YOURSELF:  And win the chance to get a free set of our books! 

Each issue, we'll publish one or more questions and answers from readers. Now here's the cool part: if we select your question and answer, we'll send you free copies of our books.

The winning Q&A (from Max Aaron):

Q. Why are there so many conspiracy theories about how Jews are behind the creation and distribution of the corona virus?

A. In as little time as it took to drink a cup of coffee and eat a bagel, I downloaded and read more than a dozen articles about how we Jews are linked to the creation and spread of COVID-19. This comes from: the religious right, based on 2000 year old canards initially kept alive by the Church; from ultra conservatives who believe that it is an attempt by Jews to control the world’s economy; from the far left where hatred of Israel is standard fare, especially on college campuses (viz. BDS and vitriolic harassment of Jewish students, among other things); from Palestinian groups such as Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel; and from Iran, where it seems there’s hardly a day in which the Ayatollah doesn’t call for the elimination of the state of Israel. ‘The Jews caused the Corona virus’ is a meme that gets traction from many disparate groups, and is amplified through countless social media platforms and sites on the Dark Web. It’s so much easier to find a scapegoat for a problem with a resulting tragedy than to dig deep to get at the root cause through a thorough examination of facts. It’s all so much more difficult today to combat unfounded charges when we live in an era in which if an actual fact goes against one’s predilections, the response is to yell ‘fake news.’ 

Think I’m exaggerating any of this? Take a look at the following … just one of the extraordinary quotes from the sites I downloaded: "The Palestinian Authority (PA) accused Israel of smuggling Palestinian workers back into Palestinian-controlled territory through wastewater tunnels to avoid testing checkpoints, in the hope of spreading the infection. Equally bizarre, the PA has also claimed Israeli soldiers mounted a campaign of spitting on Palestinian car door handles to spread the virus to the Arab population."

David Harris of the American Jewish Committee summed all of this up as only he can do. I urge everyone to send his short but extraordinarily clear, concise essay on this subject to others, especially those who aren’t Jewish and don’t follow these issues as closely as Jews do.
MY JEWISH YEAR: Sleepless on Shavuot by Abigail Pogrebin

"I was never great at pulling all-nighters in college. But I’m pulling one on Shavuot ('weeks'), which celebrates the
completion of the weeks between Passover and Shavuot—when God gave the Torah to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. I didn’t grow up understanding how huge this Torah-giving moment
was, how it marks, really, the beginning of Judaism."
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