Obama Says No to Dalai Lama, Goldblog Synagogue Says Yes
Well, it's not actually called the Goldblog synagogue, though I might bring this up. Mrs. Goldblog is deeply involved there (she chairs the religious school steering committee, if you can believe it) so maybe they'll listen to the suggested name-change. In any case, the actual name of the synagogue is Adas Israel, and yes, we did have the Dalai Lama over to our Sukkah, thanks to our rabbi, Gil Steinlauf, who, unlike the most recent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, doesn't have his schedule dictated to him by Chinese Communists.
It was actually quite a touching visit -- the Dalai Lama was looking for a place to meet with Tibetan exiles in the Washington area, and our Cleveland Park shul seemed a good place (and it helped that the Dalai Lama's Washington flack is a prominent member.) The meeting coincided with the last day of Sukkot, so Rabbi Steinlauf, in the interest of interfaith harmony, invited the Dalai Lama to our Sukkah. He spoke for a short time, maybe five minutes, mainly about the survival skills Tibetans could learn from Jews. He spoke of Jewish resilience in the face of overwhelming persecution, and joked about the ubiquity of Israelis in Dharamsala.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the malignant and growing political movement that wants to deny legitimacy to the very idea of a Jewish country, and I've become more and more worried about the effectiveness of this campaign. But a visit from the Dalai Lama, who has lived most of his life without his country, is a reminder that the Jews, when compared to other small peoples today (the Kurds come to mind as well), have experienced a full-blown miracle of rebirth.