I've been up to various mischief so far down here in the antipodes. One of the things I did was to participate in Limmud Oz 2008, Melbourne. I gave four lectures there, as you can see by following that link and wandering around a bit. I initially thought I might write them, and post each of them as I gave them, but since I never write the lectures I give, it seemed rather late to start now. As a compromise, I wrote outlines, which I more or less adhered to sort of to a certain extent, at least some of the time, and I've now posted them, over here.
The four theses were:
1. Jews have the oldest living culture in the world, so they have a longer communal memory than anyone else; however, having a long memory is not the result of being so old, rather the insistence on not forgetting has enhanced the longevity.
2. The attempt to create a rich database with biographical information on as many of the murdered six million Jews as possible is an unprecedented undertaking (connected to memory, by the way), undertaken at least initially in adverse circumstances, and now slowly advancing towards completion. How, Why, What.
3. Was the creation of the State of Israel enabled by the guilty conscience of the world after the Holocaust? Answer,not at all, and actually, almost on the contrary. In 1947 the international community set up the Jews in Mandatory Palestine for a second genocide of the Jews in less than a decade. (And all of the hot air about the Palestinians paying the price for the crimes of the Europeans is hogwash).
4. Training soldiers to be moral while waging war is a daunting task, but Israel does it better than anyone else. Here's how.
Tomorrow I'm off to other arenas to do other mischief. Not certain I'll have access to cyberspace, so if you want a laugh you can spend some time here.