Blogs

The Dirty Truth About Orthodox Women Rabbis

The rejection of women rabbis and "rabbas" by the Rabbinical Council of America is "chilling," feminists tell us.

Really? In what way? What exactly can't Modern Orthodox women do, according to the new understanding, that has anyone chilled?

Can Orthodox women publish books, essay and spiritual insights on religious life, and be a leader in that way? Yes.

Can they do pastoral work, visiting hospitals, teaching bat mitzvahs, and counseling anyone? Yes.

Obama, the U.S.-Israel relationship and some historical lessons

This week I wrote about changing outlooks on the U.S..-Israel alliance and fears among American Jewish leaders about what that may mean for the “special relationship” between the two countries.

Torah Scroll? Yes, There's an App for That!

There will no doubt be many times when a new app is released for Apple's iPad and people exclaim something to the effect of "Well, it was only a matter of time until someone created that!"

This was certainly the case yesterday, when RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology, released its first iPad app. Approved by Apple, it is named the iPad Torah, and is essentially a scan of the Torah scroll on the iPad screen.

Moses, Here's the App You Downloaded

Sandra Bullock, Jewish-Baby Mama

If you Google Sandra Bullock and Jewish, you will get pages and pages of back-and-forth about the Oscar-winning actress' heritage.  WikiAnswers says Bullock was "born in Arlington, Virginia US but her mother was from Nuernberg Germany. Sandra Bullock is Jewish half jewish no doubt" [sic].

Sandra Bullock: Denounces anti-Semitism. Getty Images

Pesach Sheni - There Are No Sins, Only Second Chances

Today, on Pesach Sheni, the best Jewish holiday no one ever heard of, one reader kindly requested a reprint of story I wrote years ago that doesn't seem to be available online. Here's a slightly edited version.

Mother Superior

"The last two weeks of August are when kids are out of school in Israel and since so many people will be away from the office, I need to know if you will be able to work," my boss said to me.

In other words: Can the office count on me, a single, childless woman, to hold down the fort when everyone else is home with her kids?

American Jewish Congress and American Jewish Committee to merge? Don't hold your breath

The Jerusalem Post is reporting merger talks between the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress.

Pardon me while I snort.

In 23 years on this beat, I can't tell you how many times I've written about rumors of a merger between these two groups that have sometimes quarreled over which has the right to be called "AJC." It's never amounted to much except talk.

Why Blog?

There are many reasons to not like blogs. For one, they're derivative, the great many of them dependent on hard-earned reporting.  Usually, they're mere commentary on stories professional journalists have sweated long and hard to report. It used to be the case that newspapers would give a column to a reporter only after he'd spent years mastering his beat; the freedom to opine was an editor's great gift to a writer whose identity, individuality, whose thoughts and ideas were shackled in servitude to the ethical code of reportorial objectivity.

Does a Jewish Woman Need a Jewish Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle?

Two recent pieces have me wondering if I’ll be out of a job soon.

Not because of the sorry state of American journalism, but because these articles, both based on conversations with Jewish women in their 20s, indicate that intermarriage has become a complete non-issue for the next generation.

Gen. Jim Jones and fast and easy charges of anti-Semitism

 I can't quite get my mind around the fierce reaction to an allegedly anti-Semitic joke told by Gen. Jim Jones, the Obama administration national security adviser,  during a recent appearance before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank.

Those reactions range from ADL national director Abe Foxman's relatively sedate label of “inappropiate” to emails I've received (the usual chain emails, suggesting Obama-inspired pogroms are just around the corner) calling his joke “outrageous” and “anti-Semitic.”

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