Social Issues

Animal Cruelty and Jewish Law

05/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Q: This may sound weird, but I think my neighbor is cruel to his pet beagle. I know that if this was a person we were talking about, Jewish law would obligate me to go to the authorities. But this is a DOG. What's my obligation here?

A. You need to pursue this. I say this not merely because I am life-long pet-o-phile, a vegetarian with two cuddly standard poodles. I say this also because it is the right thing to do. Jewish culture has long championed animal rights.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Look Who Loves Obama!

Why are Jews so out of sync with the world?  Why can't we see all that's beautiful about Obama the way Libya's Gaddafi can? Did you notice the way he keeps bringing up Obama's Muslim father? I guess he didn't he read all those editorials and columns in Jewish newspapers, back in 2008, saying no one should ever bring up Obama's connections to Islam. But really, what did all those Jews really know about Obama and Islam?    

What Not To Say To Parents Of Kids With Disabilities

Parents of children with special needs have their hands full, juggling medical and thrapy appointments, often struggling to keep up with costs, and trying to give their other children the most normal life possible. When people not faced with these challenges encounter someone who is, they often feel compelled to say something.

Law Day and the US Senate

04/27/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

May 1 was proclaimed Law Day in 1958 by President Eisenhower, in an explicit effort to pre-empt the celebration of May Day as an international worker's holiday - one that honored the struggle for the eight-hour day begun in the US. But the celebration of the rule of law and observance of the struggle for workers' rights are not necessarily at odds. After all, it is through the democratic enactment of laws that our rights are made real. In our system, those laws are judged to be in accord with the protections of our Constitution - or not - by impartial courts.

A WaPo editorial on Arizona immigration law echoes concerns of Jewish groups

 A strong editorial in today's Washington Post sheds some light on why a number of Jewish groups think Arizona's new illegal immigration law is stupid and dangerous.

The Post writes that the new law 'will turn immigrants who came here illegally into quarry for law enforcement agencies statewide,” and that it “twists the Constitution."

Rainbow Flags Under The Chupah

In Connecticut, Jewish same-sex couples celebrate their newfound right to marry.

10/31/2008
Staff Writer

Born in Guatemala and adopted by two American mothers, 9-year-old Ellie Cooper has grown accustomed to standing out in her predominantly white Christian town of Middlefield, Conn. But now that her parents have gained the right to marry under Connecticut law, she’ll have more in common with her classmates.
 

“Often people will say, ‘Are you married?’” said one of her mothers, Jane Cooper. “I just want to say yes, and I want for my daughter to have parents who are married.”
 

Robin Baslaw and Susan Smith’s March 2006 civil union ceremony, performed by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum.

A Parent’s Consistent Love

04/28/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:

Shabbat candles: 7:32 p.m.

Torah reading: Leviticus 21:1-24:23

Haftarah: Ezekiel 44:15-31

  Should a couple ever let their children see them fight? Therapists have long debated this significant question. On the one hand, by taking the fight to a private room, the couple can spare their children feelings of fear, guilt, tension, etc. On the other hand, by allowing their children to witness the conflict, the husband and wife expose their kids to a realistic and, at times, healthy part of life.

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Shulevitz’s Shabbat

The author of The Sabbath World shares what she’s learned about the day of rest.

Staff Writer
04/28/2010

 Cultural critic Judith Shulevitz grew up in a house divided when it came to observing Shabbat. And she’s not the only one. What for some people is a kind of refuge is for others an antiquated and sometimes oppressive ordeal. From its very beginning, the Sabbath has raised questions, posed challenges and has spawned new ways of thinking for Jews and Christians alike. In her new book, “The Sabbath World, Glimpses of a Different Order of Time,” Shulevitz explores how the Sabbath has been observed and understood over the course of millennia.  

Photo By Michael Datikash

Broadcasts From The Edge

Israel loved on talk radio,
WABC buffs up ratings and Zionist lineup

04/27/2010
Associate Editor

If Israel is getting roughed up lately, that’s never the case at WABC-Radio (770 AM). Its conservative hosts — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, among others — can sound as if they’re broadcasting from Israel. Aaron Klein, their newest on-air host, actually is broadcasting from microphones in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. What was once “W-A-Beatles-C” might as well be “W-A-Bibi-C.”
 

WABC host Aaron Klein passionately supports the Israeli right, but Islamic Jihad and Hamas call in, too. “It’s important,” says
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