Surrounded by dustily stocked bookshelves, antique lamps and floral artistic screens, a jazz saxophonist jammed along with his ensemble for a small crowd that straggled in and out of a dimly lit East Village basement this past Monday night.
No, this wasn’t your ordinary subterranean jazz haunt.
Israel may not be ready to wash its dirty laundry in public, but a local day school has some ideas for cleaning up the wastewater.
With the level of the Sea of Galilee — Israel’s major freshwater source — steadily declining, a prestigious science competition there is this year asking for new ways to treat washing machines’ “gray water.” A greater supply of safely recycled water that is fit for drinking or watering crops means less demand on the Kinneret, as the Sea of Galilee is known in Israel.
I fear death. I think about dying frequently and often try to make meaning of my mortality. Until recently, if someone had mentioned reincarnation to me, I would have dismissed it as a non-Jewish theological belief. I imagine most people share my visceral skepticism of the possibility of reincarnation and of its authentic Jewish roots, but perhaps we can temporarily suspend this disbelief and explore the idea together in search of a theology that can improve us. Perhaps, this thought experiment can even promote certain moral virtues.
The Jewish Week deserves our approbation for bringing readers a broad spectrum of opinion. Rabbi Shai Held’s Opinion piece, “Halacha and Innovation Not Mutually Exclusive” (May 28), caught my eye. I found it risible that Rabbi Held cited the Rav, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, to buttress his opinion against Rabbi Hershel Schachter. Rabbi Schachter is one of the Rav’s most distinguished disciples in addition to being a world-class posek (decisor) in his own right.
Rav Hershel Schachter, eminent Torah scholar and leading figure at Yeshiva University, recently issued fighting words. The ordination of women as rabbis is such a serious infraction of Jewish law, he insisted, that it technically falls under the rubric of “Yehareg Ve-al Ya’avor” — one should sooner be killed than violate the law.
The case for the evolution of gender roles in Jewish life.
Rabbi Shai Held
Special to the Jewish Week
This past week, Rav Hershel Schachter, eminent Torah scholar and leading figure at Yeshiva University, issued fighting words. The ordination of women as rabbis is such a serious infraction of Jewish Law, he insisted, that it technically falls under the rubric of “Yehareg Ve-al Ya’avor”—one should sooner be killed than violate the Law.
In Cairo, the once-crowded Shar Hashamaim is restored, but there are almost no Jews left to pray in it.
Special to the Jewish Week
I make it a point to go to shul on Saturday morning, and that wasn’t going to change when I found myself in Cairo last summer. Yes, it is in an Arab country, but it is my Arab country, where I was born and where of late I have found myself traveling again and again. There is no one there for me — the 80,000 Jews who once lived in Egypt are pretty much gone, as are all my relatives. Cairo, to paraphrase Janet Flanner, was yesterday.
We has just finished the cycle of days, from Yom HaShoah to Yom HaZikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut, whose leitmotif is Kiddush Hashem: martyrdom for the sanctification of God’s name, in the Holocaust and on the battlefields of Israel reborn.