Abraham Joshua Heschel

Kushner And Gillman: Still Wrestling With Uncertainty

Fifty years after their JTS graduation together, Harold Kushner and Neil Gillman reflect on their career paths.
06/28/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When, late this spring, 16 distinguished-looking silver-gray and white-haired gentlemen stood side by side on a stage at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) to pose for their half-century reunion photograph, you could almost see them blinking through their smiles, reflecting in their minds’ eyes on the younger selves that appeared in a similar photo of the rabbinic class of 1960.

Fifty years of influence, and counting: Rabbis Harold Kushner and Neil Gillman.

‘Beautiful Words Written Beautifully’

Irene Hizme, an Auschwitz survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis crafts, hand-lettered cards to benefit aging Holocaust victims.
06/14/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

In the basement of her Oceanside, L.I., home, next to a window and a hand-lettered “Patience” poster, Irene Hizme sits at a drawing board, creating works of intricate calligraphy and flower-filled branches.

A Czechoslovakia-born Holocaust survivor in her “early 70s” and retired biochemist/computer programmer, she spends much of her free time these days making thank-you notes and birthday cards. She does many of her works as a volunteer for The Blue Card, an organization that offers financial assistance to aging Holocaust survivors.

“I’ve had a good life,” says Irene Hizme, who survived the Holocaust and now copes with multiple sclerosis.

A Day For Wonder

Shabbat, as Heschel observed, is a ‘palace in time,’ a day to shut everything else down and think of the Eternal.
04/27/2010 - 20:00

Vermont’s Queechee Gorge, formed by glaciers 13,000 years ago, cuts into the earth for nearly a mile, a roaring cascade of water that ends amidst the Ottauqueechee River. If you are 20 or so, as my two sons are, and you trust that the slippery rocks will hold you, you can walk out upon the river itself, stepping from stone to stone until you make it to a large boulder at the river’s center, sitting there with the bending yews before you, water rushing all around.

 heddy abramowitz, Jerusalem Morning, 2004, Oil on canvas.

He Beat Us To It

Blacks, Jews and the house on Pennsylvania Avenue.
11/03/2008 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Everyone is familiar with the parlor game so fashionable among armchair Jewish and African-American politicos. You know, the one with the implausibly absurd question: Who will become the first Jew or black to be elected president, and which one will come first?
 

A Vision for Street Torah

03/21/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

This column is a protest: its intent is to help prevent Jewish thought from being hijacked to the monastic serenity of quiet mountaintops where peace is chosen over truth and the self over the collective. Authentic religion today is lived in the hustle and bustle of the streets and it is here that Torah can be most transformative for 21st century Jews. As Moses is reassured (Deuteronomy 30:12), “Lo bishamayim hi” – The Torah is not in the heavens!
 

The Lovely Bones

06/23/2009 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

“Transmissions flow from your heart to Mine, trading, twining my pain with yours. Am I not — you? Are you not — I?”

— Abraham Joshua Heschel, “I and you.”

Sing, Sing A (Yiddish) Song

10/17/2007 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Imagine yourself onstage with a hard-rocking, all-star klezmer ensemble. You’re singing Yiddish classics with great voices like Adrienne Cooper, Basya Schechter and Debbie Friedman, and 500 people are cheering.

Sounds exhilarating, nu? Or maybe a little scary?

Would it help if the 500 people were singing along with you?

“Well, a conservative estimate would say that between 60 and 70 percent of the people were singing,” says Zalmen Mlotek.

Seventh Heaven

09/26/2002 - 20:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

The advent of the Sabbath has been strikingly noted in the works of Hayim Nahman Bialik, the Israeli poet Zelda, Tillie Olsen and Philip Roth too. For many Jews, a world of memories is enfolded in the familiar aroma of roast chicken or the slow dancing flames of Sabbath candles. In her new book, “The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day” (Harmony), award-winning writer Francine Klagsbrun explores in depth the images and symbols of the seventh day to describe its complex religious, philosophical and mystical underpinnings.

‘To Build A Palace...’

Special To The Jewish Week
12/07/2009 - 19:00
On Saturdays, I often wake up in a grumpy mood. I know it is Shabbat, a day for synagogue and siestas, for refraining from the frenzy of the workaday world, for building what Abraham Joshua Heschel famously called “a palace in time.” But in my apartment, the only castles under construction are the kind we tend to trip over, those erected from blocks by my 5-year-old son and my 7-year-old daughter. In my home, Saturday has long been simply the day before Sunday. And that makes me grouchy.
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