British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: the Jewish people will continue to thrive if we maintain our pride and develop a sense of optimism.
Editor and Publisher
Listening to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks deliver a positive message of Jewish survival and triumph at Lincoln Square Synagogue on Shabbat, and observing the enthusiastic, attentive overflow crowds at each of his three presentations, helped strengthen the impression for me that he has emerged as the leading voice of Modern Orthodoxy and religious Zionism in the world.
The two men — Michael Steinhardt and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz — took center stage Monday night at the 13th annual dinner of the Aleph Society, created in 1988 to raise funds for the rabbi’s activities. And although their exchange seemed blunt at times, reflecting the wit of both men and the directness and irreverence often associated with Steinhardt, both men seemed to enjoy the dialogue, which was sprinkled with humor and words like “respectfully.”
Not surprisingly, as the economic downturn drags on, there is much communal discussion about the need for more and more funding to keep our most precious institutions and programs intact, from the federation system to Birthright Israel to day schools.
The controversy over Mel Gibson's upcoming film about the death of Jesus has spurred painful exchanges between Jews and Christians and progressive and traditional Catholics in recent days. To date, the debates have centered on the "proper" interpretation of the role of Jews in Jesus' Crucifixion, as presented in the four New Testament Gospels.
But this week, Gibson's $25 million biblical epic, which the director insists is about love and forgiveness, has triggered a new squabble: among Jewish scholars.