Joshua Hammerman

Should I Keep An Undeserved Bonus?

04/09/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q. My boss has decided to give me a big bonus for something I only helped with; another worker deserves it more than I do. But I need the money, and she is pretty well off. What's the right thing to do?

 A. Maybe your contribution was more integral to the success of the project than you realize. But, regardless, you should be forthcoming. Not only does our tradition demand honesty in how we conduct business, but it's really the most practical professional decision you can make.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Renting Dodger Stadium for a Bar Mitzvah

When is a Bar or Bat Mitvah too much?

04/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Question: My husband wants a lavish bar mitzvah for our son next year. I think it's wrong to spend $ 50,000 on a party for a 13 year old kid when so many of our fellow Jews are experiencing hard times. What does Jewish law have to say about this?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

The God Of OMG!

01/26/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Just before the December vacation, I challenged my class of seventh graders to keep count of how often the expression “OMG!” appears in text messages, Facebook postings, tweets, e-mails or other communications that they send and receive. When they returned in January, I was amazed — but not surprised — and what they reported: nearly 250 OMG!s were recorded among the dozen or so who participated. That’s over 20 OMG!s per person, or about two a day over the span of the vacation.

Year Of Crisis, Year Of Shame

Special to The Jewish Week
01/08/2010

 Did anything good happen in 2009? It’s hard to find the silver lining in this year of crisis and shame for the Jewish world — as hard as finding a likable character in “A Serious Man,” a film whose dark Joban overtones of unjust absurdity fit the zeitgeist perfectly. Hope was most definitely last year’s poster. We’ve had worse years, to be sure, but rarely have we suffered so much from wounds that were primarily self-inflicted.

The God Of OMG!

01/28/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Just before the December vacation, I challenged my class of seventh graders to keep count of how often the expression “OMG!” appears in text messages, Facebook postings, tweets, e-mails or other communications that they send and receive. When they returned in January, I was amazed — but not surprised — and what they reported: nearly 250 OMG!s were recorded among the dozen or so who participated. That’s over 20 OMG!s per person, or about two a day over the span of the vacation.

Year Of Crisis, Year Of Shame

Special To The Jewish Week
12/25/2009

Did anything good happen in 2009? It’s hard to find the silver lining in this year of crisis and shame for the Jewish world — as hard as finding a likable character in “A Serious Man,” a film whose dark Joban overtones of unjust absurdity fit the zeitgeist perfectly. Hope was most definitely last year’s poster. We’ve had worse years, to be sure, but rarely have we suffered so much from wounds that were primarily self-inflicted.

Should Mrs. Madoff have reported Bernie?

What does Jewish law say about her responsibility to snitch?

11/23/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

Question: Should Mrs. Madoff have reported Bernie? What does Jewish law say about her obligations?

Let's assume for the sake of argument that Ruth knew about the Ponzi scheme and that Bernie's crimes were committed while of sound mind and body. From the public record there is little information about Bernie's mental state - aside from indications he is a grade-A sociopath, of course.

So should Ruth have blown the whistle on Bernie? By all means.

Family loyalty cuts deep in Jewish tradition, but not that deep.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

‘If You Stream It, They Will Come’

09/15/2009
Staff Writer
Lisa Gilbert, a native of Cincinnati who now lives in Manhattan, listened to the rabbi’s sermon and the choir’s singing at her family’s Cincinnati congregation on the High Holy Days last year. From her New York apartment. Online. Gilbert, a 30-year-old research analyst, watched the live streaming Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services of Congregation Beth Adam, on the humanistic synagogue’s Web site, because she had attended several congregations after moving here and did not feel welcome or comfortable at any one of them.

‘If You Stream It, They Will Come’

09/18/2009
Staff Writer
Lisa Gilbert, a native of Cincinnati who now lives in Manhattan, listened to the rabbi’s sermon and the choir’s singing at her family’s Cincinnati congregation on the High Holy Days last year. From her New York apartment. Online. Gilbert, a 30-year-old research analyst, watched the live streaming Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services of Congregation Beth Adam, on the humanistic synagogue’s Web site, because she had attended several congregations after moving here and did not feel welcome or comfortable at any one of them.
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