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The Dirty Truth About Orthodox Women Rabbis

The rejection of women rabbis and "rabbas" by the Rabbinical Council of America is "chilling," feminists tell us.

Really? In what way? What exactly can't Modern Orthodox women do, according to the new understanding, that has anyone chilled?

Can Orthodox women publish books, essay and spiritual insights on religious life, and be a leader in that way? Yes.

Can they do pastoral work, visiting hospitals, teaching bat mitzvahs, and counseling anyone? Yes.

Siddur It Yourself: BBYO's Build a Prayer Site

When it comes to Jewish prayer, there are two schools of thought: keva and kavannah. Keva means "rote" and refers to the fixed prayers that are set forth in the siddur (Jewish prayer book), while kavvanah is the free and spontaneous inner devotion of the individual.

Intermarriage, Assimilation Are Not Interchangeable

04/13/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

In a recent speech to the Jewish Agency, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed challenges to the Jewish future and said, “The loss of identity through assimilation or through intermarriage or through both is the greatest toll-taker of Jewish numbers in the last half-century.”

Netanyahu is not the first and won’t be the last to use the words “intermarriage” and “assimilation” interchangeably. A Google search for “Jewish intermarriage and assimilation” produces more than 500,000 results.

New J Street poll: American Jews support Obama Mideast moves

There's a new poll of American Jewish public opinion by J Street, and I'm just going to take a wild guess and say Jewish Republicans and mainstream pro-Israel groups are going to dismiss the whole thing as propaganda because it's done by...well, J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action group that everybody else loves to hate (see the J Street results here).

Beyond The Rabba-Rousing

Lost in the furor over Sara Hurwitz’s title is the broader issue of women’s roles within Modern Orthodoxy.

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

 Dina Najman, rosh kehila (head of the congregation) at Kehilat Orach Eliezer on the Upper West Side, spends a majority of her day answering halachic questions, teaching classes expounding upon Jewish texts and counseling couples and individuals who are having personal difficulties. Her male rabbinic colleagues often consult with her on questions of bioethics, her area of expertise.

The bulk of the work that she does, she says, is not gender specific — and shouldn’t be viewed that way.

Rabba Sara Hurwitz: Fallout seen masking deeper concerns. jta

Klezmer’s True North

Remembering the clarinetist who sparked the klez revival.

03/18/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Readers will no doubt recall a long-running advertising campaign for a fur company that posed famous women with the slogan, “What becomes a legend most?” Not, we grant, a campaign you’d be likely to see in these more animal-friendly days, but the question is a good one, “What becomes a legend most?”
 
If the legend is a musician, the answer is simple: play the music. Anything extra is nice, but nearly extraneous.    
 

Joel Rubin, right, pays tribute to Dave Tarras, left, in concert at Museum at Eldridge Street.

For Bibi, The Political Tightrope Grows More Taut

Reports that Obama hoping prime minister
will have to include Livni in more centrist coalition.

03/18/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Can Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — a master tightrope walker — balance between the demands of an angry U.S. administration and the insistent right flank of his governing coalition?
 
Can he advance down the path of negotiations with the U.S. and Palestinians while continuing to hold fast to a coalition dominated by hardliners who are opposed to territorial concessions?
 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Strengthening Community With Help From The Outside World

03/18/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

 

 
Maimonides was influenced greatly by the fields of science and philosophy that surrounded him. He possessed a core belief in the importance of learning from those outside of the Jewish community, and immersing himself in the world at-large. His intellectually rigorous interpretations of Jewish text and philosophy have influenced great thinkers in the Jewish and non-Jewish world for centuries.
 

Searching For A Gillibrand Rival

GOP gains may give state party a shot at its first Senate victory since 1992, if the right candidate emerges.

03/18/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

 

 
Un-elected Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand may not face a serious Democrat primary this year, but if state Republicans have their way she’ll face more than a token challenger in November.
 
State GOP leaders have been courting contenders to take on the junior senator, but heavy hitters such as former Mayor Rudolph Giuilani and publisher Morton Zuckerman have taken a pass.
 

Dan Senor.
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