In the March 5 edition of The Jewish Week, Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, is quoted in two separate articles.
The first instance is in Jonathan Mark’s “The Edge Of Town” column, “Sympathy for the Devil?” Rabbi Shafran is quoted regarding the case of a brutal murderer condemned to death in Florida for his “heinous” crime but who was a “sincere baal teshuvah” who managed to ignite support from certain right-wing Orthodox organizations like the Agudah.
It's a strange thing about some liberal rabbis. They knock the concept of "Das Torah" (the unilateral and unquestioned right of sages to guide their community based upon their mastery of Torah). But then, when a rabbi such as Avi Weiss want to create a woman rabbi, he acts unilaterally, without respecting any communal consensus, based upon what he says is his own mastery and understanding of Torah. In other words, his Das Torah.
Tel Aviv — An accord expanding U.S. Evangelical Christians’ stake in the innermost sanctums of the Zionist movement has produced an undercurrent of unease in Israel and North American Jewish leadership circles.
Jerusalem — The summer of 1967 in Israel is recalled universally as a time of euphoria and romance for a country in the afterglow of a stunning military victory.
But for Yossi Klein Halevi, at the time a 14-year-old Orthodox kid from New York visiting his relatives for the first time, the war also inspired him and a cousin to mark the Ninth of Av fast by eating a falafel.
Jerusalem — Shimon, a student at the ultra-Orthodox Tiferet Israel yeshiva, says he is not prepared to serve in the military, even if a new bill calling on the draft of yeshiva students is passed in the Knesset.
“I won’t go into the army, even if there is a law,” says the army-age yeshiva bocher, who studies at the school from early in the morning until late at night.
Jerusalem — What do Israelis make of the crisis over conversions that has bitterly divided American Jews? While many are still unaware of the Reform and Conservative movements and what they stand for, there are indications that the issue, which has simmered for about a year, is finally making an impact here.
The media this week devoted more attention than ever to the issue. The mass-circulation dailies, which rarely referred to the conversion crisis, have been brimming with articles on the so-called “conversion bill crisis” for several months now.
Jerusalem — As Israelis lined up at hardware stores this week to buy plastic sheeting and rolls of adhesive tape to seal rooms against possible chemical or biological agents, Liora Abramson was taking things in stride — for now.
“We’re feeling really, really calm. If it weren’t for the news reports on TV, I wouldn’t know that a war might be looming,” said Abramson, 21, whose family moved from Borough Park, Brooklyn, to Tel Aviv eight years ago.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.