Spitting in Biden's face - and the face of many American Jews
Rabbi Gerald Skolnik
Special to the Jewish Week
By most of the standards that I- and I dare say many others- would use to evaluate such things, the State of Israel has had an altogether rotten week. At times, in fact, I found myself wondering whether, in some secret government catacomb, there was a small group of people working on a strategic game to see how many of Israel's American supporters the Israeli government could alienate in one week. They've obviously been hard at work…
This coming Shabbat will mark our annual observance of Shabbat Zachor, so named because of its command to remember the treachery of ancient Amalek against the Israelites. Shabbat Zachor is always observed on the Shabbat before Purim, since tradition teaches that the evil Haman was a descendant of Amalek.
Leaders of the American Jewish Committee emerged optimistic from meetings with top Egyptian officials in Cairo this week.
“There is a new recognition among Egyptian policy makers and the government establishment that the future success of Egypt is tied to Egypt’s relationship to Israel,” AJCommittee President Robert Goodkind told the Jewish Week.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit hosted the three-member delegation.
Josh met his bride-to-be in 10th grade when he left the private Hebrew Academy in Great Neck, New York and moved to the town's North High. "At first I thought he was a pest," says Amanda. '"I found him to be annoying."
By 11th grade, they had become friends, and Josh Wein realized he had a crush on Amanda Levine. It was obvious to everyone. Even their English teacher said to him, "Why don't you ask her out already?"
Sima Ariam is a good shot. Armed with nothing more than a Pentax automatic camera, she's prowled parties and public appearances waiting for the moment to strike. Then - click! - in the split second when her subjects unconsciously drop their public persona Ariam captures something she sees as more than a superficial image.
Just about a week and a half ago, an elderly man drove his car through the bushes in front of my synagogue, onto the steps leading up to the main entrance on the service road of Queens Boulevard. It's not clear what the cause was, although because he was driving a Toyota, his claim that the car accelerated on him suddenly seems (pun fully intended) to have caught traction. I don't know. Actually, I wasn't there at the time, and didn't think all that much of it.
What is missing in the uniformly negative response to Wendy Shalit’s recent bombshell in the New York Times Book Review, about how Jewish fiction bashes Orthodoxy, is an acknowledgement of the partial correctness of her claim: That by and large, Orthodox Judaism is more often the focus of wicked satire than fulsome praise.
Shalit’s tone in her essay “The Observant Reader” was so dismissive, and her blurring of the lines between fiction and community P.R. so thorough, that it was hard to find the nugget of truth in her critique.
The ongoing war between the cantors and the congregants usually turns to a cease-fire when the High Holy Days arrive. For a few days each year, even the most fervent would-be singers are content to let the pros handle the more difficult repertoire. (Especially on an empty stomach.) But on the CD turntable, the tension between liturgy as performance and liturgy as prayer goes on. These recent recordings, mostly of prayer and Biblical texts run the gamut from “follow the bouncing chazan” to “shut up and listen.”
The 15 families belonging to the Norwich Jewish Center, a dwindling, mostly elderly congregation in central New York, expected to celebrate Passover with a community seder inside their synagogue, as they do every year.