The recent federal raid at the Agriprocessors kosher meat plant in Postville, Iowa, and the accompanying allegations brought against the Rubashkin family and brand, represent a particularly sorry and damaging episode in the cause of religious Judaism in this country.
The sudden, shocking death of Meet the Press host Tim Russert last Friday has unleashed a powerful torrent of grief from a very wide swath of Americans. I readily admit that I, too, was horrified and saddened greatly by his untimely death.
Close to two weeks ago, Israel’s Masorti movement, the sister movement of North America’s Conservative Judaism, launched a new campaign to interest non-religious Jews in Israel in considering a Masorti wedding- fully grounded in tradition, but also sensitive to issues of egalitarianism and the particular wishes of the couple. There is a website set up for the campaign, and the media blitz of print ads and radio commercials directs interested Israelis to the site. There they can play “The Wedding Game,” featuring an interactive, colorful format to personal
It doesn’t happen all that often, but occasionally I do go to funerals where I’m not officiating. As a professional, I “enjoy,” if I can use that word in this context, the opportunity to see how colleagues do what I am so often called upon to do.
There are few more banal ways to open any kind of blog, article or sermon about Israel than to say “These past few days have been extraordinarily difficult ones for Israel.” But- that having been said- these past few days have indeed been extraordinarily difficult ones for Israel.
With all of our kids in camp or working elsewhere for a good part of the summer, my wife and I stole away for a precious few days alone, and, like God said about Tuesday a long time ago, it was very good. Though our (four) children are increasingly independent and only our youngest will actually be living at home this year, your children are always your children, and coupled with the pressures of our jobs, it was wonderfully rejuvenating to be away with each other and no one else.
As the summer Olympics in Beijing draw to a close, it seems like a good time to reflect on the goings-on of past few weeks. The big news (other than the Herculean feats of Michael Phelps and others), as reported by the people who determine what makes the news, seems to be that people actually watched, and in record numbers.
The imminent arrival of the Hebrew month of Elul is invariably a wake-up call to all of us. Aside from the obvious- that Rosh Hashanah is four weeks away- there are also, of course, subliminal messages that come with a time of penitence and sober introspection.