Not again, I thought, as I saw police gathering on 40th Street and Seventh Avenue yesterday afternoon, less than 48 hours after the bungled (fortunately) car bomb on Times Square, a block from my office.
When Joe and I got engaged 13 years ago in Ann Arbor, Mich., I was sure we’d have trouble finding a rabbi to perform our wedding.
As it turned out, the rabbi at the local Reform temple was willing and available. When we arrived for our first meeting, I came expecting a lengthy interrogation about exactly how we planned to raise our children. I was prepared to commit to taking an Intro to Judaism class together and ready to solemnly pledge we would hand over our future children to The Jewish People, never ever have a Christmas tree in the house and so on.
The Talmud — and everybody else — ponders the puzzling discrepancy between the two formulations in the Chumash with respect to the Sabbath. One iteration of the Ten Commandments (or “Articles”) in the Chumash uses the word shamor (“keep, guard”), while another uses zachor (“remember”) to describe the broad Sabbath requirement. These two locutions have been midrashically interpreted in different ways, in the broad range of halachic details that the Torah places under rubric of Shabbat.
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.
My grandmother sometimes complains about charitable organizations. She’s a very generous woman who donates to many charities, but she often gets frustrated by the amount of solicitations she receives. With each complimentary pen, notepad, wall calendar, or other complimentary gift sent in the mail (so she’ll remember to donate again), she remarks that these organizations would be better off saving their money and using it to fulfill their mission. She also expresses angst when a solicitation envelope arrives only days after she already sent in a contribution.
Sensing a growing economic crisis, Jewish groups are getting behind President Obama’s stimulus package.
A spiraling economic emergency has upset the traditional political calculations of Jewish groups and prompted several to become active in the national effort to avert an even deeper calamity.
This week the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the United Jewish Communities (UJC) were lobbying for versions of the massive economic stimulus bill now moving through Congress, a dramatic and revealing shift for organizations that have traditionally steered clear of positions on core economic issues like taxes and spending.
President Obama didn’t back down on the issue of publicly criticizing Israeli policy
While even dovish pro-Israel groups concede the Obama administration has done a poor job of selling its Middle East policies to a nervous Israel, there are growing indications major Jewish leaders are reluctant to directly challenge a popular and persuasive president on the substance of those policies.