Judaism

Turn Bageling Into Caring

09/05/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

I recently learned the term "bageling,” in which you make known your status as a member of the Tribe to a fellow member, without ever saying so directly. As in approaching someone with a yarmulke and saying, “Gee, it’s as hot as Tisha B’Av today, don’t you think?”

Or, for example, a client with a WASP-sounding name managed to tell me about his son's bar mitzvah, coming up in five years. These people, and there are tens of thousands of them, want to be identified as Jews. But where does that go and how far?

The Road Not Taken: Avi Weiss, Michael Broyde And Women’s Roles

09/04/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Rabbi Avi Weiss’ recent introduction of women-led Kabbalat Shabbat services in his synagogue has produced yet another kerfuffle among his rabbinical colleagues, albeit one significantly subdued when compared with the recent “Rabba” controversy. And Rabbi Michael Broyde, a noted rabbinic scholar, has once again responded with an article that purports to outline the “normative” Orthodox position on Rabbi Weiss’ latest innovation. Not surprisingly, that position is different than Rabbi Weiss’.

High Holidays: Hard Work

09/02/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

After a month away from my desk, my community, and New York, I returned yesterday to all three. I had a wonderful vacation, truly and genuinely restorative, and it must be written on my face because everyone who sees me comments that I look rested. The last comment was- verbatim- “Rabbi, you look wonderful and rested. We’ll take care of that.” You have to love it.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Getting More Than You Paid For

09/02/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q. I just came from the store, having bought an mp3 player. When I opened it I noticed that they had given me a newer, enhanced model, not the one I had paid for. The store is about 25 miles away. To return it I would be spending as much on gas for the round trip as I would have spent had I purchased the newer model. What is the ethical thing to do?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Why Israel's Conversion Bill Is Bad For The Jewish People

09/02/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Over the last number of weeks, people with good intentions, and some with not such good intentions, have written and dealt extensively with the proposed Conversion Bill in Israel. I read what they are writing and wonder: do they really understand the Bill?

Following is an explanation, framed in a Question and Answer format. 

What is the problem the bill purports to solve?

Each Of Us Has A Personal Relationship With God

09/02/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

 I cannot say that I have ever rejected God. There were some years in which I was not interested, and that, perhaps, is the greatest rejection of all (much more than hostility or lack of faith). But then the world seemed too small, too confined, far too senseless without Him: To me, He is the all-embracing, all-encompassing being, the great Mystery, the transcending reality that is above, beyond and behind all that exists.

The Power Of Jewish Camping

09/02/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

There was a Bar Mitzvah at a Ramah overnight camp a few weeks ago. That's not unheard of, but it's notable considering current debates on the role, worth and nature of Jewish education.

To My Cable Guy, Judaism Is A Premium Package

I’m not sure when the discussion shifted from the cost of adding HBO and Showtime to the spiritual meaning of Shabbat and kashrus. But it came toward the end of my discussion with the cable guy who came to my house today. I know it was after I told him that next week would be rough for scheduling an installation date because of Rosh HaShanah. But somewhere in the course of my switching from FiOS, the cable guy expressed interest in switching from Christianity.

Time To End The Reform-Orthodox Wars

08/30/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

With the renewed seasonal outbreak of the Reform-Orthodox wars, I cannot see myself as a mere bystander, inasmuch as the letter by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, is addressed to me, as an official town rabbi. (See).

Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg

Jewish Weddings on Shabbat: A Different View

08/26/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

My friend and colleague Rabbi Leon Morris has made a provocative call for a moratorium on weddings performed before the end of Shabbat on Saturday evening. He argues that such weddings undermine the sanctity of Shabbat and send the wrong message about the demands of Jewish commitment.

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