Judaism

An Uneasy Visit to Germany

08/24/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

I stepped out of the airport onto the cobblestone road and gazed out onto the traffic crowding around me. People with their luggage running to get a taxi, tourists asking for directions, businessmen on the phone and lots of noise. I closed my eyes and opened them again. Why was I, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, standing in front of Tegel Airport in Berlin, Germany?

Daniella Bondar

Rosh HaShanah 5771: A Taste of the New Year

New wines, boutique kosher chicken, summer bounty for fall holidays, non-traditional dessert options and new books as food for thought.
08/24/2010 - 20:00
Art by Debbie Richman

A God That Repents and Seeks Liberation?

08/22/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

The month of Elul is a time in which we pause and reflect upon our past year to engage in teshuva (repentance). I often ask myself: Are we alone in our attempts to change and grow? The Talmud suggests that God actually engages in teshuva (Megillah 29a). Can this radical suggestion that God grows, evolves, adapts with the times, and experiences redemption pass as an authentic Jewish theology?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Going Down the Road Feeling Fine

08/19/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

(Santa Barbara, California) For a little over a week now, my wife and I, along with two other couples that we've been friends with for just about forty years, have been slowly working our way down the coast of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where I will be officiating at a wedding.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Kiddush Clubs: A Destructive Force?

08/12/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

A number of years back, I attended a kiddush club gathering in the basement of a synagogue. Right when the haftarah reading began, about 8 or 9 older men snuck out the back and in a small dark room in the basement opened multiple bottles of alcohol. They drank excessively until the sermon was over and then not so inconspicuously returned back for the final portion of the Shabbat morning service. Isn’t it fair for one to enjoy a nice scotch on their weekend, I wondered at the time?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Curious Case of Steven Slater

08/12/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

After a three hour delay for what our pilot blithely referred to as a "catastrophic failure" of one of our brakes (how fortuitous to learn this before takeoff and not after!), my wife and I are finally on our way to California for a well-earned vacation. Watching flight attendants deal with frustrated passengers at 34,000 feet seems like a good time to spend a few minutes thinking about America's new cult hero, Steven Slater.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

File Sharing: Kosher or Not?

08/12/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q - Is it ethical to download and share current movies, songs and articles without paying for them?

It's hard to find a justification for the free use of video or music that people should be paying for. There's a reason they call it "piracy." But it all comes down to drawing the line between sharing and stealing.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Questioning My New Degree

08/09/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I received an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary this spring. I appreciate the recognition, but it has prompted some disquieting questions.

Reform and Conservative rabbis often get these diplomas, usually after about 25 years of service. So the honor has more to do with survival than accomplishment. I suppose it could be said that enduring 25 years in the rabbinate, particularly in the pulpit, is deserving of special recognition. There have been times when I wondered whether a Purple Heart might be more appropriate, or maybe a Nobel Peace Prize.

Mating Patterns and Jewish Anthropology

08/09/2010 - 20:00
JInsider

With all of its obstacles, complexities and quirks, the search for a soul mate is one of the most exhausting and frustrating processes in modern Jewish society. In celebration of this past month’s Tu B’Av holiday, JInsider commissioned an anthropological study on the mating habits of North American Jews. We wanted to better understand the miracle of finding bashert (romantic destiny) from the text and in-field research. We assigned an undercover intern to research and scientifically document patterns of initial communication implemented in the NYC Jewish dating process.

One Prophet, No Gain

08/09/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The “prophet” Murray rails at the excesses of the Jewish community. The targets of the “prophet” Murray are garish bar mitzvah ceremonies, non-Jewish names stuck on Jewish children, and look-alike synagogue buildings. The “prophet” Murray also makes a case against the clannishness of Brooklyn.

The quotes around Murray’s title are more real than Murray is.

Non-prophet venture: Biblical-style book offers gentle satire of American Jewish community.
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