Judaism

We Have Met the Enemy…

06/29/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Since returning from the 36th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem a week ago, I have struggled with a palpable sense of unease about the state of Zionism and the Jewish future. My first impulse was to rather brutally lay that unease at the feet of the World Zionist Organization, which convened the Congress.

In retrospect, I think that impulse was wrong, and unfair.

Kushner And Gillman: Still Wrestling With Uncertainty

Fifty years after their JTS graduation together, Harold Kushner and Neil Gillman reflect on their career paths.

06/29/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When, late this spring, 16 distinguished-looking silver-gray and white-haired gentlemen stood side by side on a stage at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) to pose for their half-century reunion photograph, you could almost see them blinking through their smiles, reflecting in their minds’ eyes on the younger selves that appeared in a similar photo of the rabbinic class of 1960.

Fifty years of influence, and counting: Rabbis Harold Kushner and Neil Gillman.

Is It Ethical to Read My Husband's Email?

06/29/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Q. Is it ethical to read my husband’s email? I don't have reason to think he's cheating, but I' m the nervous type…

If you have no reason to suspect him, you would be putting far too much at risk by invading his privacy.  You in fact would be the one guilty of betraying trust.  Let it go.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Discrimination Within Orthodoxy?

06/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

A New and Wonderful Experience

06/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

It is most unusual for me to be away from my synagogue for two consecutive weekends, but this is one of those times. Last week I was in Jerusalem, attending the Zionist Congress. This week, far away from Jerusalem, I am writing from Newport, Rhode Island, where my son-in-law Yoni, entering his final year in the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, is receiving his commission from the United States Navy as a Navy Chaplain.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Mapping Jewish Life

06/22/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Fifteen years ago, at a scholar-in-residence weekend in Southern California, Chaim Potok asked the question: Is Jewish life meant to be vertical or horizontal?

The BP Oil Spill, Personal Responsibility and Jewish Law

06/18/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

This April, an explosion on a BP drilling rig caused the largest oil spill to have ever hit the Gulf of Mexico, which has led to mass public damage and estimates of around 60,000 barrels continuing to flow out each day. There are ongoing debates over who is to blame for this massive spill and who is accountable for the cleanup: The US government? BP? Halliburton? Transocean? Many fingers have been pointed and responsibility needs to be taken, but amid the cacophony of corporate vs. government clashes, we can also learn personal lessons from this fiasco.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Jewish Way Of Death

06/15/2010

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat Candles: 8:12 p.m.
Torah Reading: Numbers 19:1-22:1
Haftarah: Judges 11:1-33
Sabbath Ends: 9:21 p.m.

How will I die? What if (anything) happens to me (if there even still is a “me”) next? How will my death impact those I leave behind? The Talmud asks these questions in response to the death of Miriam and Aaron, part of this week’s sedra. 

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

Like It Or Not, We Jews Can’t Separate From Israel

06/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

I generally feel guilty about stuff. Sometimes I blame that on my being Jewish — other times I accept that it’s just me. Maybe that’s why the latest round of somewhat justified Israel bashing, as well as the utterly unjustified Jew-bashing that’s going along with it, has been keeping me up at night. Try as I might, I don’t seem able to extricate myself from Israel anymore.

Reborn Again? A Jewish Moral Argument for Reincarnation

06/11/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I fear death. I think about dying frequently and often try to make meaning of my mortality. Until recently, if someone had mentioned reincarnation to me, I would have dismissed it as a non-Jewish theological belief. I imagine most people share my visceral skepticism of the possibility of reincarnation and of its authentic Jewish roots, but perhaps we can temporarily suspend this disbelief and explore the idea together in search of a theology that can improve us. Perhaps, this thought experiment can even promote certain moral virtues.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
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