Judaism

Are You There God? It’s Us, The Jews

Can religion, especially Judaism, work if you don’t believe in the Big Guy upstairs?
04/09/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The latest turn in the New Atheist debates can be summed up like this: even if you don’t believe in God, religion still has a lot to offer. Public intellectuals like Alain de Botton and James Gray in Britain, and scientists like E.O. Wilson and Jonathan Haidt in America, all of them atheists, have made a similar case in their recent books and essays.

Photo Credit: Daniel Addison

Is Judaism A Religion Or A Culture?

Conference on Moses Mendelssohn, new book fuel debate on thorny issues of faith, identity.
08/29/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The case for a new, fuller understanding of what defines Judaism.

As any Jew knows, trying to define what it means to be Jewish is difficult, if not impossible. Yet still we try: over the past two decades, the number of American Jews who define themselves as secular has nearly doubled; in Israel, a country founded on secular and nationalistic notions of Judaism, the religious population has risen dramatically. Fifty-eight percent of Israeli Jews now consider themselves either traditional or religious, while just 42 percent say they’re secular.

Leora Batnitzky

Can You Twitter Judaism?

Is Twitter a good medium for Judaism? Two articles were recently posted on the Web that took opposing viewpoints on this question.

Can Judaism be taught or sold through the medium of Twitter?

The Forgotten Population: Domestic Workers in Our Homes

06/16/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Ever stop to ask the salary of the woman washing dishes on Shabbat in your neighbor's home, or the gentleman mowing your friend's lawn about his vacation, or the nanny raising the children down the block whether she had time to sit down for lunch today? If you did, you most likely discovered an unpleasant situation of inadequate pay, few or no breaks, no paid sick or vacation days and perhaps even bullying or verbal abuse. But how can it be? Those employers (neighbors) seem so nice, and their domestic workers always seem to be smiling and content.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Artificial Meat: Kosher or Not?

06/16/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

 Q -  I recently heard reports about the creation of artificial meat, using with animal stem cells.  To this point, it exists only in a Petri dish, but it's time to start asking the tough questions.  As one who keeps kosher and who is a vegetarian, would this kind of meat would be kosher - and would that be true even for pork?  And since no killing would be involved, could a vegetarian eat this meat with a clear conscience?

A- As they say at Citi Field, it’s time to “Meet the Meats.”

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

A Most Unusual Conversation: The Jewish Week Retreat

06/16/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

From noon this past Sunday to noon Tuesday forty-eight hours later, I was privileged to participate in a program called “The Conversation,” held in the lovely Pearlstone Conference Center just outside of Baltimore. Sponsored by The Jewish Week and made possible through the generous support of UJA-Federation, the program brought together some fifty Jews active in one way or other in the Jewish community of New York for what seemed like an odd purpose- to talk to one another.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Yeridat haDorot, The Descent of Man: Is Progress Possible in our Time?

06/09/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Will we ever end poverty, hunger and genocide? Is there hope that tomorrow will look brighter than today? The social justice movement is guided by a messianic vision that a world that is more just and free is possible. Can we, as Jews, embrace this promise of progress?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Curious Case of Anthony Weiner: A Cautionary Tale

06/08/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…"

Sir Walter Scott could not have been more right, as my congressman, Anthony Weiner, discovered this past week. The problems inherent in the lewd pictures, incomprehensibly bad judgment, and arrogant assumption of invincibility were only exacerbated ten times over by the untruths that followed. The whole affair is a tawdry mess, and an embarrassment.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Finding a Reform Jewish Voice in New York State

06/08/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the best "greatest hits collection" of the Torah - The Book of Deuteronomy! (applause, applause) Am I right?

Rabbi Marci Bellows

Flooding a Town to Save Another

06/02/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Q -In reading about the recent Mississippi River floods, it was shocking to see how spillways were opened in less populated areas, in effect deliberately flooding out thousands of homes in order to save more populated areas downstream. How can anyone justify wiping out entire communities like that? And conversely, is it right for people to deliberately move into areas that are known "spill zones," where flooding is known to occur.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
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