Judaism

Finding Ways To Celebrate Together

05/30/2011 - 20:00
Editor And Publisher

‘There is nothing new under the sun,” wrote the author of the Bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes who, according to tradition, is King Solomon, the wisest of all men.

Yet much of Jewish life, and particularly American Jewish culture, has been driven by the concept of innovation, or more precisely, balancing ancient tradition with creativity.

Gary Rosenblat

Kosher Indian

Siona Benjamin’s ‘visual midrash’ explores her identity as a Bene Israel descendant.
05/30/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Siona Benjamin was in art school in the 1980s, her professors told her to avoid narrative painting, and to keep her work abstract.

Siona Benjamin and her work “Miriam,” Photos courtesy of Flomenhaft Gallery

Battle Over Circumcision is Shaping Up in California

05/30/2011 - 20:00
JTA

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- In November, San Franciscans will vote on a ballot measure that would outlaw circumcision on boys under the age of 18.

Although experts say it is highly unlikely the measure will pass -- very few state propositions pass, much less one this controversial -- the mere fact that it reached the ballot, and in such a major city, has caused much concern for Jews and their allies.

Rabbi Files Lawsuit Against D.C. Elections Board

05/30/2011 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An Orthodox rabbi in Washington and two of his congregants have filed a class-action suit against the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics.

The complaint, filed May 27, claims that the board placed an unconstitutional burden on observant Jews by scheduling a special election on the last day of Passover this year.

1,600 Israelis Visit Joseph’s Tomb, Accompanied by Soldiers

05/29/2011 - 20:00

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Some 1,600 Jewish worshipers escorted by Israeli soldiers visited Joseph's Tomb for late night prayers, but the event was overshadowed by others who refused to leave the West Bank holy site.

The worshippers entered the site in the West Bank city of Nablus early Monday morning in coordination with the army. The visit came five weeks after a Jewish man who entered the tomb without permission was shot dead by a Palestinian policeman.

Conservative Movement Ordains First Openly Gay Rabbi

05/28/2011 - 20:00

 (JTA) – The Conservative movement ordained its first openly gay rabbi during ceremonies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Rachel Isaacs, 28, was ordained at JTS on May 19. She told the Forward that she began her rabbinical training at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, but switched to the Conservative seminary after it began admitting openly gay and lesbian students in 2007.

Standing Again at Sinai

Too many Conservative Jewish synagogues and institutions – the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism included – have forgotten the passion, the joy, and even the accessibility of Shavuot.
05/26/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

One of Judaism’s most profound ideas is the notion that each year at Shavuot each of us stands at Mount Sinai, poised to receive the Torah as if for the first time. The holiday, in other words, is an annual renewal of the relationship we Jews as a people experience with God through Torah.

Men Behaving Badly

05/26/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - In the wake of recent sex scandals involving Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Time Magazine ran a cover story asking the rhetorical question, "What Makes Powerful Me Act Like Pigs?" Ethically speaking, how does Judaism account for this constant abuse of power by piggish men?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

When Memory Overpowers Us

05/22/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

As a rabbi and educator, not to mention as a parent, I struggle with the question of how to pass along the often painful legacy of Jewish history without having it become disabling.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Do the Write Thing: When Oral Law isn't Enough

05/25/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

This past December, I wrote my (secular) New Year's Resolution article for the Jewish Week called, "Live Like a Movie Star.". In that article, I made a commitment - in print - that I would stop thinking about myself as a coach who just happens to write a column of careless musings, and to start regarding myself as a real writer.

Deborah Grayson Riegel
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