As was the case for so many others here in New York, Osama bin-Laden’s death at the hands of American troops this week triggered a flood of memories from September 11 and the days immediately thereafter.
Q - The killing of Osama bin-Laden sent Americans out into the streets in spontaneous celebration. I saw the raucous scene outside the White House and it made me uncomfortable. Isn't it against Jewish practice to rejoice at the downfall of your enemies?
Last week there was a major Congressional briefing on the effects of long-term solitary confinement. Experts demonstrated that prolonged, isolated confinement causes serious psychological damage. Yet most courts and legislatures have been unwilling to declare this harsh practice unconstitutional or to change this nation's current unethical practice. Can anyone hear the cries from the "hole?"
Twitter is still in its infancy and users around the globe continue to discover new ways to use the microblogging application. One national Jewish organization is now looking to release an entire encyclopedia via Twitter. If you think that sending out the content from an encyclopedia in less than 140 characters at a time might take a long time... well, you're correct.
The Jewish Women's Archive has begun to tweet The Jewish Women's Encyclopedia. The Twitter feed can be followed at #jwapedia
Will Sekzer doesn’t mince words when asked about the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. forces Sunday.
“I wish he could have succumbed in a more sustained way,” referring to a longer, slower death, “but a bullet in the head is good enough,” said the Vietnam war veteran and former New York police officer, whose son, Jason, then 31, never returned home from work at Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
During my years in rabbinical school,… Oh, wait, I have to check something on Facebook for a second… Do you mind waiting?... Okay, I’m back. So, where was I? Right – during rabbinical school, a frequent topic in our Professional Development classes was how to keep a healthy boundary between the personal and the professional (and, clearly I’m on the edge).
When my older brother Scott was a senior in college, he wrote home about the new woman he was dating. Three pieces of information stuck out: 1) she had the same first name as his sister (that's me), 2) she was from Minnesota (where's that?) and 3) she was Jewish. While many Jewish families would have regarded that third detail as cause for either relief or celebration, our family took it as evidence that his new girlfriend was in a cult, and would certainly try to get my brother to drink the (kosher) Kool-Aid.
The Orthodox Chief Rabbinate decided in 1949 that the Shoah (the Hebrew, literally meaning "catastrophe," that is now used for the Holocaust) should be commemorated on the 10th of Tevet, a minor fast day already established in the Jewish calendar.
Q - I was shocked to read recently that corporal punishment is still legal in 20 states. I also know the famous quote from Proverbs, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” But on Passover we are taught to answer a child’s questions with patience. Is it ever acceptable for a parent or teacher to hit a child?
A - It is never appropriate to hit a child, at school or at home. Period.