It’s been a strange period of time. We rabbis are used to having many different types of lifecycle events throughout the month. We ride along the continuum of a human life, understanding that funerals are balanced by baby-namings, and that B’nai Mitzvah will hopefully lead to beautiful weddings under a chuppah. We visit sick congregants in the hospital, and hope to welcome just as many healed congregants back into our synagogues’ walls.
To be effective in the pulpit rabbinate requires that one possess (or develop) an eclectic and demanding set of skills. You have to be knowledgeable in Torah, a master of synagogue skills, a good teacher, a good speaker, a good counselor, and of course it doesn’t hurt to be young and charismatic…
A slain teenager, a grieving father and the press.
Ari L. Goldman
Special To The Jewish Week
We all recognize victims of terror. We know about them — and their bereaved families — from news reports and public memorial services. We are about to see a new wave of such reports and memorials as we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
But what we don’t always recognize are how the victims of terror are often “re-victimized” by society, by politicians, by charities and by the press.
In the recent weeks of the Kletzky family’s tragedy — the disappearance and murder of 8-year-old Leiby in Borough Park, and the subsequent week of shiva — a group of Orthodox volunteers played a prominent part in the news coverage, coordinating the search for the missing boy, serving as a liaison with police and medical officials and announcing a Torah scroll that will be written in Leiby’s memory.
But the Kletzkys weren’t the only mourners helped during that time by the Brooklyn-based group, known as Misaskim (the Hebrew word for those who assist).
The story was recently told to me about a Facebook user who updated her status message to announce the death of her grandmother and the grief she was feeling because of the loss. Her friend's mother, a Facebook newbie, read the status update and clicked Facebook's "Like" option. Was this a Facebook faux pas or a way to express condolences in the era of social networking?
New York City and Hebrew University were each chosen as terror targets because of their openness and embrace of diversity, City Council leaders said Tuesday as they renamed a street in memory of Janis Ruth Coulter.
The Massachusetts native, who converted to Judaism and moved to Brooklyn, was among nine people murdered last summer when a terrorist's bomb destroyed the cafeteria at the University's Mount Scopus campus.
Unlike thousands of World Trade Center workers on Sept. 11, Abe Zelmanowitz had easy access to an escape route from the doomed twin towers.
But the 55-year-old Brooklyn resident, an Orthodox Jew, refused to leave behind a disabled colleague. He remained on the 27th floor of the north tower, even after firefighters reached them, and even after the south tower collapsed.
Now, a Brooklyn yeshiva wants to make sure the Torah values Zelmanowitz embodied are imparted on others.
Organizers of Agudath Israel’s 76th annual dinner Sunday night considered canceling it upon word, just hours before the event, that their leader of more than 30 years had died. But they decided that Rabbi Moshe Sherer, who succumbed to leukemia at 76, would have wanted the dinner to continue as planned. Hundreds of guests had flown into New York for the occasion — not the least of whom being Vice President Al Gore.