Recent comments

  • Reply to: Serving Up ‘Conflict,’ With Palestinian Fare   10 hours 44 min ago

    Readers may be interested in the story, "Swords Into Silverware," written on the Conflict Kitchen not long after it was founded:

    As for the JW story here, I take exception to this quote: “Pittsburgh’s a small town, and we don’t have much cultural diversity."

    While Pittsburgh isn't Manhattan, it's not a small town, either. I suggest readers unfamiliar with Pittsburgh view this website: "Pittsburgh Rankings and Accolades":

    As for "not much cultural diversity," I again respectfully disagree. Again, it's not NYC, but, especially in Pittsburgh's East Side neighborhoods, diversity abounds, which, in part, is why Pittsburgh was among the cities The New York Times noted this week in the article "Where Young College Graduates Are Choosing to Live."

  • Reply to: In Defense Of The Met   11 hours 47 min ago

    For the record, I HAVE listened to the opera and read the libretto many times (initially more than 20 years ago, and also very recently).. My letter was based on that (not an autobiography that I will now read). But (assuming we are both at least reasonable people) the fact that we can both hear the opera and read the libretto and come to such different conclusions proves my point: the meaning is too ambiguous for it being a matter on which to expend precious moral capital. It may or may not be crying Wolf!, but many people of good will will see it that way.

  • Reply to: Rabbi Freundel: A Watergate Of Our Own   12 hours 48 min ago

    there are 19 used copies for sale on amazon

  • Reply to: Was Creation Really Seven Days?   13 hours 49 min ago

    According to this view isn't it depressing that we have absolutely no idea why the tora gives us a plethora of details of the lives of all the people before avraham? Dates, names of fathers and sons, places, etc.?

  • Reply to: For Converts, ‘Rely On Me’ Is A Dangerous Message   14 hours 48 min ago

    Actually, the text (Shabbat 31a) says explicitly that Hillel first converted him and then began to teach him. Rashi (s.v. gayreh) explains why Hillel converted him immediately.
    The text says this explicitly in the next story as well, with the Gentile who came to Hillel and wanted to convert provided Hillel would teach him the entire Torah while the Gentile stands on one foot. The Talmud says: "[Hillel] converted him, and said: 'What is hateful to you do not do to your fellow. This is the entire Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and learn."
    So in both cases Hillel converted first and taught second. What a refreshing breath of fresh air!