In his recent Opinion piece, “In the Legacy of the Rav, Allowing Rabbis to Decide” (March 18), Rabbi Avi Weiss sets forth an important lesson that great Torah scholars can learn from the Rav, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. Namely, when approached by students who have become community rabbis with questions pertaining to Jewish law, the great Torah scholar should be “persuasive rather than coercive” and “encourage local rabbis to understand that they are the final authorities of psak (legal decisions) in their respective communities,” and therefore they, the community rabbis, should ultimately determine the answer provided that the position they would take had “standing” in Jewish law in the view of the great Torah scholar.
With regard to Gary Rosenblatt’s article, “Hillary Clinton Helps Put AJCongress Back On The Map” (March 28), I am glad he was present at our dinner honoring former Secretary Hillary Clinton and that he acknowledged that the event attracted not only one of “the world’s most respected leaders” but also an influential business and political crowd.
Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman posits “Two Sentences That Could Change The World” (Opinion, March 21) if they were to be uttered by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani respectively.
I agree with much of the content of Rabbi Gerald Zelizer’s Opinion column, “Making A Place For Non-Jews In Our Synagogues” (Feb. 21). However there is a glaring omission and what I consider to be an egregious error. First, the rabbi assumes that all non-Jews in the synagogue or who might participate in a life cycle or other ritual events are married.
You describe the relentless psychological war on Israel with great precision in your Editorial, “Who’s Teaching (Defending) Zionism Anymore?” (Feb. 28). It’s one thing to question Israeli policies, virtually a national sport in Israel itself. It’s quite another to assert that Israel is illegitimate, or to seek through boycott, divestment, and sanctions to undermine the nation and flood it with enough refugees to alter its Jewish character.
As Jews, we are obligated not merely to study Torah, but to live the moral and ethical lessons contained therein. Our Tanach is replete with parables from which we are to learn the imperative of righteous action. One example is that we may not stand idly by while our fellow man is being attacked because we have a duty to protect our community. That said, the objection of those Israeli Orthodox who refuse to serve in the military (with support from their American counterparts), is extremely troubling (“Haredim And The Draft,” Editorial, March 14).