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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

10/28/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

It’s been a rough post-Yom Kippur for Jews in Washington, D.C. What shook me most about the Freundel scandal — our “Water”gate — is how many people said, “I’m shocked but not surprised.” Really?

10/28/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Many in the Jewish community seem to be transfixed at the moment with the ongoing voyeurism scandal concerning Rabbi Barry Freundel. A flood of articles has been published throughout the United States and Israel focusing on the details of the police investigation or debating mikvah politics and Orthodox Judaism. These are important issues, but they're a bit abstract. They can't answer the question of what it feels like to be a potential victim of Rabbi Freundel. What was it like to go through a conversion with him?

10/21/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The sage Hillel is one of the heroes of Jewish tradition. He is the author of pithy quotes like “If not now, when?” and “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others; the rest is commentary — go learn it!” He was willing to accept converts that his rabbinic interlocutor and foil, Shammai, rejected.

10/20/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

As another case of alleged rabbinic impropriety emerges, I am most concerned with how the community moves forward. Our focus at this point in time should not be on the individual; rather we should focus on collective responsibility. What could we have done? Where do we go from here?

10/20/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

It’s been a rough post-Yom Kippur for Jews in DC. What shook me most about the Freundel scandal – our 'Water'gate – is how many people said, “I’m shocked but not surprised.” Really? Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was arrested for voyeurism this past week, is an articulate scholar with a reputation as a forceful leader who put down other rabbis and congregations and could be fierce about institutions and practices he did not like. A friend who heard the news observed, “Beware the rabbi who protests too much.” If the allegations are true, this was not a crime of intimacy. It was a crime of power. Crimes of power happen when power is unchecked. Another friend said, “The problem is that the rabbinate is still a deregulated industry.”

10/14/2014 | | Opinion

Editor’s Note: An article in the New York Post, “Bubba’s Kosher Sex” (Oct. 11), reported on one of an estimated 10,000 documents released last week by the Clinton presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. It was a memo written by a senior Hillary Clinton aide in January 1999, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, seeking to use Jewish law to defuse calls for President Clinton to be impeached. The memo referred to an oped piece in The Jewish Week at the time written by Susannah Heschel, a professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth, noting that King David in the Bible is condemned for committing adultery with Batsheva “but was never thrown off the throne of Israel” and is still “exalted” in Jewish history.