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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

09/30/2016 - 10:17 | | Opinion

“You know, of course, that your grandfather had once been a very pious, religious man?”

I am having dinner with my aunt – my late mother’s last surviving sister. We are discussing her father/my grandfather, a man who died 40 years ago and has always been a mystery to me.

09/28/2016 - 14:22 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Last Rosh HaShanah, I heard the shofar blasts in my kitchen, when my rabbi (who is also my mentor and friend) came over in the afternoon of the first day of the holiday, shofar in hand.

09/28/2016 - 12:21 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

How many times have you said or heard the phrase, Shanah Tovah? Even if you limit your response to this holiday season alone, I bet it’s dozens, if not hundreds, of times, and if you think about a lifetime of use, we are probably getting into the thousands. That’s a lot of good wishes — both received and offered. But what are we really wishing each other with those two little words? 

09/28/2016 - 11:28 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

You’re the executive director of a JCC, and your phone rings. It’s your biggest donor, someone whose annual giving is what makes it possible for you to offer scholarships to low-income Jewish children to attend camp, among many other things. From his first “Hello” you can hear in his voice that he’s furious, and your stomach sinks. “It’s that event you just announced,” he sputters. “That event glorifying the anti-Israel playwright.”

09/27/2016 - 17:52 | | Opinion

The Unetanneh Tokef prayer we recite on Rosh Hashanah is the most moving part of the High Holiday liturgy. It includes the following sentence that describes a vision of divine judgment to take place on the first day of the Jewish New Year: “All humankind will pass before you like a flock of sheep.” In other words, God’s judgment on Rosh Hashanah extends not only to Jews and the Jewish people, but to the entire world. The day has universal significance. The upcoming High Holidays are an opportunity to expand our perception beyond our selves and communities.

09/26/2016 - 17:23 | | Opinion

Whether we like it or not, the days are upon us when the sky begins to show more moon than sun. The shorter days mean the predictability of the Hagim, the High Holidays. And while Judaism does not have us worship either the sun or the moon, Judaism has had a long-standing relationship with the moon. It started centuries ago, with Rosh Hashana.  The predictability of the holiday commencing the Jewish New Year was not always a given for Jews in the past. During the rabbinic period- specifically the Mishna- the Jewish New Year was determined by the central rabbinic court in Jerusalem.