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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

02/10/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

When New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes about Israel, he tends to irritate loyalists ready to condemn anyone making critical judgments about Israeli policies. In his 1989 book, “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” he mentioned his wife’s father being stopped by a friend who told him, “Your son-in-law Tom Friedman is the most hated man in New York City today.” His crime? Daring to report that Israeli soldiers behaved less than admirably in the invasion of Lebanon, and also describing Israel’s less than honorable role in the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinians.

02/10/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

‘Don’t look up,” my host cautioned. “The guy to our right is one of the troublemakers. Keep walking ahead.”

He was talking about the thugs attacking individuals, and institutions, which break from conformity in the poor and tight-knit neighborhood we were walking through. We weren’t in Gaza or Afghanistan. I was on the streets of Israel, and this impressive Torah scholar was telling me about the social change he is trying to advance through teaching elite groups of rabbis and community leaders.

02/10/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

It’s hard to be in the middle. Politically, the far right has put mainstream Republicans on the defensive, and the left has sent centrist Democrats scurrying to identify with populism. Religiously, fundamentalism on the right has opposed any form of change, and an aggressive atheism on the left has mounted a war against traditional beliefs. Yet, while the extremes may sometimes foment revolutions, the middle keeps society going. And the middle is the hardest place to be.

02/10/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

I was disappointed by Paul Golin’s piece dismissing in-marriage advocates, although presumably I should be thanking him for not listing me as one of the superannuated, failed has-beens whom he claims made up the meeting on the Pew survey and its implications for the Jewish community (“In Marriage Advocates Are Living In The Past,” Jan. 31). 

02/09/2014 - 19:00 | | Opinion

The setting was the annual dinner of the SAR Academy, a leading Modern Orthodox day school in Riverdale, enrolling over 1000 students from homes throughout the tri-state area. SAR’s long-standing school president closed the evening by applauding Rabbi Avi Weiss for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the Jewish people in the face of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s efforts to delegitimate him. A standing ovation ensued. For one evening, at least, grass-roots Modern Orthodoxy had spoken out in unequivocal opposition to the senseless and arbitrary actions of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.

02/05/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Paul Golin wrote a punchy essay in these pages attacking an event at which I was a participant (“In-Marriage Advocates Are Living In The Past,” Opinion, Jan. 31). He described the woozy sense of deja-"Jew" he felt while reading that the usual suspects, those old, Brooklyn-born, “long-timers” who had been at it “for decades” were at it again. Golin suggested these out-of-touch communal leaders were standing at the “helm of a ship that they’ve scraped against the iceberg of American society,” while blaming the passengers for getting off.