Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

09/24/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Times of crisis can push societies to their extremes, inspiring solidarity, courage and compassion on the one hand, and straining capacities for resilience and tolerance on the other. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in Israel, where the conflict with Hamas galvanized a powerful sense of national community and, at the same time, increased tensions and acts of incitement between the country’s own Arab and Jewish citizens, deepening societal divisions.

09/19/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Two months of bloody war have ended in a fragile remission, and it is hard to say what it was all for. It took 50 days of fighting that killed 73 Israelis and over 2,000 Palestinians --including hundreds of children -- just to go back to the starting point with no real change in Gaza. And so, even as life begins to return to normal, we have no illusions that this quiet will hold for long. The next war is just a question of (short) time.

09/17/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

‘A yarmulke is an indoor garment.” Ask any male Ramaz graduate from the 1940s through the mid-’60s and he will recognize that declaration as one with which we — and others of our age — grew up. We didn’t wear kipot outside. We wore hats or no head covering. Essentially, we didn’t identify as Jews in the street, a street that was not entirely welcoming to us. It was a time of overt or covert anti-Semitism, and we were acculturated to be aware of it and respond accordingly.

09/17/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The High Holiday Season is upon us, which means that High Fundraising Season is upon us as well. The value of tzedakah (charity) is a central one among Jews of all denominations. In Devarim 26:12, the Torah famously mandates Jews to donate 10 percent of their crops to the poor. And later sources suggest 10 percent as the baseline, encouraging as much as 20 percent of one’s income as an ideal allocation of one’s philanthropic dollars.

09/16/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Shanah Tova! Happy New Year! Who says so? The summer saw three Jewish kids and one Palestinian brutally murdered, followed by a war — one ended by a cease-fire that Hamas leaders are already threatening to end by Sept. 25 if they don’t get the results they want. 

09/15/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

You can’t Bat Mitzvah your daughter.

DJ's and photographers (and many rabbis) are not going to like this, but the truth needs to be said ...