Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

03/17/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

This winter, we had the opportunity to visit Bat Melech, Israel’s only shelter for religious victims of domestic violence, at its Beit Shemesh facility. We spent spend time with the residents and their many children.  It was heart-wrenching to hear from these women about what they endured, but it was simultaneously heartening to see how they were building a new life for themselves. 

03/14/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion
Samuel Lewis, who died this week at the age of 83, was a Yale man, a career diplomat with a wealth of experience, a person of compassion with an open mind, an appealing demeanor, and a good friend with a great sense of humor. He was also very smart. 
03/13/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The Jewish world is abuzz with the findings from the recent Pew study: A Portrait of Jewish Americans.  The study suggests that Jewish identity in America is changing dramatically.  More than 60 percent of Jews who have gotten married in our new millennium have selected non-Jewish partners. And today, 62 percent of Jews say that being Jewish is mainly a matter of ancestry and culture, while only 15 percent consider it to be a matter of religion.

03/11/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

“What do you think?”

These are the words I often heard from my revered teacher, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik (known to his students as “the Rav”), when, as a younger rabbi, I came before him to ask questions pertaining to Jewish law.  Rather than directly respond, he would ask, “what’s your opinion.”  Often, he would challenge me to support my own conclusions.  After listening closely, he would at times say that though he was more comfortable with another opinion, my position had standing.  And since I was the spiritual leader of my community and understood it best, it was my responsibility to follow the conclusions I had reached.

03/12/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

Just like now, it was Purim. 2008. A young Jewish man was coming home from a Purim party in New Jersey. As designated driver, he hadn’t been drinking.

03/11/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

I have a memory from childhood of two women who lived close by me, but whom I never got to know. They were sisters who came from Berlin to stay in the home of my best friend, Naomi. Refugees — a word we were just beginning to hear often — from Hitler’s Germany, they had been brought over from Europe to our Borough Park enclave by Naomi’s mother, their second cousin. I don’t remember their names or the year they came, but I remember how they looked: straight-backed, rarely smiling, wearing thick heeled shoes and carrying black pocketbooks that hung rigidly from their hands. But what I remember most is Naomi’s anger that she had to share her bedroom with these two unfamiliar relatives, who seemed to her ungrateful for the help her parents had given them.