Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

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.

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

Eight months have passed since the beginning of my experience with the criminal justice system. (I was arrested in June and accused of impersonating a police officer and was ultimately charged with non-criminal violations.) My involvement in that system is now well settled and gratefully behind me. These eight months have also given me the respite to reflect deeply on what took place, the challenge of being bipolar, and how to use this difficult and painful experience, and my diagnosis, to derive something positive.

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

This year’s trending Purim parody topic is the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado. President Obama’s recent public admission about getting high will no doubt fan these flames. And when there’s fire, there’s smoke. There will be, no doubt, lots of non-medicinal smoking going on, in and out of Colorado, this Purim.