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Editorial & Opinion | Opinion

02/17/2014 - 19:00 | | Opinion

An Opinion column by Steven Bayme and Dov Zakheim (“Not a Proud Moment for the RCA in Dealing with the Chief Rabbinate”, Feb. 7) takes frequent and explicit issue with my Jan. 21 column (“Does the US Now have a Chief Rabbinate?” Jan. 24), and left me with mixed feelings. While it is quite flattering when two distinguished and long-serving American Jewish leaders take note of one’s writing, my views on the Rabbanut [Israeli Chief Rabbinate] and its relationship with the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) were misrepresented. While I am a member of the RCA and have rabbinical ordination from the Rabbanut, I speak for neither and have been publicly and openly critical of both, and especially the Rabbanut, since 2006 at the latest.

02/16/2014 - 19:00 | | Opinion

“I go to the mall and look for young girls. I stop one and tell her she is very pretty. If she looks me in the eye and says ‘thank you!’ I move on. If she lowers her eyes, shuffles her feet and demurs, I know I’ve found my prey.”

02/11/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

It may be risky to publicly admit that I’m thinking of someone this Valentine’s Day in addition to my lovely wife. But I am, and his name is Yair Netanyahu.

02/11/2014 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Opinion

The horrific murder last month of developer Menachem Stark and uproar over the callous media coverage of his life and death has put New York’s chasidic communities again at the center of attention. Whatever the facts established around Mr. Stark’s violent end and business dealings, and apart from the variety of opinions around headlines and protests – and there are sure to be more headlines, there is now a moment to plainly discuss our Hasidic neighbors and their increasingly prominent place in our shared civic life.

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.