Blogs
10/01/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Travel
St-Viateur Bagels in Montreal is run by Joe Morena, who calls himself a "good Italian boy who speaks Yiddish." George Medovoy/JW

Note: This is the third of three articles on eastern Canada. The other two focused on Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

10/01/2014 | In the Beginning
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfelf: His Yom Kippur stories bring a light touch to a heavy holiday.

A native of Staten Island, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld has served for a decade as spiritual leader of Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue in Washington, D.C., which bills itself as the city’s oldest Orthodox congregation. The rabbi, who was ordained by Yeshiva University and served for five years as associate rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, has helped revive Ohev Sholom by conducting a high-visibility outreach to unaffiliated Jews. He also teaches a regular class on Judaism at the U.S. Senate.

10/01/2014 | | Photo By Getty Images | Lens

According to legend, a destitute man came to a rabbinic sage in Jerusalem in the middle of the 18th century, complaining of his economic plight. The rabbi’s advice: He wrote an amulet on parchment and instructed the man to place it between the stones of what was then called the Wailing Wall.

10/01/2014 | | Staff Writer | In the Beginning
From shelves to the internet: The YIVO Institute for Jewish research is digitizing some 1.5 million documents in its collection.

Imagine 1,000 years of Jewish history at your fingertips.

09/24/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
Daniel Schifrin

There is an old story, a kind of midrash, in which the wanderings of the Jewish people are compared to the journey of a stone. Brought back to life by the mysterious modern commentator known as the Draschba, this story begins with the Akedah, the binding of Isaac, which we read during Rosh HaShanah. In the Draschba’s telling, the rock on which Abraham attempted to sacrifice Isaac was split open when the ram was substituted for the man. Those flints, impregnated with the joy of life affirmed, floated downstream into human history, distributed randomly in every direction, bubbling to the surface every time a text is split open, and its holy power ignited and revealed.

09/24/2014 | The JW Q&A
Dr. Jonathan Halevy, director-general of Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Dr. Jonathan Halevy, whose specialty is liver diseases, has been the director-general of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for the past 26 years. He is also chairman of the Israel Health Basket Committee, which determines which drugs, medical procedures and technology will be approved and subsidized by the national health care system. Shaare Zedek made news this month when breast cancer researchers there found that women who carry the BRCA1/2 genes are prone to breast and ovarian cancer — even if they have no family history of the cancers. Halevy was interviewed during a recent visit here.

09/24/2014 | | Photos By Hazon | Lens

Several hundred members of the Jewish community got a head start on High Holy Days shofar blowing on Sunday — sounding a Jewish alarm, so to speak, about the issue of global warming.

09/24/2014 | In the Beginning
Rabbi David Wolpe, in conversation with Abigail Pogrebin, described the Bible's King David as a "very problematic character."

Noting that a character’s first recorded words in the Bible reveal a great deal about his personality, Rabbi David Wolpe pointed out at a Jewish Week Forum here last week that as a youngster, the future King David’s first words in the Book of Samuel are, “What will be given to the man who slays Goliath?”

09/24/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Travel
Striking view from the Montreal-Halifax VIA Rail route.

Note: This is the second of three articles on eastern Canada. Next week: Montreal’s Jewish food and arts scenes.

“The Ocean,” VIA Rail Canada’s round-trip overnight service between Montreal, Quebec and Halifax, Nova Scotia, is taking me to the city that greeted my late father in 1924.

Like so many Jewish immigrants, he arrived by ship, but I arrive in Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada, in the comfort and style of a modern Canadian train.

09/19/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

I don’t anticipate having a chance to write for next week’s paper– the week of Rosh Hashanah is just a little busy for rabbis in the pulpit– so I hope you’ll indulge me in sharing a thought that, though a few days early for the holiday itself, is actually timely for the Shabbat of S’lichot, the penitential prayers recited on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah.