A Rabbi's World

08/03/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

In the spring of 1979, at the height of the struggle to free Soviet Jewry, my wife Robin and I were among many volunteers who traveled to the Soviet Union for the express purpose of aiding and abetting the efforts of Zionist refuseniks.

07/21/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

I officiated at a wedding not quite two weeks ago that, by all external criteria, looked much like many of the hundreds of weddings I’ve officiated at over the last thirty years.

07/14/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

There exists, in ancient rabbinic literature, the concept of a t'filat shav- a useless or ill-advised prayer uttered in vain and therefore to be avoided. A man is not to say "I hope my wife gives birth to a boy," for the sex of a child is determined at the moment of conception, and certainly not impacted thereafter by prayer. And if you see a fire burning as you approach your home, you should not say "I hope it's not my house that's burning."

07/07/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

When I first came to the Forest Hills Jewish Center thirty years ago, my first day of work was July 1. The fourth fell on Shabbat that year, so I was quickly introduced to a long-standing tradition of my new synagogue. On the Shabbat morning closest to the fourth of July- that year the day itself- “America the Beautiful” was sung as a closing hymn, instead of the customary “Adon Olam.”

06/30/2011 | | A Rabbi's World

A front-page article in last week’s print edition of The Jewish Week introduced the greater Jewish community to the idea of “half-Shabbos-” a version of Shabbat practiced, it would seem, by a not insignificant number of Orthodox teens. 

06/24/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

 Walking back to our home from a Shabbat lunch with friends last week, my wife and I happened to pass the apartment building in which now former Congressman Anthony Weiner lives with his wife. It’s just a few short blocks from where we live.