A Rabbi's World

12/10/2010 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Now that the horrific fire in Israel’s Carmel forest has been extinguished and Israel has buried its dead, Israeli politicians and pundits have begun the inevitable process of assessing blame for this unprecedented tragedy. I have heard many referring to it as the “blame game,” as if this can be treated like just another episode in which an oversight or omission on the part of some careless government functionary caused a blackout, or a monumental traffic jam. Find the most likely suspect, the reasoning goes, hang him/her out to dry, and go on with your lives.

12/03/2010 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In addition to serving as the rabbi of The Forest Hills Jewish Center- a position I have held for thirty years- I also currently serve as Vice-President of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international organization of Conservative rabbis. With some sixteen hundred members world-wide, the RA, as it is known, is a respected and important player on the American Jewish scene and around the world.

11/26/2010 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Over these past few weeks, I have delivered a series of both sermons and Torah study sessions that have put our ancestral patriarchs and matriarchs under a high-powered microscope. The goal of the presentations was to teach how the later rabbinic overlay of interpretive (creative?) commentary tended to glorify them and their attributes significantly beyond what the texts themselves would imply.

11/19/2010 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In what has to be a fairly unusual juxtaposition, I happen to have both a son and a son-in-law who are scheduled to be ordained as rabbis by the Jewish Theological Seminary this coming spring.

11/12/2010 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

While spending Shabbat on Manhattan’s Upper West Side a few weeks ago in order to attend programs relating to the “Zamir at Fifty” celebration, I found myself in the unusual position (a dramatic understatement!) of having to decide where to go to Shabbat morning services. I realize that “shul hopping” is a time-honored sport of that particular neighborhood, and there are plenty of Jews who do it in my neck of the woods, too. But I rarely get to indulge that urge to try something different on a given Shabbat…

11/05/2010 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Although the dinner celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Zamir Chorale took place last Saturday night, and the gala concert at Carnegie Hall was on the Sunday that followed, I must admit that, as a participant in both, I am having trouble snapping myself back into the here and now. I had such a wonderful time!