A Rabbi's World

09/12/2008 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

It’s not a slow news time, to be sure, but after a conversation with my sister a few days ago, I know what the really big news story is in Israel.  It’s not about Ehud Olmert, Tzippi Livni, or any other political or religious figure; it’s about Paul McCartney.  Yes, Paul McCartney, whose forthcoming concert in Park HaYarkon on September 25 promises to be the biggest such event in Israel’s history.  

 

09/19/2008 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

We Jews are famously accused of seeing everything that happens through a single lens: how it impacts us.  Sometimes it comes out as “Is it good or bad for Israel,” other times it’s more parochially about the ramifications of any given policy or event for our own communities.  But we watch out for ourselves, and tend to be keenly on top of things as they affect us.

09/27/2008 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

That Ecclesiastes, he was one smart fellow…

Those of us in the New York Jewish community were witness this past week to what might fairly be called a “bonfire of the vanities.”  Egos were on parade. And as they were strutting purposefully, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was surely laughing.

10/17/2008 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

As I write this, the stock market is taking its first halting, spasmodic steps away from the abyss and back towards some kind of healthier state of being.  Of course, now that I’ve written that, it will probably go down a few hundred points today just to prove how little I understand how these things really work.  I readily admit that.  But we do seem to have eased away from the bleakest, most hopeless feeling that we’ve all known these past few weeks.

10/03/2008 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Being a congregational rabbi during the High Holidays is an experience in pressure unlike anything else that occurs during the course of a Jewish year. Jews you never knew were in your neighborhood (and some you did) seem to come out of the woodwork and find their way into synagogue services, sometimes changing the nature of the congregation entirely. Often, just to make their presence known, they decide that this might be the right time to get to know the rabbi.

10/24/2008 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

The ancient rabbis famously commented on the difficult opening chapters of the book of Genesis that kol ha’hathalot kashot; all beginnings are difficult.  It was a rather glib observation on the slow but steady deterioration of the state of the world from its idyllic, Edenesque state to the point where God actually regrets having created humanity.