A Rabbi's World

02/12/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Dear Mr. President:

Over the past two weeks, to the consternation of a good many of my colleagues and friends, I have strongly defended both the integrity of your office and the legitimacy of your dismay with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu by publicly, and unequivocally, calling upon him to cancel his forthcoming address to a joint session of our Congress. For a wide variety of reasons, chief among them the insertion of Israel as a wedge issue in American politics and the public contempt being shown for you and the material support that you have shown Israel throughout your presidency, I believed the Prime Minister to be making a serious mistake.

02/05/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

I am not, as a rule, bothered by people who disagree with me, either publicly or privately. Were I to be, I would not have lasted for thirty-three-plus years in the pulpit rabbinate, and certainly not in the same synagogue. Almost by definition, rabbis who take strong positions on the issues of the day, be they moral/ethical or political, related to their own synagogues or to the world at large, will generate disagreement from those who look to them for guidance but see the situation differently. That is entirely the way it should be.

01/30/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

The news of your impending visit to deliver an address to a joint session of our Congress, at the invitation of Speaker of the House John Boehner, has generated a major controversy here in America, both within and outside of the Jewish community. I know that it is a subject of much discussion in Israel as well. My reason for writing is simple. I am, with the greatest of respect for your office and your responsibilities, asking you to reconsider your visit, and not deliver the address.

01/22/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Unless you were in a cave this week or otherwise out of touch with the world, you will surely have heard or read about the great ‘selfie incident” at the Miss Universe pageant.

01/15/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Even with the passage of a few days since the awful events in Paris last week, a lingering sense of horror and dismay continues to invade the bodies politic of the western world. And why would it not? What happened in Paris was grotesque and terrifying, with implications that will not disappear even if ignored.

01/09/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

There are aspects of spending time in Israel that can take one completely out of a “New York state of mind,” and refreshingly so. For all the problems that Israel has, and there are many, I have yet to spend time there without experiencing one or two encounters with people that are so unlike life here in New York, and I treasure them.