A Rabbi's World

05/13/2010 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Just a day or two ago, a young Israeli woman named Noa Raz, a product of the Masorti movement and its NOAM youth program, was physically assaulted by a Haredi Jew in the Central Bus Station in Beer Sheva.

Were the story to stop there it would be bad enough, but it gets worse.

Why was Noa assaulted? Because the Haredi Jew, a man, saw the marks left by her tefillin straps that morning. Noa prays with tefillin in the morning, as do many women in the Conservative and Masorti movements. That was her  “provocation.”

05/06/2010 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In this period of heightened tensions between the United States of Israel, we seem to have entered into a period of "dueling ads."

Lately it seems that there has been a spate of full page advertisements in both the secular and Jewish newspapers that would claim to articulate the collective will of the Jewish people.

04/29/2010 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Of the many things that I admire my wife for, one (surely not the most significant) is her ability to walk into an empty room in a house and imagine how it might or ought to look with furniture and everything else that makes up a room. The couch can go there, the rocker there, that painting over there… it’s this remarkable ability to see beyond what presents right now and have an image of what it might be.

04/21/2010 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Though it is now almost thirty years ago, I still remember the first time I heard my esteemed predecessor in the Forest Hills Jewish Center, the late Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser, deliver a eulogy. In his closing comments, he said to the grieving family members that grief is the mirror image of love. That is to say, people tend to grieve according to how they have loved. The greater the love they had for the person who died, the greater the pain they feel.

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But the truth is that it’s anything but…

04/14/2010 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Following last week's somber ceremonies marking Yom Hashoa, Israel will, on this coming Monday, observe its annual Yom Hazikaron, a solemn memorial day for her fallen soldiers. Rare is the family in Israel that does not know someone who has died in Israel's defense, or have a family member who has. And then, on Monday evening, the celebration of Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israel's Independence Day, will begin.

04/08/2010 - 20:00 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Like some gigantic parabolic curve that exists in both time and space, the two adjoining Hebrew months of Nisan and Iyar have their way with us.