A Rabbi's World

04/14/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In what was, in retrospect, a striking metaphor for this Hebrew month of Nisan, a congregant asked me at services last night whether it was permissible to distribute special memorial candles for Yom Hashoah- Holocaust Commemoration Day- during these concluding days of Passover.

To phrase his question another way- can we disturb the sacred obligation to celebrate our ancient redemption with a jarring reminder of contemporary exile and destruction?

Such an interesting question, and so very Jewish…

04/24/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

The State of Israel celebrates its sixty-first birthday this coming week.  I find myself wondering whether there exists another country in the world that has to apologize for its existence in order to celebrate, as Israel does.

05/05/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

For those of you who follow this blog, I ask that you allow me an “excused absence” for not having posted last week.  I was in Israel, having left on very short notice to join my sister in attending to my critically ill mother.  She remains extremely critical as of this writing, and I expect to have to return to Israel within a few days…

05/15/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

I can hear you saying “what is this guy talking about?”  After all, it’s two weeks before Shavuot, and penitence is a high holiday theme.  Not yet, rabbi, not yet!!

06/10/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

When last I wrote, I had recently returned from Israel and visiting my very sick mother.  Since then- just a little over two weeks ago- she died.  I flew back to Israel for the burial, sat shiva with my sister for a few days, and then returned here to complete my shivah in my own community in Forest Hills.  The day after I got up from shiva was the eve of Shavuot… It’s been a very long, and very exhausting few weeks.

06/19/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Now that both President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have issued significant pronouncements on the prospects for (and path to) Middle East peace, American Jews are scrambling to figure out how to make sense of it all.  We are, quite obviously, no longer dealing with an American president who will write Israel a “blank check” as regards its policies, a la George W. Bush.  But many of the people I’ve spoken are struggling to figure out whether or not, in the words of the classic joke, this is good or bad for the Jews.