A Rabbi's World

03/27/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

The disclosures last week about alleged abuse of civilians by Israeli troops during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza must give us pause.  The allegations, if true, are serious.  To be sure, the kind of casual disdain for human life- even of one’s enemy- that is reflected in the anecdotal evidence, even in the t-shirts that some soldiers were seen wearing, should cause alarm bells to ring in the IDF’s Central Command.  And indeed it has.

04/03/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Yes, it’s that time again.  We can no longer hide from the 800-pound gorilla in the room.  Passover is less than a week away, and there is no avoiding the inevitable hysteria that it generates.  I remember how, as a young child, this was my favorite time of year.  Ah, youth…

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!!