Our kids had just departed for a month of sleep-away camp. Michael and I were finally alone, and we were ready for adventure, romance, and connection. For our first night, we had it all planned out, something we had never done before:
His and hers dentist appointments.
As Michael sat in one reclining chair, feet up, bibbed, and suctioned, I sat in the next examination room, similarly bedecked. Dr. W put on his four-lens glasses and attempted to relax me:
“I’m just going to take a look, so this won’t hurt yet.”
$100,000 for a wedding? $20,000 for a bar mitzvah? When did extravagance and luxury become such primary Jewish values? I can’t remember the last simcha (Jewish celebration) I attended at which there were not tremendous amounts of wasted food, overly expensive napkins and bands large enough for a royal banquet.
Reps of 18 synagogues rally support to make national organization ‘more transparent, accountable and responsive.’
A group of disaffected leaders of 18 Young Israel synagogues has begun soliciting support for constitutional changes that they say would make the National Council of Young Israel “more transparent, accountable and responsive to member branches.”
In the Babylonian Talmud, the ancient rabbis taught that silence, while a sign of humility and often wisdom, can also have a darker side. Sh’tika k’hoda’ah damei, they said. Remaining silent can, in the wrong circumstance, indicate your agreement with or surrender to what has been said. Silence can be a two-faced sword.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that ancient teaching lately.
Since returning from the 36th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem a week ago, I have struggled with a palpable sense of unease about the state of Zionism and the Jewish future. My first impulse was to rather brutally lay that unease at the feet of the World Zionist Organization, which convened the Congress.
In retrospect, I think that impulse was wrong, and unfair.
Fifty years after their JTS graduation together, Harold Kushner and Neil Gillman reflect on their career paths.
Special To The Jewish Week
When, late this spring, 16 distinguished-looking silver-gray and white-haired gentlemen stood side by side on a stage at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) to pose for their half-century reunion photograph, you could almost see them blinking through their smiles, reflecting in their minds’ eyes on the younger selves that appeared in a similar photo of the rabbinic class of 1960.
Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.
I wanted my newborn twins’ homecoming to be perfect. But four days after Jacob and Sophie were born, my husband Michael and I were permitted to bring our robust seven-pound son home while our daughter, a dainty four pounds, had to stay in the NICU for a few more days. With one baby in arms and one left behind, our return home was far from perfect. I would quickly learn, however, when perfection would be critical -- and when good enough was good enough.