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.
How will I die? What if (anything) happens to me (if there even still is a “me”) next? How will my death impact those I leave behind? The Talmud asks these questions in response to the death of Miriam and Aaron, part of this week’s sedra.
I generally feel guilty about stuff. Sometimes I blame that on my being Jewish — other times I accept that it’s just me. Maybe that’s why the latest round of somewhat justified Israel bashing, as well as the utterly unjustified Jew-bashing that’s going along with it, has been keeping me up at night. Try as I might, I don’t seem able to extricate myself from Israel anymore.
Note: This summer Campus Confidential will explore the many ways Jewish students are spending their vacation. Have a great summer story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I introduced myself to my summer housing roommate as a student from Brown University with a Jewish heritage studying Arabic for the summer at a Catholic University founded by Jesuits, the first response I got was the ever-articulate “Wow!” His next question was “Why?”
If you actually pay attention at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, you just might learn something new. Maybe you'll pick up a meaningful nugget of knowledge from the parsha that you've missed in the past. Perhaps you'll discover how you might get involved in the mitzvah project being discussed on the bima. Or possibly you'll get some insights (and eyesights) as to exactly how much shorter this year's hemlines are than last year's.
After Rabbi Milton Steinberg recovered following his heart attack he walked out into the bright midday sun. He thought, “How precious — how careless.” Life is so precious and we are so careless with it. How can we pay so little heed when we know that everything cherished must end? Perhaps we fear that if we care too much, the losses of life will be unbearable.
Two seemingly unrelated events that occurred recently made me think about how related they actually were. One was the death of the great Bible scholar Moshe Greenberg in Israel last month; the other was the publication of a new biography of the prominent American Zionist leader Abba Hillel Silver. Greenberg was born in 1928 and made aliyah in 1970; Silver was born in 1893, and though he helped found the State of Israel, he never settled there. Greenberg probably knew of Silver’s activities, but it’s unlikely the two ever met.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.