Jewish life

For The Sake Of Heaven

06/08/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 8:09 p.m.
Torah reading: Numbers 16:1-18:32; 28:9-15
Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24
Sabbath ends: 9:18 p.m.

 

Rabbi Neil Fleischmann

Remembering Two Scholars’ Contributions

06/08/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

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.

Ms. Maimonides: How Orthodox Women Will Be Accepted As Rabbis

06/08/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Some Jewish community leaders expressed disappointment over the recent resolution of the Rabbinical Council of America, the leading Modern Orthodox rabbinic association, opposing the ordination of women. By contrast, I was greatly encouraged by the RCA resolution that called for the creation of “halachically and communally appropriate professional opportunities” for women scholars.

Needed: Nuance and Balance in Gaza Flotilla Debate

06/04/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

When the New Israel Fund sent an action alert to protest gender-segregated buses in Israel, we got an enthusiastic response.

When we and the human rights groups we fund were attacked in Israel, viciously and dishonestly, we asked for signatures to a petition to Prime Minister Netanyahu in support of democratic dissent, and we got a very enthusiastic response.

But the immediate reaction we got to a brief, carefully-balanced letter we sent about the...well, let's call it the disastrous incident of the Gaza flotilla... now that was a response.

Rest and Restlessness: Faith, the Sabbath and How to Live a Meaningful Life - A Jewish Week Forum

A conversation with authors Dani Shapiro and Judith Shulevitz, moderated by Jewish Week book critic Sandee Brawarsky. B'nai Jeshurun Synagogue, New York, May 25, 2010 

Moses’ Greatest Gift, And Tragedy

06/02/2010

 Candlelighting, Readings:

Shabbat candles: 8:05 p.m.

Torah: Numbers 13:1-15:41 

Haftara: Joshua 2:1-24

 

Between the lines of the Bible, we glimpse the difficulties — even tragedy — of Moses, the greatest prophet in history who nevertheless sees himself losing the fealty of the Hebrew nation, failing to direct the people toward the very goal of their Exodus; the conquest of and settlement of the Land of Israel. Where has he gone wrong, and why?

Rabbi_Shlomo_Riskin_.gif

Judges’ Panel Won't Rest On Shabbat

06/02/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

In selecting candidates to recommend to the state Democratic Committee, members of the Ninth Municipal Civil Court District Screening Panel wanted input from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

But not enough to change the panel’s meeting schedule, which included two Friday nights and the first night of Shavuot.

Manhattan Democratic Leader Keith L.T. Wright reportedly tried in vain to reschedule Friday night judicial panel meetings.

A New Act For The Old Bar Mitzvah

Storahtelling’s Amichai Lau-Lavie is out to revolutionize the
ceremony in emerging partnership with families, synagogues.

06/02/2010
Associate Editor

Arguably one of the most memorable scenes in last year’s Oscar-nominated “A Serious Man” is the bar mitzvah, when Danny Gopnik does his Torah and Haftorah portions while visibly stoned, having smoked prodigious amounts of pot in the Hebrew school bathroom. 

So accustomed are they to tuning out the foreign chanting from the bima that his parents and the other congregants in the soulless 1960s Midwestern temple don’t even seem to notice anything amiss.

Storahtelling ceremonies aim to be creative and engaging, with humor, music, drama and costumes. Photo by Lisa Kimmell

The Ethics Of Invitations

06/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Responding to invitations causes both excitement and anxiety. What if I do not show up? Will it be held against me? Do I have to invite them because they invited me? Will they believe my excuse?

The French writer Jean Cocteau solved the problem with a telegram: “Regret cannot come. Lie to follow.”

Parade Observations

06/01/2010

Having watched the Israel Day Parade on May 23, I concur with your observation that it was primarily an Orthodox event (“Israel Parade: Missing In Action,” Editorial, May 28).

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