God may be invisible but his fingerprints are all over the news, particularly all over the old Berlin Wall. Like the Ninth of Av, which commemorates a chain of sadness, all linked, from the desert Jews to Roman times, the Ninth of November, when the Wall fell, is accumulating a mighty share of coincidence all its own.
When Norman Mailer set out to write about Marilyn Monroe, he kept a bottle of her perfume, open, on his desk, a writerís stimulant.Ashley Lazarus, director and co-producer of the new film ìRashi: A Light After The Dark Ages,î opens any Chumash and there he is, Rashi, a fragrance still wafting through Jewish life from almost a millennium away. Lazarus, a South African ÈmigrÈ, studies Rashi with a blind rabbi who fingertips the Torah in Braille. Lazarus reads Rashi aloud and the blind can see.
by Gary Rosenblatt and Stewart Ain |
Editor and Publisher and Staff Writer
Rabbi Michael Melchior is well aware that the odds are against him succeeding in his effort to improve Israel-diaspora relations. “Most issues that come across my desk will fail,” the Israeli minister of Israeli Society and the World Jewish Community told The Jewish Week in an interview here on Monday.
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
Rabbi Michael Melchior is well aware that the odds are against him succeeding in his effort to improve Israel-diaspora relations. “Most issues that come across my desk will fail,” the Israeli minister of Israeli Society and the World Jewish Community told The Jewish Week in an interview here on Monday.“We are at that delicate stage where our religious leaders recognize that issues are tearing us apart as a people, but they are not yet willing to compromise.
Even as she moves to contain the damage from her conduct during a West Bank visit last week with Yasir Arafat's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton is facing new charges from her opponent that she has abandoned her declared support for Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Firing back, Clinton's campaign is accusing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of "playing politics with the peace process."
The controversy suggests that with one year until the two face off in an expected Senate race, both sides already are waging war for undecided Jewish votes seen as crucial to victory.
Had it been in the theater of war, it would have amounted to a surprise attack. After all, it's not every day that a celebrated general comes to a yeshiva that educates Russian Jewish youth deep in the heart of Brooklyn. And it's rarer still when that general drops a bomb, so to speak.
The junior high students of the Be'er Hagolah Institutes didn't know what hit them.