The Lost Art Of Davening

Associate Editor

Formal prayer, that musical and lyrical intersection between this world and the other, is as much science as art, as least for the cantor. There are rules, equations, let alone laws, but “most people don’t know how to daven anymore,” says Sherwood Goffin, “or they don’t know how to daven properly.”
That’s true even among the Orthodox, perhaps particularly among the Orthodox, whose synagogues are increasingly disinclined to hire professionally trained cantors — chazanim, or baalei tefillah, “masters of prayer.”

Seeing War Though Palestinian Eyes

Associate Editor

When you learn to see the world through Palestinian eyes, you’ll know that Israel’s Gaza actions were stunningly effective and that “the world” couldn’t care less.

For Obama, The Honeymoon’s Over

Associate Editor

It was a New York wedding like all others, and no other. The veil was about to cover the bride’s face, evoking the time Jacob was snookered, expecting Rachel, getting Leah.

“What do you think?” said one guest to another.
About the bride?
“No, Obama.”

His voice was low, conspiratorial. The joy and sport of last year’s campaign (even heated campaigns can be fun) has given way to cold calculation. The guest, who voted for Barack Obama, now feels like Jacob in the dead of night.

The Chill Is Gone

Associate Editor

What could be older than the Riverdale terrorist plot? It was way back in May that four Islamic men from Newburgh, N.Y., were arrested in the act of planting what they thought were bombs outside two Bronx synagogues. For most of us, the story is in hibernation. The trial is far off. What more is there to write?

Fear On Grand Street

Staff Writer
There was nothing out of the ordinary on the night of June 11, when Howie Fried escorted Larry Sprung home from the evening minyan at the Bialystoker Synagogue on the Lower East Side's Willet Street. "He talked about a visit to Atlantic City, and how much he enjoyed the rugelach they served there," said Fried, 44, who often escorted the 86-year-old Sprung on the one-and-a-half block walk from shul to the Amalgamated Houses co-op on Grand Street where they both lived.

Legacy Of Learning

Staff Writer
Unlike thousands of World Trade Center workers on Sept. 11, Abe Zelmanowitz had easy access to an escape route from the doomed twin towers. But the 55-year-old Brooklyn resident, an Orthodox Jew, refused to leave behind a disabled colleague. He remained on the 27th floor of the north tower, even after firefighters reached them, and even after the south tower collapsed. Now, a Brooklyn yeshiva wants to make sure the Torah values Zelmanowitz embodied are imparted on others.

Terror Funders Take A Hit

Staff Writer
A federal appeals court ruling in the civil case of an American teen murdered in Israel is being viewed as a major step forward in the growing courtroom battle against terrorists and their sponsors. A tribunal of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago last week unanimously upheld the $200 million suit brought by Stanley and Joyce Boim against two U.S.-based Islamic organizations they allege funded the terrorists who killed their son, David, in 1996.

Mixed Fortunes Of Redistricting

Staff Writer
Fate can be fickle when you're a member of Congress caught up in the decennial redistricting process. A few weeks back, Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel was emerging as one of the big losers in the process. Now he' singing the praises of the state Legislature committee that drew the new lines. "I'm absolutely delighted," said Engel, a six-term veteran. "I'm like a kid again!" Engel's new district includes 50 percent of his old turf, including his home base of Riverdale, and picks up parts of Westchester as well as three heavily Jewish Rockland towns.

Kelly: We Missed Signals In '93

Staff Writer
Officials have not properly analyzed potential links among various terror incidents in New York, including two foiled bomb plots and the first deadly attack on the World Trade Center, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told The Jewish Week. "I don't think we've done the kind of sufficient examination which these types of events warranted to see how closely tied together they are," said Kelly, who was top cop here from 1992-94, when some of the incidents took place.

Council Speaker To Lead Israel Delegation

Staff Writer
A delegation of City Council members will leave for Israel upon the completion of the city budget process, Speaker Gifford Miller announced Sunday. "We're going to show that we as New Yorkers understand [the situation in Israel] and we want to be supportive in any way we can," Miller told several hundred Jewish community leaders and elected officials at the annual breakfast of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.
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