After more than 40 years as an iconic teacher of Chabad beliefs ranging from romance to redemption, the friends of Rabbi Manis Friedman are hoping he can find some personal redemption for himself.
Forgiveness is elusive after his feverish statement that the first Israeli leader to promise a merciless killing of all Arab “men, women and children (and cattle),” let alone Islamic holy sites, “will finally bring peace to the Middle East.”
Despite all the crimes and misdemeanors listed in the Bible, the Lubavitcher rebbe once pointed out, the Torah didn’t suggest prison as a place for Jewish punishment. Prison was seen as something out of Egypt, the embodiment of unrelenting exile, a place where Joseph did hard time on a bum rap.
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?
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.
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?
For all the Shoah’s omnipresence in our American and Jewish civic religion, Yom HaShoah itself has been less successful at becoming a synagogue-based, or family-based, holy day. The only consensus is the ritual of lighting yahrtzeit candles... and then what?
Holy days are supposed to be, by simple definition, a day that is holy.
Last December, the appointment of women rabbinic interns in two Orthodox synagogues here sparked heated debate about leadership roles for women within Orthodoxy.But a year later, the debate seems to have dropped off the radar screen and the hirings remain a pioneering — if isolated — experiment at the two Modern Orthodox congregations.
Every era seems to have columnists with a bee in their Sukkah regarding Israel and the Jews. Returning from Westbrook Pegler’s funeral, Murray Kempton said, “I knew he was sick. He wrote [me a seven-page letter] and didn’t mention Ben-Gurion.
The Lubavitcher rebbe is alive. And while some panic at anyone talking like that, the fact is that since the rebbe’s 1994 death, more than 400 Lubavitcher couples have gone out into the world as his emissaries, establishing 370 centers on every continent, in every time zone.Including emissaries — shluchim, as they’re called — who had gone out before his death, the rebbe lives on in 3,500 of his best and his brightest. They operate with an international budget of $400 million.
In the lobby of Rubin Hall, the Yeshiva University dormitory through which Joshua Bender surely exited on his final journey, alongside a photocopy of his student card duplicated in poster-size is a printed Torah lesson.
“The Talmud states that Rabbi Akiba’s students did not show honor to one another,” it says. “The Talmud [doesn’t say] they did not act honorably, implying that they were disrespectful. But they did not show honor, meaning they did not exert themselves in order to show honor.”
Elie Wiesel, who until now has scrupulously stayed out of politics, endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton Monday at a press conference here in which the two criticized the Palestinian Authority for continuing to publish anti-Semitic school textbooks that promote the hatred of Jews.