Justice Aharon Barak says his toughest case in his 24 years on the Israeli Supreme Court involved a police request about a year ago to use force to extract information from “a ticking bomb,” a suspect believed to have knowledge of an imminent terrorist attack.
Speaking to an overflow audience of several hundred people Monday night at the Center for Jewish History, Barak — no relation to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak — said he wrote the majority opinion in the coercion case, concluding that a democracy can never use torture.
Will Richard Joel — expected to be elected this week as Yeshiva University’s new president — redirect the flagship institution of Modern Orthodoxy from its rightward move of the past several decades back toward the center?
That’s a question being asked in the halls of Yeshiva and throughout the community at the apparent culmination of a long and difficult search process for a successor to Dr. Norman Lamm, who has guided the institution since 1976.
Richard Joel seems undaunted by the fact that some of the faculty and lay leadership at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school opposed his becoming chief executive officer of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, the position he was elected to last week along with president of Yeshiva University.
Joel, 52, said his skills for the new posts include “taking institutions where people look askance at my capacities and being able to empower them.
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the late leader of the Modern Orthodox movement, was known for, among other qualities, his rigorous scholarship and intellectual honesty. Citing an example of both the other day, Rabbi Kenneth Brander, who now leads a large congregation in Boca Raton, Fla., recalled an incident that took place some two decades ago when he served as one of several personal assistants to the Rav (simply, the Rabbi), as he was widely known.
Can America’s democratic values accomplish what our military actions and diplomatic efforts have not yet been able to — namely, tame militant Islam?
That’s what Feisal Abdul Rauf, imam of the Al-Farah Mosque in Lower Manhattan, is counting on.
Considered by many to be a key voice of reason among Muslim leaders here, Abdul Rauf, 54, is confident that American principles and ideals will have a moderating influence on Islam, a religion whose very name instills fear in so many Americans.
There was one brief but telling moment of dramatic confrontation Sunday night between Rabbi Mordechai Willig and one of his critics over his conduct as the lead judge in a 1989 bet din dealing with abuse charges against Rabbi Baruch Lanner.
Rabbi Baruch Lanner’s attorney this week went public in seeking to portray his client as the victim of an “atmosphere” that fosters a sense of “guilt by innuendo.”
In a lengthy letter to The Jewish Week, Nathan Dershowitz of the New York City law firm Dershowitz, Eiger & Adelson sought to distinguish between the criminal charges Rabbi Lanner faced in New Jersey last year and other accusations that have been made against him.
Rabbi Mordechai Willig, speaking for himself and on behalf of a 1989 bet din critics felt was too lenient toward Rabbi Baruch Lanner, has acknowledged the religious court “made errors in judgment and procedure that caused unnecessary pain” and said it accepted “responsibilities for those mistakes.”
Rabbi Willig, the highly respected rosh yeshiva, or dean, at Yeshiva University, offered a lengthy and at times personal apology before hundreds of students and others at the bet midrash (study hall) of the school last Wednesday night.
A panel of rabbinic authorities was scheduled to hear testimony in Brooklyn this week from several former yeshiva students of Rabbi Matis Weinberg, a prominent and charismatic American-born Torah scholar, author and teacher living in Jerusalem who is alleged to have made sexual advances toward them and others, The Jewish Week has learned.
In a new twist in a bitterly contested get case, Helen Chayie Sieger has charged in court papers that four Orthodox rabbis received a total of $500,000 in bribes five years ago from her husband to allow him to remarry without a divorce.
In January 1998, Chaim Sieger deposited $500,000 in the account of a congregation headed by his longtime friend, Rabbi Yakov Yisrael Meisels of Israel, son-in-law of the late Bobover Rebbe of Brooklyn, according to a motion filed earlier this month in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court.