Time doesn’t stand still every year on the 27th day of Nissan, but part of Israel does.
On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the annual time established by the Knesset in 1951 to memorialize the Jewish people’s collective losses at the hands of the Nazis, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed, Israeli television carries introspective programming and most Israelis stop whatever they are doing when air-raid sirens sound throughout the land.
Over the decades, the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibet’s Buddhist community, has maintained an ongoing dialogue with the international Jewish community — in New York City, in Washington, in Jerusalem and in India, where he has lived for the last half-century.
Last week the Dalai Lama’s Jewish outreach continued.
No, the kids outfitted in crowns and capes aren’t real monarchs — just a pair of young members of the Vizhnitz chasidic community listening to the Megillah reading on Purim this week in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv.
Throughout the country — and Jewish communities in the diaspora — Jews of all ages and all religious affiliations attended Megillah readings, dressed up in costumes, attended parties, drank copious amounts of distilled brew and took part in festive parades.
‘Musically inclined,” Dr. Paul Brody learned to chant the Scroll of Esther, or at least part of the Megillah, while studying at Yeshiva University several decades ago. He picked up the basics at the school’s Cantorial Training Institute. Then his grandfather, Rabbi Jacob Brown, convinced him to learn how to layn the gantze Megillah, the entire scroll.
There was something new and something old at the Manischewitz plant in Newark last week.
New: a production run of 500 cases of kosher-for-Passover shmura matzah. Following the move in 2007 from the kosher food manufacturer’s plant in Jersey City, its home for 76 years, to the state-of-the-art factory in Newark, the new plant produced its Passover goods as usual. But it was not prepared to make shmura (Hebrew for guarded) matzah, which requires that the wheat be supervised from the time of harvesting.
In one of the last weeks before he leaves office, a tenure marked by controversy during the last three years, Israeli Prime Ehud Olmert this week toured the Western Wall and the adjacent excavations in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Areas that also have been the center of controversy.
The Jewish Week introduces a feature during the current economic crisis that will advise readers about saving money and spending it wisely. The paper welcomes suggestions: contact Steve Lipman at (212) 921-7822, ext. 236; email@example.com.
The biblical obligation to give to charity does not decrease during a recession, but one’s ability to give certainly may. Tithing, donating ten percent of your income, may not be possible if you have lost your job or retirement savings.
Marking its 10th anniversary as an annual event in the United Kingdom, Holocaust Memorial Day was commemorated as usual with prayers, solemn ceremonies and candle-lightings.
And, at one London synagogue, a glimpse at part of pre-Holocaust Jewish life in Europe.
Rabbi Leon Klenicki, one of the Jewish community’s leading voices for rapprochement with the Catholic Church, died Jan. 25. A resident of Monroe Township, N.J., he was 78.
Rabbi Klenicki, a native of Argentina, served as the Anti-Defamation League’s director of Interfaith Affairs until his retirement eight years ago, and as the ADL’s co-liaison with the Vatican, meeting frequently with Church leaders in Rome, the United States and other countries.
Staszow, a shtetl in southeast Poland on the road between Kielce and Sandomierz, was home to Jews for two and a half centuries, until the Holocaust left the village judenrein. Among the Staszow Jews were the Goldfarbs, Jack Goldfarb’s forebears.
When the Philadelphia-born freelance writer first visited his ancestral homeland a half century ago, he found no trace of Staszow’s original Jewish cemetery. A newer Jewish burial ground, two-thirds of a mile from the center of the village, was an open, empty lot on a tree-lined hill.