We apologize for publishing an Opinion column last week by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman entitled “My Problem With Tim Tebow,” the Denver Broncos quarterback who is an Evangelical Christian. The column, in fact, violated our own standards calling for civility in posting comments on our website. The policy statement notes that “name calling in any form will not be tolerated, and comments that denigrate any religion or Jewish religious stream will always be rejected.”
The column was removed from our website the day it was posted.
Chanukah is the festival brought to us by Jewish zealots. It was the military victory of guerrilla fighters and rogues against Greek-Syrian repression. In victory they were rehabilitated by history. Time has a way of sanitizing and forgiving inappropriate actions in the pursuit of appropriate goals. Pass the latkes.
What are we to make of Newt Gingrich’s assertion that the Palestinians are an “invented” people?
In an interview on cable TV’s The Jewish Channel the other day, the Republican presidential candidate, asked if he was a Zionist, responded: “Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people, and they had the chance to go many places.”
Recognizing that there are no magic bullets in alleviating the financial, emotional and other burdens on parents seeking to provide a quality day school education for their children at a time of economic recession, the leadership of the Orthodox Union sought this week to address the problem pragmatically.
Sometimes it can seem, or we’d like to think, that the Jewish community is a Lake Wobegon of sorts, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” Of course, we know that so many of us are hardly that, and too many of our children, despite all our love and prayers, are special or unique in ways that can be more difficult, and more demanding of parents. Ideally, the community would respond to those with special needs.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, who will be completing his 16-year tenure as head of the Reform movement at the end of the year, has never been afraid to speak his mind. He has been an advocate for greater Torah study and observance of Jewish ritual within the Union of Reform Judaism, taken President Barack Obama to task for publicizing his disagreement with Israel over settlements, called on a major Muslim American group to engage in more dialogue with Jews, and chided J Street members, at their annual convention, about some of their criticisms of Israel.
Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the first major communal dinner for JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Association, held this past Sunday evening, was the sense of pride in and celebration of the accomplishments of the organization, founded in 1997.
Though often on the defensive and frustrated in their efforts to press the Orthodox establishment to expand opportunities for women in the areas of spiritual, ritual and intellectual life, within the framework of halacha, the women of JOFA set aside Sunday evening to mark the inroads they have made.
With each passing day Mideast tensions seem to grow deeper and more complex, and the notion of an “Arab Spring” that brought such hope to millions 10 months ago seems particularly naïve now as violence has returned to Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
With Israel facing extraordinary challenges in the Mideast, it is losing a key advocate in the White House.
Dennis Ross, a Mideast adviser to five presidents, once was derided as one of “Baker’s Boys” during the administration of President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker. More recently, though, he has been viewed as a confidante and friend of Israeli leaders. He is leaving his post at the end of the year, an implicit signal that the U.S. effort to break the Israeli-Palestinian impasse is on hold until after the 2012 election.