Editorial

Israel, Iran And The Bomb

01/31/2012
Editorial

The rhetoric and reporting around whether Israel, with or without U.S. involvement, will take military action against Iran this year, is ratcheting up. But that doesn’t make the conclusions any more clear. In fact, based on past history, when Israel takes military action it does so swiftly, suddenly and with no previous drumbeating in the press, as in the successful attacks on the nuclear reactor facilities in Iraq in 1981, and in Syria in 2009.

Non-Jewish Clergy Grapple With Israel

01/24/2012
Editorial

Interfaith dialogue can often seem like an amen chorus: like-minded people, already predisposed to dialogue, saying “amen” to phrases like “building bridges between people” and “making room for ‘the other.’” But sometimes it can be more tough-minded and clear-headed, and yield real benefits.

Beware Of The Brotherhood

01/24/2012
Editorial

While many in the mainstream media are suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood, which controls the majority of the new Egyptian Parliament, is being tempered toward moderation by its new responsibilities, King Abdullah of Jordan doesn’t seem to be buying it.

Debbie Friedman’s Shalom Aleichem

01/17/2012
Editorial

Her songs and soul always felt timeless, often joyful, her contributions to the liturgy are everpresent, and yet the fact of Debbie Friedman’s passing one year ago, January, remains painful and mournful.

There may not have been another composer and singer whose folk and soul did more to influence the Reform and Conservative movements, let alone to influence the healing services that with her Mi Sheberach ascended to a place beyond denominations and background.

A Rabbi’s Changing Role

01/17/2012
Editorial

The job of rabbi has clearly evolved over the centuries, the idea of a “pulpit rabbi” being a thoroughly modern invention. There were no rabbis, as we think of them, in Judaism’s formative biblical times, and the earliest rabbis were teachers and masters of jurisprudence, not clergymen. To this day, it is still not universally accepted in the synagogue world that a rabbi must deliver a weekly sermon, as would a Christian preacher.

‘Fresh Ink’ Is Back

01/10/2012
Editorial

We are proud to announce that Fresh Ink, The Jewish Week supplement written for and by high school students, will return as an online magazine this week after a two-year hiatus. The website, Fresh Ink For Teens (www.freshinkforteens.com), will be updated regularly, featuring essays, articles and art produced by Jewish teenagers on such themes as school, Israel, religion, politics and culture.

A Positive Backlash

01/10/2012
Editorial

We have little expectation that the preliminary talks being held in Jordan between the Palestinian Authority and Israel will lead to any substantive progress, primarily because neither side seems particularly interested in advancing the process now. Rather, their motives are to please Washington and Amman and not appear to be the party standing in the way of negotiations. Not exactly a formula for dramatic breakthroughs.

Beyond Beit Shemesh

01/03/2012
Editorial

It’s more than embarrassing to have to speak out on how frightening, immoral and tragic it is for a group of adults to yell and spit at little girls on their way to school, calling them “prostitutes” and throwing dirty diapers at them. Even more so that such incidents take place in Israel — and especially that those causing the trouble consider themselves pious Jews.

Time To Help Arab Christians

12/27/2011
Editorial

If the Arab Spring were to fulfill its revolution, what would happen? An anti-Christian “genocide,” fears Christian Solidarity International, a human rights group. Those who know the situation firsthand say that Christians in the Middle East are increasingly fearful and have been the victims of church bombings and street-beatings. If this were a real reformation it would entail not only democratic elections in countries like Egypt (where the repressive Muslim Brotherhood leads the pack), but tolerance for differences and dissent.

Why The Delay In Ethiopian Jewish Aliyah?

12/27/2011
Editorial

Imagine if during the emigration of Soviet Jewry, in the 1980s and ‘90s, it became known that Israel chose to slow the pace, for no convincing reason, of those coming out of a land of persecution and hardship seeking new lives in the Jewish state.

There would have been an outcry throughout the diaspora, accompanied by highly charged demands for speeding up the process, or at the very least, calls for an explanation for the change in plans.

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