Opinion

Silencing Women's Voices: Time To Speak Up

02/15/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I was riveted by the recent story of an Orthodox Israeli young woman, Ophir Ben-Shetreet, who sang beautifully on the Israeli talent-search program, “The Voice,” and as a result was suspended from her Orthodox school for two weeks because of the prohibition against women singing in public if men are present.  Ophir’s performance and evident charm inspired people around the country.  The judges praised her as “modest” and “pure,” and she could serve as a role model for young Orthodox women who feel the desire to express themselves and develop their talents.  Instead, she was condemned.

'The Heritage Of All Israel'

Founder of Tel Aviv's secular yeshiva, also a Knesset member, leads Israel's parliament in study and prayer.

02/14/2013

Editor’s Note: Ruth Calderon, founder of a secular yeshiva in Tel Aviv, spent several years living in New York recently, teaching at the JCC in Manhattan and other venues. This was her inaugural speech in the Knesset this week as a member of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

Ruth Calderone

Obama On Bibi: Make It Personal

The move wasn't statesmanlike, but Bibi's joint session maneuver is easily explained in terms of his foreign policy.

01/27/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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Last summer, I had the opportunity to take my family on an extended visit to the United States. It was a wonderful trip, with the added bonus that my children did not have to spend any time in bomb-proof rooms like their peers and cousins back home in Israel.

In happier days. Getty Images

Betting On France

01/27/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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Three weeks ago, my wife and I were shopping in a Parisian kosher butcher store several miles west of the supermarket where four Jews were murdered on Jan. 9. The shop in our neighborhood was well patronized, with lines stretching out to the sidewalk before Shabbat.

Richard H. Weisberg

The Evolution Of Tu b’Shvat

01/27/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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We first hear about Tu b’Shvat — the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat — in the Mishnah (Rosh HaShanah 1:1) as one of the four days that start the year. Tu b’Shvat (it falls on Feb. 4) was not then considered a holy day. It was simply the legal date marking the new year for fruit trees. As a date noted only for practical purposes, it had little significance in other areas.

Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz

Auschwitz Was About The Jews

01/27/2015
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 I might have seen Anne Frank’s body.

A scene from HBO’s documentary “Night Will Fall.” Courtesy of Imperial War Museums/HBO

In Haiti, Finding Our Mission By Helping Others

01/20/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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When I accepted an invitation from the Israeli organization, Tevel B’Tzedek, to travel to Haiti a few months after the devastating earthquake in 2010, little did I know that it would lead to one of the most fulfilling projects of my rabbinic career. The Israeli relief disaster team there was doing amazing work under the most difficult circumstances, as Israelis have done all around the globe in similar situations. My contribution was to bring some Judaic context to the work taking place in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Rabbi Sid Schwarz

Drone Warfare

Who shall live and who shall die?

01/20/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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During the High Holidays, there is one prayer that stands out as the high point of the service. The cantor chants, “On Rosh HaShanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed! — How many will pass on, and how many will be born; who will live and who will die; who will live a long life and who will come to an untimely end; who will perish by fire and who by water; who by sword and who by beast…”

Pakistani protesters from the United Citizen Action (UCA) group shout slogans and burn a U.S. flag in late October. Getty Images

Making Distinctions: Islam Is Not Islamism

01/14/2015
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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I attended the official New York City Jewish community memorial service, Sunday evening, for the 17 murdered victims of the attacks in Paris last week. Perhaps 500 people crammed the sanctuary of Lincoln Square Synagogue, with some overflow reported on the outside. Dignitaries in attendance included the French consul-general, the French ambassador to the United Nations, the Israeli consul-general, Senator Charles Schumer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the local member of the House of Representatives Jerrold Nadler, the City Public Advocate Letitia James and the City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Ralph Seliger

On YU Sex Abuse Case, You Can’t Hide From God

01/14/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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On the third night of this past Chanukah, attorney Kevin Mulhearn sent a draft of a complaint against Yeshiva University High School for Boys to a group of plaintiffs who say they had been sexually abused as students.(I am not one of the plaintiffs, although I left the school after one year due to what I perceived as physical abuse.)

Rabbi Chaim Gruber
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