Opinion

Celebrating Second Chances On Rosh HaShanah

09/11/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Who doesn’t need a second chance? Each of us has something we wish we could do over, start fresh or finish differently. Don’t you? Well, Rosh HaShanah is your opportunity. At its core, Rosh HaShanah promises us that we can transcend the past and get that second chance that each of us needs in at least some part of our lives.  

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Attack On Latrun Monastery Was Antithetical To Judaism

09/07/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

 

On Tuesday morning, vandals defaced the Monastery of the Silent Monks at Latrun with anti-Christian graffiti. They also attempted, unsuccessfully, to burn the door. Rabbi Mauricio Balter of the Masorti (Conservative) Kehillat Eshel Avraham in Beersheva and president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, was part of a Masorti delegation that visited the monks at Latrun in the aftermath of the incident. A translation of his remarks is reproduced below. (Translation by Arie Hasit, spiritual advisor to Masorti’s NOAM youth movement.)

A Rabbinically Sanctioned Solution To the Agunah Problem

09/05/2012

A few months ago my friend Phyllis H. Waldmann called to say that when going through the papers of her deceased mother, she came across an envelope postmarked October 20, 1936.  Upon carefully opening it, she found a document written in German with the word Halitzah at the top. Although not knowing what the document was, she detected certain similarities to her parents’ ketubah, which she had restored in 1985 on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Feminist Jewish Talmud scholar Judith Hauptman posits a possible solution to the agunah crisis.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin: Christianity Has Changed Drastically In the 20th Century

09/05/2012

I was taken aback by Rabbi Hershel Schachter's article, "Experimental Judaism: Playing with Fire". It paints a picture of Christianity that was accurate before 1965, but which has undergone a sea change--one might even say a theological earthquake. This occurred as a result of the miraculous establishment of the State of Israel and the realization by honest and authoritative Church leaders that the Holocaust could not have taken place had it not been for the seeds of anti Semitism sown by Christian teachings over the last two millennia.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin founded the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel.

Ryan Offers Solutions, Brighter American Future

09/04/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Mitt Romney made a bold and serious move in his choice of a running mate. With the naming of Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney turned this election into a referendum not only on President Obama’s past three years, but on the future freedom, prosperity and strength of our country.

Matthew Brooks .

Labor Day 2012 And Jewish Values

08/30/2012

When Congress declared Labor Day a public holiday in 1894, workers had more to lament than to celebrate: an economic depression, a growing concentration of corporate wealth and power, and the brutal suppression of their unions.
A momentous national railroad strike to protest deep wage cuts and the summary firing of workers who dared to voice their grievances was ruthlessly broken with the help of the U.S. attorney general and federal troops, leaving more than 30 workers dead and the strike’s leader, Eugene Victor Debs, in jail.

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Jewish Labor Committee.

New Heights Of Absurdity At The UN

08/28/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

For many years, the people of Israel have known that there is something rotten at the United Nations. Established in the aftermath of World War II with the aim of preserving international peace and security and upholding human rights, the world organization has instead become a politically slanted institution that has demonstrably failed to fulfill its mandate.

Gilad Erdan

Rabbi Hershel Schachter ‘Distorts’ Christian-Jewish Relations

08/28/2012

The Board of Directors of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (www.ccjr.us), an association of thirty-five academic centers and institutes in the United States and Canada devoted to enhancing understanding between Jews and Christians, objects to Rabbi Herschel Schachter's recent polemical claims and blatant inaccuracies, published in a d’var Torah for Parshat Re’eh on torahweb.org.

Ryan’s Proposals Lack Jewish Values

08/28/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Since Rep. Paul Ryan was chosen as former Gov. Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate, commentators across the political spectrum have been discussing Ryan’s ideas. We are told that Ryan’s ideas are “bold” and even “courageous” for confronting our fiscal challenges. Less discussed, however, are the human costs of those policy proposals. It’s important to remember that the ends do not always justify the means. As women and as Jews, we oppose them, and we urge others to do the same.

Right to left: Nancy Ratzan, Millie Sernovitz and Barbara Dobkin.

Religious Freedom Has Limits, For Good Reason

08/21/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

The recent Catholic manifesto for religious freedom, “Protecting Consciences” (www.usccb.org/conscience), presents a view that seems hard to contest: “What we ask is nothing more than the right to follow our consciences as we live the life of our teachings.”  Yet, it cannot be that simple when one person’s conscience directs him to discriminate. Determining when our laws should tolerate religiously motivated discrimination is actually a nuanced question.

Michael J. Broyde
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