Opinion

The Shofar: Embracing The Crooked

09/04/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Have you ever seen a straight Shofar? There’s a reason why; according to Jewish law, a Shofar must be crooked. In the first chapter of his Laws of Shofar, Sukkah, and Lulav, Maimonides writes: “the Shofar that is blown…is the crooked  (twisted, bent over) ram’s horn.”  What is the symbolism of blowing a crooked Shofar? The Talmud, in tractate Rosh Hashanah 26b, connects the bent shape of the Shofar to the bending will of each human, the humble acknowledgement that our desires alone do not dictate the future.

Maya Bernstein

Not Enough Progress By Rabbis, Leaders On Sexual Abuse

09/03/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The time for serious vigilance of child abuse in the Modern Orthodox community is long overdue. It is time that lay and religious communal leaders have zero tolerance for child abusers and cease to cover up, enable or protect them.

Heshie Billet

Nixon Tapes Remind Us: No Compromise On Jewish Interests

09/03/2013
Special to The Jewish Week

The release of the most recent set of Nixon White House tapes last week apparently did not produce any dramatic revelations. It is, after all, widely known that President Richard Nixon was not particularly politically correct when it came to racial and ethnic slurs. But these tapes remind us of the heated debates in those days about how American Jews should weigh their specifically Jewish interests — especially concerning Israel but also concerning Soviet Jews — against the perceived American interest. In so doing, the tapes enable us to grasp the unfolding of history in hindsight.

Natan Sharansky

‘Next Gen’ Has No Monopoly On Wise, Caring Givers

09/03/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

On the basis of my experience in raising billions of dollars for NYU for the past 30 years, from donors who were young and old, I strongly disagree with the following statement in the article headlined “Next-Gen Givers Want To Blaze Own Philanthropic Path” (Aug. 16): “The younger donors want their giving to be information-driven, hands-on, impact-focused, proactive, and peer- oriented.”

Naomi Levine

Resist Sermonizing On Women Of The Wall

09/02/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

An initiative inviting 100 rabbis to deliver sermons about the Women of the Wall this High Holiday Season has enlisted dozens of rabbis. Although I understand why it is irresistible, I am not impressed.

How Birthright Is Changing Jewish Life

09/01/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

A decade ago, Jewish parents worried that their children wouldn't marry Jewish or have a bar or bat mitzvah for their own children. Today, however, we see a younger generation that is marrying within the faith and looking to raise their children Jewish, while maintaining a strong bond to Israel. 

False Choice: Nixon Tapes Remind Us Not To Compromise On Jewish Interests

08/30/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The release of the most recent set of Nixon White House tapes last week apparently did not produce any dramatic revelations. It is, after all, widely known that Nixon was not particularly politically correct when it came to racial and ethnic slurs. But these tapes remind us of the heated debates in those days about how American Jews should weigh their specifically Jewish interests -- especially concerning Israel but also concerning Soviet Jews -- against the perceived American interest. In so doing, the tapes enable us to grasp the unfolding of history in hindsight.

'Chosen People:' A Tolerant, Not Bigoted, Message

08/29/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The Jews as a chosen people is one of the most fundamental ideas in Judaism, historically, philosophically and culturally. The very nature of our national and religious identity, as defined in the Bible, is bound up with the story of the Divine revelation at Sinai and the election of the Jewish people as a chosen and special people (Exodus19:5/6). Our prayers are replete with references to this, particularly on the holidays when the primary blessing of the Amidah, or silent devotion, opens with the declaration, “You have chosen us from all the nations.”

Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan

In The New Year, Enjoy The Ride -- Even The Descents

08/29/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I love to ride my bike but suffer from a huge fear of descending. So you can understand my anxiety when we packed up our bikes for a recent week-long bike trip to Corsica with my boyfriend, Andy, and our cycling friends from the New York Cycle Club. In our club, we are classified into A, B and C riders. The letters are determined by your average speed on the road. Andy and his friends are all very fast A’s. I hoped I could keep up, especially on the descents.

Jen Rubin

The Shofar Reminds Us To Listen For Unheard Cries

08/28/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

There are no tears like a mother's tears.

At the opening of the Book of Samuel, in a story we retell each Rosh Hashanah, we are introduced to Hannah, a woman distressed for the child she yearns to raise, but cannot conceive. The Book of Genesis recounts yet another story we read on Rosh Hashanah, the story of Hagar, a mother who, unable to stay with her son and watch him wither away to death from lack of water, can do nothing more than walk away from him and weep.

Rori PIcker Neiss
Syndicate content