Opinion

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

One Bit Of Good News From This Summer Of Scandals

08/27/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I keep hearing my grandfather’s voice in my head: “Oy. This is bad for the Yidden” — this is bad for the Jews. This has been the summer of Jewish communal folly. The heads of two very significant communal institutions — Sol Adler at the 92nd Street Y and Willie Rapfogel at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty — were fired in the last few week because of serious scandals. Add that to the Claims Conference scandal and what you get makes this Spitzer/Weiner New York hot and blustery summer a terrible one for the Jews. It’s been a man bites dog summer.

Misha Galperin

Losing The Battle Here To Keep Russian Jews Jewish

08/27/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The warning signs came early this season, Jewish-themed post cards with veiled messianic references arriving in mailboxes throughout the Brighton Beach neighborhood.

Mordechai Tokarsky

God’s Gatekeepers: Signs Of Progress?

08/27/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Everybody knows the war is over

Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows the fight was fixed

The poor stay poor, the rich get rich

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows

-- Leonard Cohen, “Everybody Knows”

A bitter irony of Israel’s recent election of two new chief rabbis is that the only group that really cared about it lost – again.

How Jewish GIs Observed Rosh Hashanah In World War II

08/25/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

By the end of World War II, some 550,000 American Jewish men and women had served in the military forces from the South Pacific to the European theater.

Not Enough Progress By Rabbis, Leaders On Dealing With Sexual Abuse

08/23/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

The time for serious vigilance of child abuse in the Modern Orthodox Jewish 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.

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