Editorial & Opinion

Silencing Women's Voices: Time To Speak Up

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.

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

On Rabbi Rosenblatt


 I was very pained in reading Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “In Riverdale, Split Deepens Over Rabbi” (Sept. 25). 

Polish Comparisons


This summer I was among some 50 people who went on the Heritage Tour of Poland’s Jewish
History. Helen Chernikoff’s excellent article about two young people’s
upbeat experience with mezuzah traces (“Tracing Poland’s Past, And Its Future,” Sept. 25) rekindled memories of our trip which I
would like to juxtapose with theirs.

Intentional Neglect


I am thrilled to see Shulem Deen publicizing the intentional neglect of basic
education in the chasidic world and implying there appears to be a still
darker (illegal) side (“Chasidic Schools Ensure Ignorance And Poverty,” Opinion, Sept. 18).

Facing The Jewish Continuity Crisis


How would you feel about your rabbi having a non-Jewish partner?

On Wednesday the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College made public its decision “to no longer bar qualified applicants with non-Jewish partners from admission” and to no longer bar rabbinical students “from graduating as rabbis because they have non-Jewish partners.”

Carrying A Candle In The Night

Special to the Jewish Week

The Torah warns the backsliding Israelites that they will “Grope in midday as a blind man gropes in darkness” [Deut. 28:29]. Of course, darkness is the same as midday to a blind man, but the Talmud reminds us that at midday the man can be seen, and others will help him.

David Wolpe

Making The Desert Bloom, The Sequel

A new book about Israel's water situation makes a worthy subject an interesting one.

Editor and Publisher

On Monday morning, Jews around the world will be praying for rain in Israel for the winter months as part of the Shemini Atzeret holiday service, a custom that goes back many centuries.

Gary Rosenblatt

Who Will Be YU’s Next President?

Special To The Jewish Week

Yom Kippur has always been accompanied by the drama of selections.

The Talmud relates that the High Priest usually would not survive the service in the inner sanctum, so battles of succession would often begin on that date. And the Torah describes the selection of one goat to serve as a sacrifice to God and another to be thrown off a desert cliff as the bearer of all Israel’s sins — the literal scapegoat.

Elli Fischer

And As The Rebbe Apologized …


My email inbox and Facebook news feed were inundated in recent days with a link to an article in Tablet, “The Traveler’s Prayer” by Miriam Mandel Levi, which I strongly recommend. This thoughtful and moving essay by a ba’alat teshuva [returnee to the faith] of 25 years living in the environs of Jerusalem, concerns – spoiler alert from here on in – the author’s recent experience of being stuck in a parking lot for more than 30 minutes because the exit was blocked by two cars whose owners were nowhere to be found. When they finally appeared, one was a Ger chasid and the other the driver of the Ger Rebbe accompanied by the Rebbe himself.

Joseph C. Kaplan
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