Editorial & Opinion

The Pope And The Palestinians


Regarding Pope Francis’ move to support Palestinian statehood (“Vatican Officially Recognizes Palestine,” online story, May 13): At a time when Jews are being brutalized and butchered from Copenhagen to
Cannes and seriously contemplating the second mass exodus from Europe in less
than a century, this punitive act against Israel by the Vatican is a clear
indication that European Jewry is being handed their hat and shown the door.

Different Reading Of Nostra Aetate


In his article last week (“Nostra Aetate’s Impact, 50 Years On”), Noam Marans wrote about the dramatic
positive effects of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate.

Forgets History


Irwin Wall doubts Israel’s motives for helping earthquake victims in Nepal
(Letters, May 15).

At the end of his letter Mr. Wall calls Israel an occupying power. He totally
forgets the history of how Israel, after the Six-Day War of 1967, offered a total withdrawal from the West Bank in exchange for a peace treaty.

Opposes New Israel Fund, But…


There has been much ado once again about the inclusion of the New Israel Fund (NIF) and affiliates in the Salute to Israel Parade, taking place May 31. This year, the parade requires that participants disavow BDS.

Up All Night


It is as intimate as any hour in the Jewish year, the half-light of Shavuot near dawn, after the all-night learning when it is time for early prayer and then rising for the reading of the Ten Commandments. Yes, most of the world is still asleep, but most of the world was “sleeping” at Sinai, too. Legend has it that every other nation on the planet was offered the Torah first, but declined, politely and otherwise. Only the Israelites said yes, and even then with a threatening mountain held above them, and the skies a wild concoction of a desert storm, thunder, lightening and a rain, say the mystics, that was reminiscent of Noah’s.

Music Hath Charms

Special To The Jewish Week

The Psalmist tells us that he will solve a riddle with his harp (Psalm 49:5). What sort of riddle can be solved with a harp?

Rabbi David Wolpe

After Birthright Next, What's Next?

Follow-up programs to engage returnees from Israel have been problematic; several are seeking to fill the vacuum.

Editor and Publisher

As successful as Birthright Israel has been, providing free, guided trips to Israel to more than 400,000 young adult Jews from across the diaspora, the follow-up efforts with its alumni have been problematic.

Gary Rosenblatt

Mixed Outcomes From Latest Pew Study

Special To The Jewish Week

The new Pew Research Center study, “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” shows a steep decline in Christian affiliation and a parallel increase among the unaffiliated. Some believe the study’s results suggest that we will have a more difficult time advocating effectively on behalf of Israel, as spelled out in Robert Goldblum’s article, “Less-Christian U.S. Seen Disturbing For Jews On Israel” (May 15). But this judgment is not so clear-cut.

Martin Raffel

Narrowing The Divide Between History And Theology

Special To The Jewish Week

Decades ago, while teaching at Yeshiva University, I was approached by a student who came to my office and bluntly declared: “I no longer believe that the Bible is Divine and therefore cannot live by its commandments.” Taken aback by his certainty, I also was somewhat gratified by his desire to discuss it with me personally. I tried persuading him, probably unsuccessfully, that the Torah comprised the treasured inheritance of the Jewish people, which had preserved us for millennia. Sadly, I never saw him again.

Steven Bayme

Shavuot: A Time For Embracing the Convert

Special To The Jewish Week

In the seven weeks leading up to the Festival of Shavuot (May 24-25), we count each night in anticipation of the revelation of Torah at Sinai, where we recommit ourselves to Jewish tradition, God, and the Jewish people. It is a time I imagine that local mikvahs (ritual baths) see an increase in visitors as the numbers of conversions are completed during this time.

Rabbi Rachel Ain
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