Editorial & Opinion

Kindness Matters

11/04/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Back from a shiva visit to a family who had lost a 20-year-old son in a freak accident, I marveled at the mother’s capacity — even while suffering — to notice the small kindnesses of close friends and absolute strangers. I looked her in the eyes, “But it’s nothing, absolutely nothing. It’s just the smallest thing we can do. It’s because we can’t do what we really want to do, which is to bring your son back.” I felt desperate and pathetic. Running errands, bringing food or visiting felt worthless, helpless.

Erica Brown

Ways Of Seeing And Asking

11/04/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 4:28 p.m.
Torah: Gen. 18:1-22:24
Haftarah: II Kings 4:1-37
Havdalah: 5:28 p.m.

Beth Kissileff

Is There A Place For God In The Israeli Army?

10/29/2014
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Israel Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz recently expressed cautious reservations about the religion-infused letter that the commander of the Givati Brigade, Col. Ofer Winter, wrote to the officers under his command at the outset of Operation Protective Edge this past summer. The commander’s letter defined the mission of his troops in religious terms: to defeat a “blasphemous” enemy who defames God’s name.

On Waiting For An Apology

10/29/2014
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Elana Maryles Sztokman is waiting for an apology from Orthodox men “who are so easily
counted and heeded, who have a voice and a place and are free to participate
in the community practically any way that their hearts desire” (“My Feminist Struggles With Yom Kippur,” Opinion, Oct. 3).

Start Over

10/29/2014
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Clearly the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America) is a deeply flawed and troubled organization. 
(“Orthodox Women Vow To ‘Take Back The Mikvah’,” Oct. 24)

Include Agunot

10/29/2014
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In the wake of the Rabbi Barry Freundel tragedy, The Jewish Week published several articles last week about the need for increasing women’s roles in Orthodox Judaism.  To a large extent, the articles focused primarily on increasing women’s roles in connection with mikvah and conversion. I would add that women should also play a greater role in the way batei din (religious courts) deal with agunot (women unable to divorce). I suggest that a panel of agunot and former agunot be an official part of the process when a beit din is dealing with an agunah case.

Vile Ideas

10/29/2014
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In “‘Klinghoffer’ As Gateway to Dialogue” (Oct. 24), Maharat Rori Picker Neiss argues that, although offensive, “The Death of Klinghoffer” opera creates the opportunity for those with opposing
viewpoints to engage in a “difficult and painful” dialogue. The process,
she believes, creates the potential for enemies to “open their minds and
hearts to one another” that we Jews should not reject.

Opposes Iran Deal On Nukes

10/29/2014
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What possesses President Obama to be driven to conclude a nuclear agreement with the Iranian regime — even if it is weak, problematic, and flawed, which strongly favors Iran? (“On Iran, ‘No Deal’ On Nukes Looking Better,” Editorial, Oct. 24)

John Jay’s President Responds To Jewish Students' Harassment Complaints

10/29/2014
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Regarding “‘Hostile Environment’ For John Jay Jewish Students” (Oct. 17): At John Jay College, we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and respectful community of students, staff and scholars, dedicated to our mission of “educating for justice.” So I am deeply troubled, both personally and professionally, by recent reports that Jewish students at John Jay College have felt intimidated and harassed on our campus.

Terror Victim Sought To Become Jewish

Young Ecuadorian woman’s path to Judaism was slowed by complicated conversion laws.

10/29/2014
Contributing Editor
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Jerusalem — Karen Mosquera, the latest victim of terrorism in Israel, was buried in world’s most revered Jewish cemetery on Monday — the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. She was laid to rest by a charedi burial society, and mourned at the funeral by large Orthodox crowds from Jerusalem and Bnei Brak.

Mourners observe the body Karen Mosquera during her funeral Monday. Getty Images
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