Francine Klagsbrun (Opinion, May 14) both misunderstands Orthodox Judaism and unintentionally strengthens the Rabbinical Council of America’s rationale for stating that “regardless of title” a woman cannot be a member of the Orthodox rabbinate.
Judaism, in the eyes of Orthodox Jews, has always encompassed much more than codified laws. It includes the judgments of a broad consensus of rabbinic leaders about what is Jewishly proper, particularly when Jews are faced with new social or political circumstances and movements.
Chancellor Arnold Eisen often states that JTS is the center of the Conservative world (“JTS Chancellor Charting New Course For Outreach,” May 21). He dismisses the efforts and results that Rabbi Bradley Artson of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles has realized.
Gary Rosenblatt’s article spoke of combining “heart” and “head.” There is a difference between the two schools: whereas JTS aims for the head, the Ziegler School goes directly to the heart.
Kudos to Arnold Eisen for recognizing the opportunity to broaden the Conservative tent and provide leadership to a growing number of people who do not feel a denominational affiliation should trump their own sense of values and Jewish identity (“JTS Chancellor Charting New Course For Outreach,” May 21).
Brandeis newspaper editors Rebecca Blady and Hillel Buechler sensitively and articulately inform us that the majority of Brandeis students who oppose Ambassador Michael Oren as commencement speaker do so on the grounds that he will alienate a segment of the Brandeis community who “believe Israel’s accomplishments are dwarfed by its moral deficiencies” — a polite way of saying they question Israel’s right to exist — but that the students, themselves, do not generally share those views (“Israel Ambassador Wrong For Commencement,” Opinion, May 21
Walking along the route of the Israel Day Parade on Sunday, from 72nd Street down to 59th Street along Fifth Avenue, we were reminded once again, and in dramatic fashion, how the expression of Zionism in American has become increasingly the purview of the Modern Orthodox community.
Jewish groups have always recognized the importance of breaking our nation’s crippling dependence on foreign oil, much of it from unstable and sometimes antagonistic countries in the Middle East. And many regard the protection of our increasingly fragile planet as a reflection of core Jewish values.
Sitting on a train approaching Manchester, England, recently, my friend Arron and I leafed through a copy of MetroNews — Britain’s biggest free paper — and came across an article about recent violence in Jerusalem caused by the latest settlement controversy.
I began to read the article aloud, nonchalantly voicing the words “Israel” and “Palestinians” as they passed by in the sentence.
As a longtime supporter of programming for Birthright Israel alumni and a current member of the Birthright Israel NEXT board of directors, I feel compelled, as I work with board chair Al Levitt and my friend Lynn Schusterman, to advance NEXT and its vision, to set the record straight about our largest and most long-running alumni program here in New York.
Rav Hershel Schachter, eminent Torah scholar and leading figure at Yeshiva University, recently issued fighting words. The ordination of women as rabbis is such a serious infraction of Jewish law, he insisted, that it technically falls under the rubric of “Yehareg Ve-al Ya’avor” — one should sooner be killed than violate the law.