Jayson Littman (“Confessions Of A Gay Zionist,” Back of the Book, April 20) states he has been able to rid his “heart of turmoil, self-hate, and questioning” while simultaneously asking God, while standing at the Kotel, “What do you expect of me?”
His seemingly simple story made me very sad.
Most boys in yeshiva consider their rabbi to be as good at guidance as a formally trained therapist, and this is usually not the case. And sadly in this case Littman did not get the help he could have used and could not feel God’s love.
Your recent article, “The Gentrification Of The Gefilte” (April 13), would have been more appropriately titled “The Gentilification.” For Jews, “you are what you eat,” is at the core of their identity.
Pick up a Ukrainian cookbook, and you will find many of our own Jewish holiday staples such as pirogi, holobtzi, etc. A rabbi once asked why we have kosher Mexican, Italian and Chinese restaurants, yet don’t find those people looking to experience kosher cuisine? Well, why would they want to eat what they're accustomed to?
The Midrash teaches that when the Israelites left Egypt, God enveloped them in “clouds of glory.” When they wished for bread, God provided manna. When they craved meat, God sent quails. Once these wishes had been granted, the people began to doubt, saying, “Is God among us, or not?”
The point of the Midrash is that Israel could only feel God’s presence when they were receiving gifts. This is a common malady; many people pray for something and if they do not receive it assume that there is no God.
At a time when we are keenly aware of the deep divisions within the Jewish community on issues from religious practice to the policies of the State of Israel, along comes the festival of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, with the most unifying theme in Jewish life: the giving of the Torah, the central, foundational text of our history and people, at Mount Sinai.
We are proud to publish our fifth annual “36 Under 36” special section in this issue, highlighting the achievements of a diverse group of young Jews — including artists, educators, social justice activists and philanthropists — making an impact, and a difference, in our community.
The notion of 40,000 haredi and chasidic men coming out on a lovely Sunday evening to Citi Field — a sell-out crowd — not to watch a Mets game but to decry the evils of the Internet makes the attendees of this week’s rally an easy target for ridicule to many people. After all, the Internet is a reality, and prayer and preaching won’t make it go away.
The recent exchange of accusations between Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas, the screenwriter hired to write a Judah Maccabee biopic that Gibson would direct, brings renewed attention to the very fact that Gibson has been planning to make such a movie in the first place. Let’s ask him not to.
Last Sunday afternoon, I was wheeled into an operating room in Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva, an anesthesiologist said laila tov, and a surgeon removed my left kidney, which was brought to an adjoining operating room and put into the abdomen of a twenty-three year old Israeli dental student from Georgia, FSU, whom I met for the first time three months ago.
This week I was honored to deliver the Cape Town, South Africa, community-wide keynote address for Yom Yerushalayim. Hundreds gathered together in a powerful celebration of the liberation of Jerusalem 45 years ago (28th of Iyar 1967). I was reminded of the power of Jerusalem to unite the Jewish people.