Editorial & Opinion

The Case For Ray Kelly

Special To The Jewish Week

Since the founding of the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY in 1976, we have worked closely with law enforcement agencies charged with safeguarding New York’s Jewish community, especially the NYPD. Over that period there have been 10 police commissioners. Without a doubt, Raymond Kelly stands above the rest. The events of the past week reinforce that opinion.

Moses Gets A Consultant

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 5:05 p.m.
Torah: Exodus 18:1-20:23
Haftarah: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6 (Ashkenaz);
6:1-13 (Sephard)
Havdalah: 6:09 p.m. 

In this week’s Torah reading, we learn that Yitro, Moshe’s father-in-law, traveled from his home in the Land of Midian into the Sinai Desert, bringing Moshe’s wife, Zipporah, and their two sons to be reunited with him. The details of why Zipporah and their sons had been “sent away” by Moshe are unclear.

Rabbi Arthur Samlan

A Moral Case For Brit Milah

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Brit milah (Jewish ritual circumcision) may be uncomfortable to watch, and naturally makes many of us ambivalent in a time of celebration. But is it cruel? Living in California, where calls for the outlawing of circumcision have recently proliferated, I have not heard anyone make the moral case for circumcision. The Shulkhan Arukh says that “this commandment (milah) is greater than (all the) other positive commandments,” (Yoreh De’ah 260).

Rabbi Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L'Tzedek, director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at UCLA Hillel.

The Most Important and Dangerous Jewish Value: The Messianic Impulse

Jewish Week Online Columnist


“We want Moshiach now!” Have you sung it? What did you mean?

The Torah teaches us about the 4 stages of redemption (Shemot 6). Through God’s miraculous interventions in the world (the 10 plagues), there was a mass exodus, perhaps the greatest story of liberation and redemption in human history.

But we have to ask ourselves, is this the historical model for future redemption? Is this the way that we want it to occur? As a miracle of God?

Rabbi Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L'Tzedek, director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at UCLA Hillel.

A Russian Jewish Leader With Grand Plans

Editor And Publisher

Alexander Levin, a rags-to-riches Ukrainian businessman who announced a new international forum for Russian-speaking Jews this past week at the United Nations, says he knows how to deal with world leaders like Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Gary Rosenblatt

Israel, Iran And The Bomb


The rhetoric and reporting around whether Israel, with or without U.S. involvement, will take military action against Iran this year, is ratcheting up. But that doesn’t make the conclusions any more clear. In fact, based on past history, when Israel takes military action it does so swiftly, suddenly and with no previous drumbeating in the press, as in the successful attacks on the nuclear reactor facilities in Iraq in 1981, and in Syria in 2009.

Pain And Passion



Moses was born into trouble, placed in a basket to save his life. Pharaoh’s daughter “beholds” the child crying; noting that she saw and did not hear him crying the Rabbis conclude that the baby cried silently. Moses learned early what it was to fight, to have to hide, to be scarred by the world.

Koch Charmed By Obama


Ed Koch is a good man and we are fortunate to have his voice in support of Israel (N.Y. Minute, Jan. 20).

Unfortunately, he has now been charmed by President Barack Obama into believing that Israel has a friend in the White House. Obama dislikes Israel and if re-elected he will implement the policies of Jimmy Carter. I hope that Mr. Koch regains his critical eye prior to the November presidential election and will again speak out against Obama when appropriate. 

Staten Island

Freud’s Judaism


Eric Herschthal voices concerns regarding Freud’s Judaism — the fact that he “never renounced his Judaism. But he often distanced himself from Jewish beliefs” (“Freud, Schmeud,” Dec. 30).

I’m reminded of the joke about the Jewish atheist parents who wanted to get their kids the best possible education where they lived, so they sent them to a private Catholic school. After the first day, the dad asked, “So what did you learn today?”

Bibi And The New York Times


Ari Goldman’s media column, “Bibi’s Missed Opportunity: An Op-Ed In The Times” (Dec. 30) misses the point that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, through senior adviser Ron Dermer, drew a line in the sands of history by taking the opportunity to lay out the role the Times plays in the asymmetrical war of words waged against Israel. A war in which the truth matters naught, fact checking is suspended and information that might place Palestinians in an unflattering light is not published.

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