I’m a Russian Jew. I was born and raised in New York City. I am proud to be an American. But somehow, I am still a Russian Jew.
My family hasn’t been back to the former Soviet Union since they left in search of a better Jewish life, some 40 years ago. I’d never been there at all, until this summer.
I have returned to Switzerland this week as the Rabbinic Representative to join global partners and interfaith leaders at the World Economic Forum. Here, we continue to plan the annual gathering in Davos this winter and to think-tank the greatest moral, economic, and political issues of our time.
Western media paid little attention to the 100 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza over a four-day period in late August, when 500,000 people were repeatedly forced to take shelter.
However, my family and I experienced the attacks first-hand, felt the terror and came away with a searing memory and a clear sense of what has become commonplace to so many.
Tisha b’Av (the ninth of Av) is the name that marks the saddest date on the Jewish calendar, recalling the destruction of the Holy Temples. Similarly, the most deadly attack ever on American soil — bringing about the destruction of the World Trade Center, part of the Pentagon, and a more trusting way of life — is commemorated simply by the date on which it occurred: 9/11.
Sept. 11, 2001 was a Tuesday, deadline day for The Jewish Week.
As the horrific events began to unfold that morning, I found myself consumed, at times, by the unfolding coverage on television, then forcing myself away from it, trying to focus on getting the issue out on time. In revising the paper’s contents and helping to assign fresh staff coverage, I was very much aware that we were experiencing a moment when one could feel our nation’s history veering off into an unknown, dangerous path. One from which we haven’t really recovered, and perhaps never will.
I understand the angst regarding coupling the topic of the Holocaust and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 (“The Days After,” Aug. 26).
However, I must point out facts that were not considered in the writing of this article.
Before the bombing, the United States government warned the leaders of Japan of the devastating effects of the atomic bomb and threatened the dropping of the bomb unless the Japanese agreed to an unconditional surrender. They refused, possibly because they didn’t believe the warning.
As Adam Dickter reports, Ed Koch’s endorsement of Republican, Bob Turner, for the seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner is causing some uncertainty, at least in the polls, as to the outcome of the race between Turner and Democrat David Weprin (“Weprin’s Tightrope,” Aug. 26). By the time the election date arrives, I hope the “average” voters will all display their economic common sense, and Jewish voters, especially, will display their seichel [wisdom] by voting for Weprin.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.