In the past few weeks, we have seen letters criticizing and defending The Jewish Week over its story on the Shomrim. However, I have yet to see this statement: keep up the great work Ms. [Hella] Winston.
In her article “Is Judaism A Religion Or A Culture?" (Sept. 2), Leora Batnitzky discusses what defines Judaism.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch emphasized a number of times in his writings that Judaism is not a religion.
In his commentary on Shemos [Exodus] 6:7 — “I will take you to Myself as a people and I will be a God to you; you will come to know that I am Hashem, your God, Who brings you out from under the burdens of Egypt” — Rav Hirsch wrote:
Not until Rev. Al Sharpton apologizes for his role in the Tawana Brawley episode, apologizes to the Westchester district attorney he maligned and apologizes with no equivocation for his role in inciting the crowd in the Crown Heights pogrom, can I see myself or Jewish leaders forgetting the past and accepting Rev. Sharpton as a man with integrity and decency.
Until then, I will see Rev. Sharpton as a demagogue who is being expedient in his later years for the sake of a job on TV.
Judaism does not maintain that one’s lease on life depends on how hard you pray. Your Editorial, “Tragic Rescue” (Sept. 2), makes that primitive claim, though. You cite “the Unetaneh Tokef prayer, a moving part of the liturgy that asserts that one’s prayers during the Days of Repentance determine who will live and who will die...”
The prayer actually says that such judgment is in the hands of God. And the fact is that we mortals don’t understand the basis on which God metes out life and death.
As an added note to the beautiful article, “Orthodox/Conservative/Reform Unity On The Upper East Side” (Sept. 2), I would like to highlight the roles of Rabbi David Posner of Temple Emanuel and Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of the Park Avenue Synagogue in inspiring their congregations to open the doors of their buildings to the Ramaz Lower School following the disastrous fire in the Main Sanctuary of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun with its attendant water damage to the Ramaz Lower School building.
Women got the vote 91 years ago this month, but too many of us are still not exercising this most precious right. Single women, in particular, don’t vote in the same numbers as their married sisters, yet are in greater need of government policies and programs that will ensure them a brighter future. Indeed, in 2010, according to exit polling data, the “marriage gap” — the difference in voter participation and voter behavior between married women and unmarried women — was 30 points.
To my surprise and dismay, after the first anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, by and large the organized Jewish community’s reaction has been muted.
To be fair, there have been exceptions. On the fifth anniversary, The Jewish Week published a section on the subject, including my article “The Holiest Place on Earth,” about my daughters and me praying at Ground Zero on Yom Kippur. Revealingly however, when the article was excerpted, or quoted in other parts of the country, it was by either a secular or, more commonly, a Christian paper.
My 84-year-old father, Robert Kash, received a phone call from a woman who introduced herself as a cousin, with the same great grandfather. She said she was working on a Family Tree from a website called www.Jewishgen.org. About seven weeks ago she emailed me the Family Tree and shared the newfound cousins she contacted, including one from Israel.
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.