Editorial & Opinion

Moses And His Flare Of Anger

12/30/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting: Readings:
Shabbat candles: 4:22 p.m.
Torah: Ex. 10:1-13:16
Haftarah: Jeremiah 46:13-28
Havdalah: 5:26 p.m.

Rabbi Peretz Rodman

Withholding A Get: Between Leverage And Extortion

12/25/2013 - 19:00

All too commonly, we read about a man who refuses to grant his wife a Jewish writ of divorce (a “get”). We are told her story, culminating in her demand for a get and a plea to help pressure the recalcitrant husband to grant it. As for the man’s version of events – they do not matter; according to the approach promoted by the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (“agunah” refers to a woman chained to a failed marriage by a husband unable or unwilling to grant her a get) and numerous others, it is never justified for a man to withhold a get as leverage during the divorce settlement.

Why I’m Boycotting The American Studies Association

12/23/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The American Studies Association has voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions. As an American historian who worked closely with American studies colleagues in graduate school and then for two years while teaching at Harvard’s History and Literature program, I am not surprised by this “politically correct” assault on academic freedom, basic logic, and democratic decency. Nevertheless, I feel betrayed. I will now boycott the ASA. I will not sit on a panel, review a manuscript or deal professionally with any ASA member — to broadcast my contempt for this decision and demonstrate the deleterious effect of academics boycotting one another: one bad boycott provokes others.

Gil Troy

Save ‘Better Place’

12/23/2013 - 19:00

The development of the massive gas fields off Israel’s coast in the
Mediterranean (“Energy Promise In The Promised Land,” Dec. 20) holds the
potential of energy independence for the State of Israel; unfortunately it
also highlights the ways in which the political impediments inherent in the
running of the country can hamper legitimate technological and economic
progress.

When Forgiving Is A Mockery

12/23/2013 - 19:00

Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg highlights Nelson Mandela’s belief in forgiveness and reconciliation, as we are constantly reminded since his death (“Mandela, Apartheid And The Jews,” Opinion, Dec. 13). This clashes with King David’s deathbed order to his son, Solomon, to exact retribution against Joab and Shimi for the wrongs they perpetrated against David, and to reward the sons of Barzilai for the good he did to him [1 Kings 2:5-9].

Prenups Not For Everyone

12/23/2013 - 19:00

Rori Picker Neiss (“The Prenup Can Help Everyone,” online Opinion) is “shocked” at my response to your reporter, who asked me for the rationale of esteemed rabbinical authorities’ opposition to prenuptial agreements focused on a future divorce. I explained that “there is a concern that introducing and focusing on the possible dissolution of a marriage when it is just beginning is not conducive to the health of the marriage.”

Conservative Variation

12/23/2013 - 19:00

Much has been written about the gap between what the
Conservative movement preaches and what its adherents practice (“The Mourning
After: Pew’s Unheralded Surprise,” Opinion, Dec. 6). Generally, this has
been interpreted to mean that Conservative Jews practiced “less” than the
movement called for. I’d like to share a variation on this theme of the
divide between “preach and practice.”

Stepping Out At Limmud UK

12/23/2013 - 19:00
Editorial

British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis made history this week, at least in the world of Limmud, when he became the first person in his post to attend and address Limmud UK, the granddaddy event of the international enterprise that fosters cross-denominational study of Jewish texts and a celebration of Jewish life.

Edgar M. Bronfman, 1929-2013

12/23/2013 - 19:00
Editorial

Born to a life of luxury, with admittedly little knowledge of Judaism growing up, Edgar Bronfman could have achieved success and adulation simply as the successor to his father, Samuel Bronfman, chairman of Seagram Ltd. The fact that in addition he became increasingly interested and involved in Jewish life as an adult — not only as president of the World Jewish Congress but as a student of Jewish text and issues — is a tribute to his capacity to both lead and learn.

Israel Outreach: Broad Vs Deep

New public relations effort is clever, but superficial.

12/23/2013 - 19:00
Editor And Publisher

Did you know that Israel is the first country to ban underweight models? A recent law prohibits the use of ultra-skinny young women and of altering images in photos and ads.

Gary Rosenblatt
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