Editorial & Opinion

Wrong Emphasis

12/27/2011

In “A Time Of Zealots” (Editorial, Dec. 16) you state “Chanukah is the festival brought to us by Jewish Zealots. It was the military victory of guerrilla fighters and rogues against Greek repression.” You even cite The Book of Maccabees as your proof text. What you fail to mention, and is perhaps the most salient point, is that Chanukah was predominantly a war between Jews and Jews, i.e. Traditional Observant Jews versus “traitorous Jews who had no regard for the Law (Torah) and who had a bad influence on many of our people” (Book Of Maccabees).

Whose Definition?

12/27/2011

Yes, non-Orthodox and Orthodox are going in opposite directions, but not for the reasons the letter writer states (“Nothing To Discuss,” Letters, Dec. 16).

Some haredi Jews in Israel believe that their young men should be exempt from the military service in the Israel Defense Forces that is necessary to protect Israel from its many threats, preferring to leave that task to the “heathen” Conservative and Reform, so that ultra-Orthodox young men can continue their yeshiva studies without the distraction of the military. 

Non-Kosher Article

12/27/2011

As a regular reader I was disappointed by the article "Savoring Hummus (And More) In Abu Gosh" (Dec. 2 supplement). While I realize that the majority of your readers do not keep kosher, I am saddened that your newspaper would choose to publicize and promote treife [non-kosher] restaurants in an Arab-Israeli town near Jerusalem.

Calling Israel To Account

12/27/2011

Regarding Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “A Great Miracle Happened Where?” Dec. 23), it’s even more complicated [the relationship between American and Israeli Jews]. As an older American Jew, I have other thoughts on what they [Israelis] are thinking and what they really think of us. I wonder what they think of themselves ... Do they see themselves only as Israelis — not as Israeli Jews? Do they see us only as non-Israelis, not as Jews, and their yordim [expatriates] only as yordim, not as Jews?

Pipes Politics

12/27/2011

If you check your archival sources you will see that The Jewish Week has quoted Daniel Pipes hundreds of times over the past 30 years. Evidently the Jewish Week finds Pipes to be a dependable and quotable resource.

‘Engineering’ Feat

12/27/2011

Thomas Friedman should go down in history as one of Israel’s greatest admirers (“Times’ Friedman Responds To ‘Israel Lobby’ Phrase,” Dec. 23).

After all, he credits Israel with an amazing feat, namely “engineering” more than 400 members of Congress to give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a standing ovation against their inner convictions and despite the efforts of the well-funded petrodollar lobby.

Herzliya, Israel

Time For Outreach

12/27/2011

UJA-Federation of New York is proud to have launched its new effort of outreach to intermarried families, reported in The Jewish Week [“UJA-Fed Launches Outreach to Intermarrieds,” Dec. 9] and now the subject of a response by Jack Wertheimer [“New Outreach to Intermarrieds Makes Wrong Assumptions,” Dec. 16].

The Father Of Pharaoh

12/27/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat Candles: 4:19 p.m.
Torah reading: Leviticus 12:1-13:59;
Exodus 12:1-20
Haftarah: Ezekiel 45:16-46:18
Havdalah: 5:23 p.m.

In this week’s Torah reading, Joseph brings his family down to Egypt to live in the land of Goshen and enjoy relief from the famine in Canaan. He tells his brothers to send a personal invitation to his father. However, the invitation is marked by irony, a telling word play and a sad statement of family distance.

Erica Brown

Note To Young People: ‘Network’ Is Also A Noun

12/27/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Within the Jewish communal world, the word “network” is used primarily as a verb. As Jews, it’s ingrained within us from an early age (or so it seems) to schmooze, to kibitz, and to kvetch with one another. To make it sound more productive, we call this networking. Sometimes it advances our personal and organizational goals; more often, it doesn’t.

Tamar Snyder

Engaging Teens Through A Jewish Service Corps

12/27/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Over the last two decades a host of commissions and task forces have assessed how the Jewish community can reach out to post-bnai mitzvah teens. The bar and bat mitzvah ceremony is an inflection point in the lives of contemporary American Jews and the question that has bedeviled adults has been how to engage teens once they step off the bima at age 12 or 13.

Leonard Saxe
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