Editorial & Opinion

Smiling With Rav Bina


Rav Bina abused other boys, and I smiled as hard as I could, trying to show him that I was his friend. Rav Bina said in shiur [class] that the only good homosexual is a dead homosexual, that the Skokie Yeshiva has killed more Jewish souls than the Holocaust, and to one boy he said, “God hates you,” and I smiled as hard as I could, praying that he would not pick on me next.

Rav Bina threw my friend Eli out of yeshiva in the first month just to show us he was boss, and I stood by and smiled as hard as I could so that I would not be next.

Hatchet Job


I am a former student of Yeshivat HaKotel and am writing to express my disgust at the hatchet job your newspaper perpetrated against Rabbi Aharon Bina (“Has The ‘Tough Love’ Rebbe Gone Too Far?” Jan. 27).

Visit Efrat


In your article, “Mission Accomplished, Ecumenically” (Feb. 3), Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is to be commended for his interfaith trip to Israel, and in doing so has changed many attitudes toward Jews and Israel. I just wish that he would also visit Efrat and other well-established Jewish towns in the West Bank to try to give his guests a balanced approach to what some people call an occupation.

I know he is against the settlements but in the true nature of democracy, giving a chance to those he doesn’t agree with would make him more enlightening.

Sign Of Bigotry


David Sable used the Beit Shemesh fiasco as an opportunity to lash out viciously against other Jews in his article, “Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics”(Opinion, Jan. 20).

First of all, the worst sign of bigotry is to lump everyone together and to tar them with the same brush. As a Jew, Sable should be aware that this has been done too many times in the course of our history with terrible results.

Reaching High School Students


In his recent writings about Jewish teens, Len Saxe has suggested that based on the work of Amy Sales, “we need big ideas that can be implemented and evaluated … and have the reach of a mega-program, such as Taglit-Birthright Israel” (“Engaging Jewish Teens Through A Jewish Service Corps,” Opinion, Dec. 30). 

The outstanding record of accomplishment in terms of outreach and retention by Jewish Student Union (JSU) high school clubs showcases unprecedented level of engagement. It’s a big idea that’s working.

Gaza Not Occupied, Says Hamas, So Where Is The UN?

Special To The Jewish Week

In a stunning about-face, and after decades of violence justified by excuses of being under occupation, Hamas recently admitted that Gaza is not occupied by Israel. And yet, the United Nations, which has long been reluctant to acknowledge Gaza’s change in status, is still silent on the issue.

Elizabeth Samson

The Jewish Way Of Lending

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 5:14 p.m.
Torah: Exodus 21:1-24:18; 30:11-16
Haftarah: II Kings 11:17-12:17
Havdalah: 6:15 p.m.            

Shana Novick

Recognizing Feminism’s Moral Claim

Special To The Jewish Week

Rav Moshe Feinstein, widely regarded as the authoritative halachic authority for American Jewry until his death in 1986, was never known as a feminist. But he both understood and accepted feminism’s core moral claim.

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

A Step Backward On The Gender Agenda

Special To The Jewish Week

Think about this: Last week in synagogue we celebrated Shabbat Shira, the Sabbath of Song. The name comes from the Song of the Sea the Israelites chanted after they miraculously crossed the Sea of Reeds. With joy and gratitude, they burst into song, and when the congregation as a whole finished, the women, led by Miriam, danced with their timbrels and sang the chorus again. Now, do you suppose the men turned their backs, so as not to see the women? Did they stuff their ears with sand, so as not to hear the women?

Francine Klagsbrun

The American Jewish Vote: Not All About Israel

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Whether or not a candidate for public office supports the state of Israel is important to American Jews, but it is not the only issue we care about.

Indeed, in 2012 it is highly likely that all major Presidential candidates will be pro-Israel, so American Jewish voters can concentrate on voting for the candidate who best embodies the principles of the Torah and the American republic.

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