Editorial & Opinion

‘Fresh Ink’ Is Back

01/10/2012
Editorial

We are proud to announce that Fresh Ink, The Jewish Week supplement written for and by high school students, will return as an online magazine this week after a two-year hiatus. The website, Fresh Ink For Teens (www.freshinkforteens.com), will be updated regularly, featuring essays, articles and art produced by Jewish teenagers on such themes as school, Israel, religion, politics and culture.

A Positive Backlash

01/10/2012
Editorial

We have little expectation that the preliminary talks being held in Jordan between the Palestinian Authority and Israel will lead to any substantive progress, primarily because neither side seems particularly interested in advancing the process now. Rather, their motives are to please Washington and Amman and not appear to be the party standing in the way of negotiations. Not exactly a formula for dramatic breakthroughs.

From A Sephardic Scholar, An ‘Enlightened Torah’ Approach

01/10/2012
Editor And Publisher

Growing up, I considered Sephardic rituals and customs to be exotic, maybe even odd, if I thought about them at all. I knew, for example, that eating rice on Passover was allowed in Sephardic homes, a strict prohibition in mine and everyone else’s I knew, as Ashkenazim. And I considered their prayerbook nusach, or style, annoying since it was different from what I knew, and therefore hard for me to follow.

Gary Rosenblatt

Their Feet Were Praying

Remembering the inspiration Heschel and King drew from each other.

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

One of the most remarkable friendships in Jewish history was between my father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. When they met in 1963, they felt an instant bond, despite the enormous differences in their backgrounds: Dr. King was a Baptist minister from the segregated South, trained in Protestant theology at Boston University. My father was a Jewish theologian, trained as a scholar in Germany, raised in an intensely pious, chasidic milieu in Warsaw; indeed, he was supposed to become a chasidic rebbe in Poland.

Prophetic voices: Martin Luther King Jr., left, and Abraham Joshua Heschel, right, during Selma march in 1965. Susannah Heschel

Living Mouth To Hand

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 4:32 p.m.
Torah reading: Exodus 1:1-6:1
Haftarah: Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23 (Ashkenaz);
Jeremiah 1:1-2:3 (Sephard)
Havdalah: 5:36 p.m.

Rabbi Peretz Rodman

Ultra-Orthodox Judaism Need Not Be Close-Minded

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

The spectacle of haredi, that is, ultra-Orthodox, thugs spitting on Naama Margolis, an 8-year old schoolgirl in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, has exacerbated the already frayed relations between the fundamentalist religious sector of the Jewish community, in Israel and elsewhere — and the rest of us, that is, Conservative, Reform, Modern Orthodox, and secular Jews.

Menachem Z. Rosensaft

Synagogues Should Be More Welcoming

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

One New Year evokes another. We Jews like to pride ourselves on the differences between the secular New Year celebrations that have just ended and our religious New Year in the fall. The meaningless blare of tinseled horns versus the shofar blasts calling us to prayer; the excessive drinking versus the sanctification of holiday wine; the crowds in Times Square versus the crowds on their way to the synagogue. 

Francine Klagsbrun

Let's Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics

01/10/2012

 

A number of years ago the Agudath Ha-Rabonim, a relatively small group of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, declared that Conservative and Reform Judaism were "outside of Torah and outside of Judaism.” Much has been written to justify and rationalize their statement. I found it offensive, but for argument’s sake let’s say they are right – more importantly let’s say that in fact they are the true spokespeople for the application of halacha (Jewish law).

Let's Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics

01/10/2012

A number of years ago the Agudath Ha-Rabonim, a relatively small group of right-wing Orthodox rabbis, declared that Conservative and Reform Judaism were "outside of Torah and outside of Judaism.” Much has been written to justify and rationalize their statement. I found it offensive, but for argument’s sake let’s say they are right – more importantly let’s say that in fact they are the true spokespeople for the application of halacha (Jewish law).

David Sable

Forgotten Voices

On ultra-Orthodox Israelis wearing yellow stars in protesting alleged bias.

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square is a Mecca for tourists. Predictably it also attracts entrepreneurs interested in revenue sharing. You can hear every San Francisco song in creation performed on every conceivable instrument; you can have your portrait done for $15, your caricature for $10, or your silhouette cut for $5.

One aged hustler, in particular, caught my attention, in part, because he could not attract anyone else's. He was lying in a recliner. When open, his eyes were glazed, but most of the time that I observed, they were closed.

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