Editorial & Opinion

Chief Rabbi And The Rebbe


Yasher koach [congratulations] to Jonathan Mark on a most readable, moving and inspiring column (“The Chief Rabbi And The Rebbe,” Dec. 2).
This was, indeed, a noteworthy event — Rabbi Jonathan Sacks addressing the Chabad shluchim [emissaries] conference. Mark’s piece conveyed its uniqueness in full measure.


Unfair Depiction Of North Shore


The Jewish Week’s article “Day School World Gauging Fallout from SAT Scandal” (Dec. 2) is misleading, and it abandons the American principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”

The North Shore Hebrew Academy High School prides itself on honest achievement. Consistently at the forefront of Torah learning, chesed and academic success, the students of North Shore compete and achieve in the spirit of self-motivation and integrity.

Memories Of YU Basketball


When Yeshiva University’s alumni affairs director recently sent me an e-mail inviting me to participate in a ceremony honoring former captains of YU’s varsity basketball teams, it reminded me, many years later, of some of the thoughts and memories I have about playing basketball at Yeshiva (“Captain Of Their Soles,” Dec. 9).

Unbiased Professionals


It’s heartbreaking to read that some Lakewood Jewish officials apparently pressure child sex abuse victims and their loved ones into keeping silent about their suffering and reporting it to authorities. (“In Lakewood Abuse Cases, A ‘Parallel Justice System’,” Dec. 9).

This is precisely the attitude that has enabled thousands of child-molesting Catholic clerics to devastate the lives of tens of thousands of innocent children.

Gorenberg Responds


In her letter (Dec. 9) commenting on a review of my book, “The Unmaking of Israel” (Dec. 2), Karen Stahl-Don compares me to the 10 spies of the Torah. I confess my bemusement.

Shedding New Light On Chanukah

Special To The Jewish Week

The cruse of oil story that explains the origins of Chanukah has fallen into disrepute. Many people feel that it appeals to children only, because Chanukah for adults is about a military victory against overwhelming odds. The Babylonian Talmud, they say, composed the story to downplay the Maccabean triumph. But they are wrong. If we read the cruse of oil story in context, we will see how “authentic” it is, and what purpose its authors intended it to serve.

Judith Hauptman

Sins, Crimes And Absolute Morality


Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 4:11 p.m.
Torah: Genesis 37:1-40:23
Haftarah: Amos 2:6-3:8
Havdalah: 5:15 p.m.

The Joseph story is one of the Bible’s finest literary achievements. The sedras that make up its chapters end at moments of tension that make it practically impossible to wait for the next installment. Much of the vocabulary is found nowhere else in the Bible. Words are carefully selected to deepen the plot line, and the Midrash adds layers of interpretation that enhance the story’s genius.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

New Outreach To Intermarrieds Makes Wrong Assumptions

Special To The Jewish Week

A newly released report by the Task Force on Welcoming Interfaith Families of the New York UJA-Federation has been hailed by some as a breakthrough (“UJA-Fed. Launches Outreach To Intermarrieds,” Dec. 9).

To the extent that it calls for additional funding for Jewish education directed at intermarried couples and new sensitivity training for outreach workers, the report represents a shift in resources. But in its assumptions about intermarriage, it encapsulates the conventional and unsubstantiated wisdom about how best to address intermarriage. 

Jack Wertheimer

Misguided Rabbinical Priorities

Special To The Jewish Week

Nowadays Orthodoxy is all about sex. Immodesty, promiscuity, homosexuality: the public discourse of the Orthodox Jewish world seems disproportionately to take place in the bedroom, the dressing room, and the closet.

Rabbi Mordechai Rackover is associate university chaplain for the Jewish community of Brown University. Twitter: @mrackover

Israelis And Us: It’s Complicated

‘Come Home’ ads expose cracks in relationship between American Jews and Israeli officials.

Editor And Publisher

The news reports about Israel’s latest, ill-fated public relations campaign have come and gone. But the impact lingers, and it’s worth exploring how Israeli and American Jews, despite all their professed connections, still misunderstand each other in troubling ways.

The most recent example, in brief: A $300,000 ad campaign to encourage Israelis living in America to come home, sponsored by the government in Jerusalem, became known to and immediately was criticized by mainstream, fervently pro-Israel American Jewish groups, and others, as deeply offensive.

Gary Rosenblatt
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