Editorial & Opinion

The Wayward Son

08/28/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:12 p.m.
Torah: Deut. 21:10-25:19
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10
Havdalah: 8:11 p.m.

“If a man has a wayward and rebellious child…  and they warn and flog him, but he still does not obey them; then his parents may take him out to the judges of the city” where he may be put to death. [Deuteronomy 21:18-21].

Shlomo Riskin

Ryan’s Proposals Lack Jewish Values

08/28/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Since Rep. Paul Ryan was chosen as former Gov. Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate, commentators across the political spectrum have been discussing Ryan’s ideas. We are told that Ryan’s ideas are “bold” and even “courageous” for confronting our fiscal challenges. Less discussed, however, are the human costs of those policy proposals. It’s important to remember that the ends do not always justify the means. As women and as Jews, we oppose them, and we urge others to do the same.

Right to left: Nancy Ratzan, Millie Sernovitz and Barbara Dobkin.

Ross Urges Israel To Be ‘Proactive’ With PA

Despite uncertainty, diplomat says leaders shouldn’t ‘hunker down’; says Obama would strike Iran.
08/21/2012
Editor And Publisher

Dennis Ross, the longtime U.S. diplomat and Mideast expert, says that there has never been a time in its tumultuous history that the State of Israel has faced as many threats and unknowns as today.

He should know.

Gary Rosenblatt

Chain Of Command

08/21/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

How to get a family to sit down for a Shabbat dinner? I used to wonder how my parents did it. They didn’t use threats or coercion. One day I ran across a passage in Patrick O’Brien’s “Master and Commander,” his first novel of the British navy, that explained it to me:

“A commander is obeyed by his officers because he is himself obeying; the thing is not in essence personal; and so down. If he does not obey, the chain weakens.”

Clamoring To Serve?

08/21/2012

I read with interest Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “On Haredi Service, Half a Great Idea” (July 20), quoting Rabbi Simcha Avraham Halevi of Bnei Brak on the exclusive efficacy of Torah study to ensure the survival of the Jewish people. 

There is a beautiful teaching of Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian (1876-1970), the famed spiritual instructor of the Kfar Chasidim Yeshiva, in the name of Rabbi Judah Loew, the Maharal of Prague (1520-1609), on the story of Gideon’s victory over the Midianites in the seventh chapter of the Book of Judges. 

Proud Of Raisman

08/21/2012

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous Kiddush Hashem [honor to God] made by American gymnast Aly Raisman on winning two gold medals (and one bronze) at the London Olympics (“Raising The Olympic Bar,” Aug. 10).

Instead of trying to hide the fact that she is Jewish, as is done by many of our brethren in the public eye, she proudly performed her gold-medal-winning routine to “Hava Nagilah,” probably the best-known Hebrew folk song, saying, “I am Jewish. That’s why I wanted the floor music.”

Brooklyn Energy

08/21/2012

As the rabbi of the Flatbush Jewish Center, a synagogue in Kensington/Windsor Terrace that is putting intense energy into innovative outreach programs, I was disappointed that your article on the Jewish resurgence in that area of Brooklyn neglected to mention our synagogue whatsoever (“Brooklyn’s Newest Jews,” Aug. 3).

Needed: More Inclusion

08/21/2012

In Jonathan Mark’s column on the Siyum HaShas, “Siyum In The Stadium” (Aug. 10), he mentioned that non-haredi rabbis were not permitted on the dais. I find this very disappointing since the very purpose of the siyum was to unite Jews of various backgrounds.

Since a high percentage of attendees at this siyum were not haredim I would suggest that an organization set up a future Daf Yomi that would be inclusive of all Jews who are interested in uniting for the purpose of Torah study regardless of their background.

Lower Standard

08/21/2012

I strenuously disagree with Rabbi David Eliezrie’s contention that one who has some peripheral association with an Orthodox organization should be considered Orthodox (Letters, Aug. 3).

I’m sorry, but attending a Chabad challah-baking class or Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony just doesn’t cut it, rabbi. Our Torah defines Orthodoxy and will not countenance your attempt to “dumb down” the religion.  

Day School Statistics Differ

08/21/2012

 Over the years, I have conducted a series of censuses of day schools in the United States for the Avi Chai Foundation. This research is painstaking and involves direct contact with every yeshiva and day school, as well as with government agencies, Jewish communal organizations and federations. The statistics that emerge are the actual count, school-by-school and grade-by-grade, and not estimates or extrapolations.

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