Why did The Jewish Week allow James Besser to mount a front-page attack against mainstream AIPAC on the eve of its policy conference (“Political, Communal Divisions, Pose Fresh Threats to AIPAC,” March 2)? It is Besser who is sowing the “divisions” by smearing Israel’s center-right government as “hard line” and AIPAC’s American supporters as increasingly “hard line,” “one-issue” and tied to settlers, even though AIPAC is overwhelmingly mainstream and pluralistic.
I am not a subscriber to The Jewish Week, though I have read the paper many times. I had thought about subscribing and am quite hesitant to do so now. I applaud many of your efforts to force the Jewish community to face some very difficult issues, beginning even as far back as the Baruch Lanner articles. However, I currently have a copy of the Purim issue, and was very disturbed. I had to remove it from the kitchen counter, away from my children. It was neither funny nor appropriate.
As an Orthodox Jew and with many personal and professional connections to the chasidic community, the litany of scandalous stories emerging almost weekly upsets me much, and has led to analyzing why this is going on when most Torah education is opposed to criminality of any type.
I’d like to propose that the awful stories are all related, and to make them understandable by explaining the mindset that leads to them. This in no way is meant to condone or approve the actions, rather just promoting understanding of how the chasidic mind works.
Much ink has flown over the principled stand the Beren Academy basketball team took in choosing its priorities in the incipient conflict between playing basketball and shmirat Shabbat, or the observance of the Sabbath (“Houston’s Champions” Editorial, March 9).
A decade ago, the field of Israel education didn’t really exist in the United States.
A 2003 study found that when it came to teaching about Modern Israel in schools, camps, synagogues and youth groups, there was no conceptual framework, no standards of practice, no professional development, and educators felt unequipped to handle the material.
To hear some report it, the latest “cycle of violence,” featuring volleys of hundreds of rockets and airstrikes between Israel and Gaza began this past weekend when Israel killed Zuhair al-Qaissi and several other leaders of the Popular Resistance Committee, a terror group connected to Hamas.
Patrilineal descent is an issue that raises strong emotions in many Jewish circles. Some feel adamantly that patrilineal Jews who have been living and identifying as Jews their whole lives should be accepted as Jews by the entire Jewish community. Others feel strongly that the very term “patrilineal Jew” is a misnomer and that individuals are either Jewish according to Jewish law, halacha — that is, that they have a Jewish mother or they have converted — or they are not Jewish.
The debate about ritual circumcision with metzitzah b’peh (direct mouth-to-wound oral suctioning by the mohel) is complex, as it involves halachic, historical, social, medical, technical and potential regulatory components.