Editorial & Opinion

Establishing A Soviet Jewry Liberation Day


As we are about to mark the 25th anniversary on Dec. 6 of the historic march on Washington by an estimated 250,000 people on behalf of Soviet Jewry, I believe the time has come to establish a day of commemoration to be included on the U.S. Jewish communal agenda, memorializing one of the great redemptions of Jewish history, which we were privileged to witness in our time.

Jacob Birnbaum

Diary Of A Rabbi On An Emergency Mission In Israel: When Your Home Is In Danger, You Come Home


Day One: Tuesday, Nov. 20                                                                                                    

How To Make Nov. 27 A Special Day


There was a time, not that long age, when Thanksgiving opened the season of giving. Now it opens up the season of buying. Black Friday and Cyber Monday now define this time of the year. It is of course wonderful to give and receive gifts to and from friends and relatives. We should be happy as Americans to see consumerism strong in a time where our economy is so challenged. Nonetheless, something is being lost in the shuffle.

Why This Gaza Conflict Was Different

'Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations.'

This one was different.

Yes, the missile and rocket fire into the population centers of southern Israel caused panic, anxiety and quite a bit of understandable distress. As in previous wars, I, along with many other behavioral health clinicians, were called upon to help man special "stress teams" that worked with local officials dealing with the many issues that could develop in a population under constant threat. And yes, people ran, people screamed and people did need to know where to go to for psychological support.

Irwin Mansdorf

Improvising At The Bima


Regarding “Grooving The Cantorial Tradition” (Nov. 2), chazzanut, or, the cantorial art, is often equated to opera, and being a fan of both, I must acknowledge to having heard “improvizatya” at both. 

Sharing The Loneliness


 I was saddened to read the opinion piece by Jerome A. Chanes, “Orthodox And Liberal And Lonely On The West Side” (Oct. 26) I am Orthodox and liberal and lonely on Staten Island, where almost all of my fellow congregants are very conservative politically, but I assumed that things would be different on the more liberal West Side.

Ahead Of The Curve


I read Gary Rosenblatt’s column about Jewish groups being behind the curve in waking up to the “new America” with a smile the day it appeared (“Behind The Curve On Grasping The New America,” Nov 16).

What Really Matters


I so appreciated reading Isaac Steven Herschkopf’s essay, “Between Light and Darkness: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy” (Nov. 9) as it resonated with me greatly in the aftermath of the last couple of weeks. His reflections helped me crystallize the lessons I gleaned from this event. 

Permission To Support Israel Without Measure

It’s more than alright to champion Jerusalem’s cause for the simple reason that we’re Jewish.
Editor And Publisher

Sitting in my home this weekend and reading about the trauma the people of Israel have endured under rocket attack in recent days, I never felt closer to Israel — or further away.

I was reminded of the story of the hen and the turkey reading the Thanksgiving Day menu the farmer had posted, calling for the next day’s dinner to feature “scrambled eggs and the traditional holiday meal.”

“From you he wants a contribution,” the turkey said ruefully to the hen. “From me he wants total commitment.”

Gary Rosenblatt

Giving Thanks


When the cantor repeats the Amidah, there is one prayer the congregation must say for itself — the Modim, the prayer of thanksgiving. One statement in the Talmud teaches that in the time of the Messiah, all the sacrifices will be abolished save one — the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Even in the perfect age, there will be a need to offer thanks.

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