Editorial & Opinion

Our Vital Mission: To Inform and To Serve

09/03/2013 - 20:00

Dear Friends,

At this special time — one Jewish year just ending, a new one upon us — we, like many of you, take time to reflect candidly on the past and look forward with hope to the coming year.

Hearing Us Where We Are

If our prayers are heartfelt, they will resonate on high, and be answered favorably.
09/03/2013 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

One of the loveliest aspects of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur is the concept of forgiveness, the notion that if we are sincere in our commitment to make atonement for past sins and try to improve our ways, God will, in effect, wipe our slate clean at the outset of the new Jewish year.

Gary Rosenblatt

The Shofar: Embracing The Crooked

09/03/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Have you ever seen a straight Shofar? There’s a reason why; according to Jewish law, a Shofar must be crooked. In the first chapter of his Laws of Shofar, Sukkah, and Lulav, Maimonides writes: “the Shofar that is blown…is the crooked  (twisted, bent over) ram’s horn.”  What is the symbolism of blowing a crooked Shofar? The Talmud, in tractate Rosh Hashanah 26b, connects the bent shape of the Shofar to the bending will of each human, the humble acknowledgement that our desires alone do not dictate the future.

Maya Bernstein

Not Enough Progress By Rabbis, Leaders On Sexual Abuse

09/02/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The time for serious vigilance of child abuse in the Modern Orthodox community is long overdue. It is time that lay and religious communal leaders have zero tolerance for child abusers and cease to cover up, enable or protect them.

Heshie Billet

Nixon Tapes Remind Us: No Compromise On Jewish Interests

09/02/2013 - 20:00
Special to The Jewish Week

The release of the most recent set of Nixon White House tapes last week apparently did not produce any dramatic revelations. It is, after all, widely known that President Richard Nixon was not particularly politically correct when it came to racial and ethnic slurs. But these tapes remind us of the heated debates in those days about how American Jews should weigh their specifically Jewish interests — especially concerning Israel but also concerning Soviet Jews — against the perceived American interest. In so doing, the tapes enable us to grasp the unfolding of history in hindsight.

Natan Sharansky

A Song Of God’s Grace

09/02/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candles: 7:07 p.m. (Wed.);
after 8:05 p.m. (Thu.);
before 7:03 p.m. (Fri.)
Torah: Deuteronomy 32:1-52
Haftarah: II Samuel 22:1-51
Havdalah: 8:01 p.m.
Fast of Gedalia: 5:06 a.m.
to 7:52 p.m. (Sun.)

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

‘Next Gen’ Has No Monopoly On Wise, Caring Givers

09/02/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

On the basis of my experience in raising billions of dollars for NYU for the past 30 years, from donors who were young and old, I strongly disagree with the following statement in the article headlined “Next-Gen Givers Want To Blaze Own Philanthropic Path” (Aug. 16): “The younger donors want their giving to be information-driven, hands-on, impact-focused, proactive, and peer- oriented.”

Naomi Levine

Life Under Two Suns

What happens when the ideals of human rights and Jewish values collide?
09/02/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Dialogue: Judaism & Democracy is a biweekly column by researchers from the Israel Democracy Institute’s Human Rights & Judaism project on the dialogue between the Jewish and democratic traditions.

Eleanor Roosevelt holds a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which she helped foster, in 1948. Photo courtesy UN

Resist Sermonizing On Women Of The Wall

09/01/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

An initiative inviting 100 rabbis to deliver sermons about the Women of the Wall this High Holiday Season has enlisted dozens of rabbis. Although I understand why it is irresistible, I am not impressed.

How Birthright Is Changing Jewish Life

08/31/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A decade ago, Jewish parents worried that their children wouldn't marry Jewish or have a bar or bat mitzvah for their own children. Today, however, we see a younger generation that is marrying within the faith and looking to raise their children Jewish, while maintaining a strong bond to Israel. 

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