Editorial & Opinion

Texting On Shabbat


I think instead of only discussing teenager addiction to texting on Shabbat, we must do a little self-reflection (“For Many Orthodox Teens, ‘Half Shabbos’ Is A Way Of Life,” June 24).

The addictive nature of texting affects adults as much as teenagers. We text while driving, and we text while davening. We have to lead as role models to our youth, if we want them to learn properly.

West Hempstead, L.I.

Missing From The Jewish Conversation: Intermarrieds

Special To The Jewish Week

I recently had the privilege of participating in a two-day retreat organized by The Jewish Week and sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, on the subject of being Jewish in New York. It was an extraordinary experience, on many levels. The organizers brought together a very diverse group of very smart, knowledgeable people and, in 48 hours, shaped them into a “community” deeply appreciative of that diversity.

Observing The Three Weeks, For History’s Sake

Special To The Jewish Week

In 1999, Dr. Ismar Schorsh, then chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, made a rather unfortunate observation. He claimed that Conservative Jews who observe the Three Weeks, a period of collective mourning for the Temples’ destruction and all subsequent calamities, was about as rare as a polar bear at the equator.

Look Who’s Talking

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candles: 8:12 p.m.
Torah: Numbers 22:2-25:9
Haftarah: Micha 5:6-6:8
Havdalah: 9:19 p.m.

Whoever has attended a writing workshop knows that the first question to crop up inevitably centers on the viewpoint from which a story is told.

Freema Gottlieb

Promoting Rockland


Thank you for Steve Lipman’s article about the Jewish Federation of Rockland County’s efforts to promote Rockland County, N.Y., as a place that is welcoming to young Jewish families (“Rockland Outreach Facing Demographic, Image Challenges,” June 17).

The Jewish Week coverage was thorough and thoughtful, portraying our county as one with a vibrant Jewish life and much to offer Jews hoping to find an affordable home not far from the city.

Texting And Going Bare-Headed


In his article on Orthodox teenagers texting on Shabbos (“For Many Orthodox Teens, ‘Half-Shabbos’ is a Way of Life,” June 24), Steve Lipman equates this increasingly common practice with Orthodox males who don’t wear a yarmulke to work.

Statistics On Teen Texting


It is with great interest that we read the article “For Many Orthodox Teens, ‘Half Shabbos’ Is A Way of Life” (June 24) because it captures the challenges that Shabbat observance poses for what has been called the iGeneration. The very public flouting of normative Shabbat restrictions when it comes to texting on Shabbat is supported by our study of the religious beliefs and behaviors of Modern Orthodox day school students.

Lack Of Restraint


I am not a perfect person or perfect observant Jew by any means, and so while I think the notion of “half-Shabbos” or justifying texting on Shabbos by citing that it uses “low levels of electricity” is ridiculous for an Orthodox person to put forth, I will refrain from chastising teens who text on Shabbos because, quite frankly, I stand in a glass house, albeit for other reasons. (“For Many Orthodox Teens, ‘Half-Shabbos’ is a Way of Life,” June 24)

Over The Edge


Deborah Lipstadt, in her recent outstanding book, “The Eichmann Trial,” uses the term “soft-core” denial of the Holocaust to characterize the writings of those who grossly distort, without outright negating, historical reality. It would be charitable to apply that label to Nicholson Baker’s disturbing creation, “Human Smoke” discussed by Eric Herschthal in his thoughtful article, “The Limits Of Pacifism” (June 24).

HASC Board Responds


The pending litigation against the board of HASC, Inc. (“Lone HASC Critic on Board Is Dismissed,” June 24) initiated by former board member Lillian Lieberman is unfortunate, resulting in costly and unnecessary expense, and taking funds from HASC’s basic mission.

As the independent outside counsel for HASC and its board (and former deputy chief of the NY Attorney General’s Charities Bureau), I wish to clarify key points and set the record straight.

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