Editorial & Opinion

Reflecting On The Omer, And The Boston Bombing

04/22/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Editor’s Note: This d’var torah was delivered at Darkhei Noam, a Manhattan congregation, on Saturday, April 20.

Today is the 25th day of the Omer [the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot]. One week from tomorrow, we will celebrate the 33rd day, Lag B'omer. Since Pesach, we've been in a period where we observe a set of customs related to mourning. Customs vary across communities, but usually rule out weddings, haircuts, live music, and sometimes new clothes. What exactly are we mourning? The Gemara in Yevamot 62b teaches:

“It was said that Rabbi Akiva had 12,000 chevrutot (24,000 students)… All of them died in a single spell.”

Understanding Divine Justice

04/22/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:28 p.m.
Torah: Leviticus 21:1-24:23
Haftarah: Ezekiel 44:15-31
Havdalah: 8:31 p.m.

The Hebrew Scriptures have been maligned by much of the Gentile world with negative characterizations painted with broad strokes. The God of the “Old Testament” has been depicted as jealous, vindictive, blood thirsty and cruel. We, on the other hand, think of the Almighty as a loving father and described in terms of His Thirteen Attributes of Mercy that we repeat in the Selichot.

Fred Ehrman

Door Is Wide Open For Gay Jews To Be Leaders

04/22/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

For years I have been an active volunteer for many local and national Jewish organizations. Locally, I have worked hard to climb the ladder of involvement and become our federation’s president. It is only now I can truly find the words to describe a frustrating problem that, from years of experience, I now have the clarity and vision to express.

Stuart Kurlander

Kotel Proposal Insufficient

04/16/2013 - 20:00

In all the excitement about Natan Sharansky’s proposal for the Kotel (“Equal Prayer At Western Wall” and Editorial, April 20), the following is forgotten: It banishes the Torah from the women’s section at the Kotel and, ironically, also banishes the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal denominations from the Kotel.

Reporter Hella Winston responds:

04/16/2013 - 20:00

Pierre Sussman did not respond to an inquiry from The Jewish Week.

Brooklyn DA’s Role: A Defense, And Rebuttal

04/16/2013 - 20:00

Many of the questions in “DA’s Role in Rabbi’s 1990 Murder Case Under Scrutiny” (April 5) could have been answered by speaking to the attorney for David Ranta [who was freed recently for a wrongful conviction in the 1990 murder of a chasidic rabbi  in Brooklyn] or reading the public documents.

The Barefoot Prophet

04/16/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When God appears at the burning bush, what is the first thing Moses is told to do? Take off his shoes.

Rabbi David Wolpe

Lonely Men Of Faith

04/16/2013 - 20:00
Editorial

Twenty years after his death, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the beacon of the Modern Orthodox movement and rosh yeshiva of the rabbinical school of Yeshiva University, is still mourned and remembered not only for his towering intellect and Talmudic teachings but his willingness and ability to blend a life devoted to Torah study with a full appreciation of the blessings of modernity.

Israel's Emergence Intersects With Global LGBT Struggle

04/15/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Today, Israel’s 65th Independence Day, it is appropriate that we stop and take pride in the many strengths of this young nation, and what its existence and growth has meant for Jewish people not only in Israel but around the world. 2013 offers much for LGBT people to take pride in compared with 1948.

Arthur Slepian

A Perfect Time For A Do-Over

04/15/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:21 p.m.
Torah: Leviticus 16:1-20:27
Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15 (Ashkenaz);
Ezekiel 20:2-20 (Sephard)
Havdalah: 8:23 p.m.

This week’s double portion of Achrei Mot/Kedoshim begins with God speaking to Moshe after the death of Aaron’s two sons, and then instructing Moshe and Aaron about the procedures surrounding Yom Kippur.

Dr. Adena Berkowitz
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