Editorial & Opinion

Parental Pride

01/10/2012

While Uri [Westrich] did say, “my parents were not exactly thrilled” (“For YU Grad, Video Career Maccabeats Medicine,” Dec 30), he actually went on to say that his parents have been supportive. 

With seven million hits on YouTube and counting, we think any parent would be proud. “Pirsumei Nisa,” to make known the miracles of Chanukah, has a new medium in the age of the Internet. Uri has created professional, fun videos that present the Maccabeats and the holidays through a Jewish lens.

Teaneck, N.J.

When Teen Doesn’t Fit

01/10/2012

Leonard Saxe’s “Engaging Teens Through a Jewish Service Corps” (Opinion, Dec. 30) culminates with a study travel program intending to make a “major inflection point.” The proposal needs to be counterbalanced with a transfer option for those registered for Israel programs with which they are instantly uncomfortable and need alternatives.

How We Work With Teens Is Key

01/10/2012

Engaging teens by melding Jewish values with secular passions and interests is a formula proposed by Leonard Saxe (“Engaging Teens Through a Jewish Service Corps,” Opinion, Dec. 30) as he advocates for a communal mobilization to create a national Jewish service corps for a post-high school gap year.

The challenges outlined in a new study on teen engagement — presented by The Jewish Education Project and UJA-Federation of New York — prompt this notion, and beg for our attention and design of real solutions to make Judaism relevant for our teens.

In Messianic Times

01/10/2012

The history of messianism in Judaism is the history of false and failed Messiahs. Some were earnest but wrong; others were clever pretenders. But there is also no complete agreement as to what the messianic time, when it arrives, will bring. Some scholars are supernaturalists, believing that it will result in the overturning of nature. Others, most notably Maimonides, are more restrained in their vision.

‘Fresh Ink’ Is Back

01/10/2012
Editorial

We are proud to announce that Fresh Ink, The Jewish Week supplement written for and by high school students, will return as an online magazine this week after a two-year hiatus. The website, Fresh Ink For Teens (www.freshinkforteens.com), will be updated regularly, featuring essays, articles and art produced by Jewish teenagers on such themes as school, Israel, religion, politics and culture.

A Positive Backlash

01/10/2012
Editorial

We have little expectation that the preliminary talks being held in Jordan between the Palestinian Authority and Israel will lead to any substantive progress, primarily because neither side seems particularly interested in advancing the process now. Rather, their motives are to please Washington and Amman and not appear to be the party standing in the way of negotiations. Not exactly a formula for dramatic breakthroughs.

From A Sephardic Scholar, An ‘Enlightened Torah’ Approach

01/10/2012
Editor And Publisher

Growing up, I considered Sephardic rituals and customs to be exotic, maybe even odd, if I thought about them at all. I knew, for example, that eating rice on Passover was allowed in Sephardic homes, a strict prohibition in mine and everyone else’s I knew, as Ashkenazim. And I considered their prayerbook nusach, or style, annoying since it was different from what I knew, and therefore hard for me to follow.

Gary Rosenblatt

Their Feet Were Praying

Remembering the inspiration Heschel and King drew from each other.

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

One of the most remarkable friendships in Jewish history was between my father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. When they met in 1963, they felt an instant bond, despite the enormous differences in their backgrounds: Dr. King was a Baptist minister from the segregated South, trained in Protestant theology at Boston University. My father was a Jewish theologian, trained as a scholar in Germany, raised in an intensely pious, chasidic milieu in Warsaw; indeed, he was supposed to become a chasidic rebbe in Poland.

Prophetic voices: Martin Luther King Jr., left, and Abraham Joshua Heschel, right, during Selma march in 1965. Susannah Heschel

Living Mouth To Hand

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 4:32 p.m.
Torah reading: Exodus 1:1-6:1
Haftarah: Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23 (Ashkenaz);
Jeremiah 1:1-2:3 (Sephard)
Havdalah: 5:36 p.m.

Rabbi Peretz Rodman

Ultra-Orthodox Judaism Need Not Be Close-Minded

01/10/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

The spectacle of haredi, that is, ultra-Orthodox, thugs spitting on Naama Margolis, an 8-year old schoolgirl in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, has exacerbated the already frayed relations between the fundamentalist religious sector of the Jewish community, in Israel and elsewhere — and the rest of us, that is, Conservative, Reform, Modern Orthodox, and secular Jews.

Menachem Z. Rosensaft
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