If the Revelation at Mount Sinai was arguably the pivotal moment in Judaism, its commemoration — Shavuot (June 8 and 9 this year) — has oddly become a private, almost obscure affair compared to its fellow heavyweights on the holiday calendar.
Everyone in town, even on television, knows about Passover, its sibling holiday. Almost all Jews speak of Pesach and Passover interchangeably. But like an old Yiddish relative, no one really uses or even knows Shavuot’s English name: Feast of Weeks? Pentecost? Really, who in the family ever calls her that?
Anger, say the Sages, is like a bubbling pot; you cannot tell where it will spill or whom it will scald. Anger knots the stomach, heats the head and forces cruel words from our mouths. When our anger calms we cannot always believe what we have done in moments of rage.
In his overview of reactions from various quarters to the recent reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, both positive and negative (“Shifting Palestinian Alliances,” May 13), Stewart Ain overlooks two important facts that bear positively on this issue. One is that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has affirmed that the PLO will continue to head any negotiation process and is willing to engage in talks calling for two states, based upon already agreed-upon principles.
Chancellor Arnold Eisen’s steps towards a renewed consensus on Israel are all based on a premise that few American Jews, and particularly younger American Jews, would agree to (“Appreciating, And Learning To Talk About Israel,” Opinion, May 6).
The premise that Israel is the most important project of the Jewish people, that it is the proving ground for our Jewish values and the wellspring of Jewish culture flies in the face of the American Jewish experience.
As president of Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah, a 420-family Orthodox shul in Potomac, Md., I read with interest the May 27 article about Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT).
The article discussed the Rabbinical Council of America’s current refusal to accept the semicha of YCT graduates and suggested that this might make it more difficult for YCT graduates to obtain pulpit positions.
The Jewish Week’s paired front-page articles, Gary Rosenblatt’s column and James Besser’s report on “’67 Border Flap” (May 27) were together a much-needed antidote to the hysteria sweeping the Jewish community about Obama and Israel.
A few days after President Barack Obama’s infamous May 19 statement that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” I sent letters to my representatives in Congress stating that “there are hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who live beyond the 1967 lines, and the 1967 lines are ‘indefensible.’”
It was a week in which President Barack Obama intentionally sandbagged and humiliated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the most anti-Israel speech ever delivered by a sitting American president, delivered moments before the prime minister was set to leave for America. Yet, strangely, Gary Rosenblatt chooses to see Netanyahu as the confrontational one (“Bibi Opts For Confrontation,” Editor’s column, May 27).
The Jewish left, as personified by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Letters, May 20), views the popular pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist position as the only permissible view to hold. Anyone who dares challenge this politically correct and utterly conformist view becomes persona non grata. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld has not been addressed on the issues he raises but has, instead, been personally demonized, libeled and pressured to resign for exercising his right to free speech and academic freedom.