Shabbat candles: 5:39 p.m.
Torah: Gen. 23:1-25:18
Haftarah: I Kings 1:1-31
Shabbat ends: 6:37 p.m.
Abraham and Sarah seem to have been living apart when she died in Hebron, although the text is not explicit as to why. Apparently, the Akeidah (the near-sacrifice of Isaac) separated them. Abraham “came to mourn for Sarah” [Gen. 23:2], arriving from somewhere else, to bury her.
I used to be bothered by change, back when I thought religion’s purpose was to act as a bulwark against it. I was wrong. Judaism actually has a bias towards change, recognizing that both the world and our bodies are transforming dramatically by the second. Each person replenishes up to 70 billion cells daily; we’re not so much human beings as human becomings. At the Passover seder, the agent of stability (matzah) confronts the force of fermentation (wine), and long after the final afikoman crumb is consumed, the wine remains on the table.
I believe in equality for all. I support civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, universal health care, feeding the poor, social justice, separation of church and state, access to education, diversity, the arts, animal rights (I have not eaten meat or poultry in 33 years), and more. I marched against the war in Vietnam, protested the bombing in Cambodia, and advocated for affirmative action.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that colleges and universities redress racial and ethnic discrimination, or risk losing their federal funding. Thus, if African American or Hispanic students are harassed on campus, they can complain to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is mandated to enforce Title VI and ensure that their schools fix the problem.
Gamliel Kronemer’s discussion of Port and fortified wines (“Fortified Wine: A Good Fall Bracer,” Oct. 8) requires amplification.
The purpose of adding alcohol or brandy is to stop fermentation at an early-enough stage for the wine to retain some of its natural sugars and flavonoids. Therefore no sugar addition is required for the Port wines to retain their unique subtle sweetness and full body. Even in the fortified state, these wines do age.
I suggest one begin the Port experience with 20-year-old wines and then graduate to the vintages.
Baruch Shub’s letter to the editor (“Claims Conference Goals,” Oct. 8) misses the points we were trying to make: All Holocaust survivors want Holocaust education and commemoration to continue. Our members are giving lectures and classes all over the U.S., and in Europe. Holocaust-history instructions are obligatory in many states and countries. Commemorations — with participation by non-Jews — are being held every Yom HaShoah and every Kristallnacht, and on other occasions, all without subsidies by the Claims Conference.
Ivan Ciment is correct in proposing more defined extra-organizational opportunities to train and prepare leaders of Jewish communal services (“Filling The Leadership Void: A Proposal,” Oct. 8).
While there exist a multitude of excellent managers, great leaders have a different personality and skill set. Clearly some are inbred, yet many transform from managers to leaders. Good training is an essential complement to experience.
We were struck by last week’s opinion article regarding the paucity of new, young leadership poised to take over the reins of Jewish communal organizations (“Filling The Leadership Void: A Proposal,” Oct. 8). We couldn’t agree more with Ivan Ciment: It is imperative that our communal institutions prepare for a robust future by recruiting and mentoring a new pool of leadership.
As president of a nonpartisan organization that has spoken out forcefully against the loyalty oath bill, I challenge James Besser’s assertion (“Israel’s Gift to Delegitimizers,” Oct. 15) that few other than the “solidly left-wing” are taking a stand. In fact, The Jewish Week itself (not generally known as a “solidly left-wing” publication) criticized the “empty loyalty oath” in its lead editorial on the same day.
I read your very thoughtful piece on same-sex wedding announcements with great interest (“Tolerance, Tradition Collide Same-Sex Union Row,” Oct. 15). I am a psychiatrist in Houston. My partner and I have been together since 1979. Same-sex marriage is unconstitutional in Texas, but in June of 2008 we were married in California in a combined civil/religious ceremony, officiated by a Reform rabbi.