Editorial & Opinion

Israel Education Down Under


I recently returned from Australia where I facilitated and presented at a national conference of Israel education, organized by the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) in Melbourne. The conference was attended by almost every Zionist day school from across Australia, and from across the ideological and religious spectrum. Despite the differences of ideology, there was a tremendous amount of mutual respect and cooperation.

Obama Critic


In his Sept. 9 letter, “Supporting Obama,” Richard A. Schwartz lists a number of reasons to support President Barack Obama. Unfortunately, most do not hold up to scrutiny.

Perry Supporter


Much has been mentioned about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s lip-whipping of Texas Gov. Rich Perry in a recent televised debate, cleverly and repeatedly misunderstanding the slower, deliberate talking Perry, creating the perception of being up against a confused rival.

As a rabbi with a speech impediment, I caution those overly impressed by smooth words.

Memories Of A Rabbinic Wrestler


I had not known that Rafael Halpern passed away until reading Steve Lipman’s remembrance of him, “A Rabbi Who Wrestled With More Than Theology” (Sept. 9).

Comics For Class


After reading “Are Comics The Jewish Art Form?” (Oct. 7), I felt compelled to respond.

As an educator, I was struck by the possibility of using the article as a lesson plan for age-appropriate Jewish and regular classes. The history of comics, cartoons, immigration, politics and World War II could be subsections of the course. Students could be asked to create their own statements, in comic or cartoon form.

Thanks to the writer, Paul Buhle, for diverting our thoughts from the grim and grimy to a topic that informs with a smile.


On Forgiveness


I read a curious sentence in Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “When To Forgive And When Not To” (Sept. 16): “While it is a Christian ideal to love and forgive the sinner, Judaism teaches, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” 

Does that idea really appear in Judaism? I indeed can find Jewish sources for hating the enemies of God (for example, Psalms 139:22,23), but I do not know any for hating my own enemies.  The category of “God’s enemies” may not happen to coincide with “my enemies.”

Motives Of Pollard Advocates


Although there are arguments and counter-arguments on the issue of clemency or pardon for Jonathan Pollard, there is no doubt about two aspects of that issue (“Jewish Leaders Press Pollard Release,” Oct. 7).

Opposes Free Services


I read with great interest, “Atoning For Nothing” (Oct. 7), on High Holiday services for free. Having led High Holiday services for young and less affiliated Jewish men and women for the last 13 years, I take issue with offering them for free.

To Raise The Fallen Sukkah


Candlelighting, readings:
Candles: 6 p.m. (Fri.); 5:52 p.m. (Wed.);
                     6:55 p.m. (Thu.)
Torah: Exodus 33:12-34:26; Numbers 29:17-25
Haftarah: Ezekiel 38:18-39:16
Havdalah: 7:01 p.m.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

Former Soviet Union Illuminates New Jewish World

Special To The Jewish Week

There is an old joke told of a Rabbi leaving synagogue after Kol Nidre services. On his way home he was astonished to see Goldstein, one of his congregants, sitting in a non-kosher restaurant eating a sumptuous meal.

As Goldstein exited the restaurant, the rabbi accosted him: “What are you doing, I just saw you eating treif, and paying for it on Yom Kippur. Explain yourself!” Goldstein replied: “Oy, I am sorry rabbi, but I just forgot.”

“Did you forget that today was Yom Kippur?” “No.”

Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove
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