Professor Moses Pava gives the recent Statement of Principles on Homosexuality, authored by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot ambivalent praise (“Two Cheers For Orthodox Statement On Homosexuality,” Opinion, Sept. 17). While I agree with my old friend’s ambivalence, the praise is problematic.
Quite frankly, I don’t understand the statement, and it concerns me. What motivated these rabbis to make it when they did?
Eight years ago, like all Reform rabbinical students about to be ordained, Rachel Goldenberg had to make a decision. Would she officiate at interfaith weddings or not?
Along with many of her classmates at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Goldenberg opted against performing such ceremonies, reasoning that the ritual made sense only when joining two Jews.
But a few months ago, Rabbi Goldenberg, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester, Conn., changed her mind.
While Israel’s detractors have obsessively scrutinized, mischaracterized and demonized the Israeli lobby, the equally powerful Arab lobby has been studiously ignored. In fact, some people deny it exists -- or if it does, that its power pales in contrast to the all-powerful AIPAC. As proof, they often point to the failure to create a Palestinian state. Surely, these critics maintain, if the Arab Lobby is really as powerful as people like me say it is, a Palestinian state would long ago have been established.
Ecclesiastes is full of contradictions. Better the day of death than the day of birth we are told; but then we are reminded that a live dog is better than a dead lion. Everything is futile, we are told; but then we’re urged to obey the commandments — or to enjoy life with the one we love. Ecclesiastes teaches a great life lesson: No single value, idea or practice can be right for all people at all times.
Veteran Israeli diplomat’s behind-the-scenes book reveals long history of dire U.S.-Israel tensions.
Editor And Publisher
For those who fear that U.S.-Israel relations may be at a low point, or that Mideast peace talks are dead in the water (now that Israel has decided not to extend its moratorium on settlement construction), consider the eternal wisdom contained in King Solomon’s words: “This, too, shall come to pass.”
The conventional wisdom was that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed the 10-month moratorium on Jewish construction in the West Bank to expire, he would be blamed widely for causing the newly restarted Mideast peace talks to collapse.
Few Jewish organizations have generated feelings — pro or con — as intense as those ignited by J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee created two years ago to provide a left-of-center address for politicians and activists who support more aggressive U.S. peace process diplomacy.
That intensity took another quantum jump with last week’s Washington Times disclosure that the group has been getting substantial donations from financier George Soros despite repeated denials from its leaders.
‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Belief in Creation was a major point of contention between Jews and Greek philosophers who believed that the world was eternal. In the Middle Ages, Jewish thinkers like Nahmanides expended a heroic amount of energy defending Creation and arguing against the universe’s eternity. At stake for them were the possibility of miracles, the power of God over nature and the truth of revelation, but this metaphysical debate seems stale today.
The Anti-Defamation League announced this summer that the painting of a swastika — a symbol of anti-Jewish expression if there ever was one — would no longer automatically be considered an act of anti-Semitism.
What? The swastika? Not anti-Semitism?! In fact, many analysts of anti-Semitism have been making this point for years.