Editorial & Opinion

Parents Share Blame


The District Attorney should consider charging the parents of the infant killed as a result of metzitzah b’peh with involuntary manslaughter  (“Brooklyn DA Looking Into Infant’s Death From Controversial Bris Practice,” posted online March 5; see page 1).

J Street Centrist


Regarding Linda Gradstein’s “Congressional Mission, J Street-Style” (Feb. 24): I was extremely impressed and heartened to learn that J Street took members of Congress on a trip to Israel that demonstrated the reality of Israeli society, good and bad. The United States is Israel’s No. 1 ally, and it’s critical that American lawmakers understand life on the ground by speaking to real Israeli and Palestinian people.

Blame Lincoln, Too


Jonathan Sarna’s efforts to “rescue” the reputation of General Ulysses S. Grant and to exonerate President Abraham Lincoln for their expulsion of the Jews from their conquered territory is not supported by the available evidence (“Gen. Grant’s Uncivil War Against The Jews,” March 2).

Indeed, the expulsion order was consistent with other statements and orders by top Union officials.

The Loss Of The Holy Ornaments

Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 5:38 p.m.
Torah: Exodus 30:11-34:35
Haftarah: I Kings 18:1-39
Havdalah: 6:38 p.m.            

Freema Gottlieb

‘Queen Esther And Downton Abbey’

Special To The Jewish Week

What a relief it was to see Lady Mary and her cousin Matthew, heir to Downton Abbey, finally get together. That wonderful scene when he proposed to her in the snowy moonlight gave me goose bumps. But what will happen to poor Mr. Bates, locked up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit? And don’t you love the Dowager Countess? Has there ever been a wiser, sharper-witted grandmother anywhere?

Francine Klagsbrun

The Deborah Feldman Story We Need to Believe

Special To The Jewish Week

Deborah Feldman’s book, “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots,” has garnered significant media attention since its publication. Recently, much of the focus has centered on whether some of Feldman’s claims are true or false. Unfortunately, this debate is eclipsing a far more important conversation that we, the readers in general and the Jewish community in particular, should be having in response to this book.

Samuel Katz

Purim: The Importance of Democracy

Jewish Week Online Columnist

One year ago, Libyan dictator Muammar Kaddafy’s troops were marching toward Benghazi, the unofficial capital of the Libyan rebels. Kaddafy was calling the rebels “rats,” and a 10,000-person massacre seemed inevitable. But on Purim itself, in Libya (historically part of the Persian Empire), NATO made the decision to intervene, saving the pro-democracy rebels. “Nahafoch hu”—the opposite of the tyrant’s plan occurred. Fortunately, Purim has been a bad time for tyrants in modern as well as ancient times.

Rabbi Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L'Tzedek, director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at UCLA Hillel.

Increased Ethiopian Aliyah Reflects Jewish Values

Special To The Jewish Week

After months of disappointment, debate and distress, the Israeli Government this week announced that it will increase the number of Ethiopian Jews that will be brought to Israel on aliyah. The Government had decided in 2010 to permit the remaining 8600 Ethiopian Jews to emigrate from Ethiopia at the rate of 200 a month. Unfortunately, after a short time, they disappointingly reduced the number to 110 a month.

 Rabbi Epstein is chief Israel Affairs officer of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Who Wrote the Torah? Committed Theology in an Age of Skepticism

Jewish Week Online Columnist

It is the question that so many wonder but few investigate, about which we are long on opinion but short on fact: “Who wrote the Torah?” One might think this would be the most basic question in Jewish learning and thought since of the three primary theological paradigms of religion—creation, revelation, and redemption—revelation most profoundly captivates our human lived experience. How in an age of skepticism can we fully embrace the Jewish tradition? 

Rabbi Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L'Tzedek, director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at UCLA Hillel.

In Defense Of JFK On Church-State


Rick Santorum’s comment that John Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech on the importance of church-state separation almost made him “throw up” gave us a tinge of nausea, concerned that he was misrepresenting an important issue.

Kennedy, the Democratic nominee for president at the time, sought to reassure the nation that his Catholic faith would not prejudice his views on what was best for America.

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Kennedy told the Houston Ministerial Association.

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