Editorial & Opinion

Israeli Immigration Policy


Joseph Feit writes (Letters, Aug. 5) in connection with a reduced Israeli government schedule for the immigration of Ethiopian Jews: “Israel’s financial capacity today is far greater than it was in the 1950s when the country made aliyah a priority.”
What actually happened in the 1950s is interesting and worth recounting.

Truth, Justice And The Jewish Way


Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 7:10 p.m.
Torah: Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
Haftarah: Isaiah 51:12-52:12
Havdalah: 8:09 p.m.


Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

Israel Has Always Been A Jewish State

Special To The Jewish Week

While the Obama administration is trying to ward off the Palestinians’ ill-conceived bid for unilateral recognition as an Arab state at the UN General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is proving to be as obstructionist and hypocritical as his late predecessor, Yasir Arafat. “Don’t order us to recognize a Jewish state,” Abbas declared last week. “We won’t accept it.”

Menachem Z. Rosensaft

Why Does God Test Us?

A Spiritual Strategy for Resisting Ethical Temptation

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Walking in Seattle yesterday, I smelled one of the most amazing unkosher cuisines I could ever remember smelling. As I stared at my food enemy, I had a thought which I imagine most religious Jews have at one point or another. I wondered: Was God testing me with this great smell? Was this amazing scent a way to bring my downfall?

Pondering this trivial “test” led to a greater philosophical and theological question: What is the religious nature of temptations and tests?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Women Should Celebrate Suffrage By Voting

Special To The Jewish Week Online

Women got the vote 91 years ago this week, but too many of us are still not exercising this most precious right. Single women, in particular, don’t vote in the same numbers as their married sisters, yet are in greater need of government policies and programs that will ensure them a brighter future. Indeed, in 2010, the “marriage gap” -- the difference in voter participation and voter behavior between married women and unmarried women -- was 30 points.

Remembering The Captives


Lest one think that the mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim, redeeming captives, is ancient history, one need only read recent headlines.

Arab Spring, Summer Chaos


What are we to make of the latest events in Libya, where the feared and hated despot Muammar al-Qaddafi appears to be at the end of his long reign? Will the revolution there lead to unity and democracy or tribal warfare and chaos? And how will Qaddafi’s fate impact on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, whose continued defiance in spite of calls for his ouster is sure to garner even more attention now as the international spotlight turns to him?

Hiding And Seeking


You cannot understand a landscape, Claude Levi Strauss famously wrote in “Tristes Tropiques,” unless you know what lies beneath the surface. Deep structures explain the features we can see. Similarly, casual readers of the Bible cannot grasp its meaning unless they know the deep structure.

Freedom And Law


In his “Musings” column last week (“Spirit Of The Law,” Aug. 19), Rabbi David Wolpe stated that “we only have freedom because of law.”

Russian Jews And Israel


I applaud Ben Sales’ article, (“Young Russian Jews In Assimilation Bind,” Aug. 2) for pinpointing the distinctive impact of the young Russian Jewish community on Israel advocacy. Though this generation did not grow up in the former Soviet Union, young Russian Jews are raised in households filled with memories of anti-Jewish discrimination, which led to their deep support for Israel. Young Russian Jews’ unique perspective means that though they may integrate into the American Jewish community, they also have the capacity to change it.

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