Editorial & Opinion

Helen Thomas

06/15/2010

So Helen Thomas let the cat out of the bag. (“Helen Thomas’ Sad Legacy,” Editorial, June 11).
It’s not the bogus issues of settlements, checkpoints, etcetera, that are the problem. Rather it’s the existence of a Jewish state of any size. This in the eyes of Helen Thomas, the Palestinians and their sympathizers is what “occupation” is all about. Give her credit -- at least she doesn’t pull her punches -- she says what the other side really thinks.

 

Liberal Zionist Dilemma

06/15/2010

I’m afraid Eric Herschthal misunderstood, and consequently misrepresented, some of what he quotes me as saying in his “Changing Images Muddy Picture of Zionism, Israel”. One point in particular is worthy of clarification:

The Presbyterians and Israel: Exacerbating The Problem

06/15/2010
Editorial

There’s something deeply offensive about advocates of Middle East peace whose actions seem almost designed to inflame tensions and undercut serious efforts to find fair, practical solutions.

Gaza Flotilla Commission Sets Sail

06/15/2010
Editorial

Over the weekend Israel’s cabinet approved creation of a commission to investigate the controversial, ill-fated Israeli interdiction of a Gaza-bound humanitarian-cum-propaganda flotilla.

That’s a good first step, particularly because two of the five members are distinguished foreign observers. But it is naive to believe this will settle the matter for a world predisposed to see Israel as a kind of universal villain. And no finding by the commission will dampen international criticism of Israel’s (and Egypt’s) Gaza blockade.

The Jewish Way Of Death

06/15/2010

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat Candles: 8:12 p.m.
Torah Reading: Numbers 19:1-22:1
Haftarah: Judges 11:1-33
Sabbath Ends: 9:21 p.m.

How will I die? What if (anything) happens to me (if there even still is a “me”) next? How will my death impact those I leave behind? The Talmud asks these questions in response to the death of Miriam and Aaron, part of this week’s sedra. 

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

NCJW leader: Enact Equal Access to Birth Control

06/15/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Fifty years have passed since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the birth control pill for sale with a doctor’s prescription. Now ninety-eight percent of all women will use contraception during their lifetimes, and one-third of those will use birth control pills.

Like It Or Not, We Jews Can’t Separate From Israel

06/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

I generally feel guilty about stuff. Sometimes I blame that on my being Jewish — other times I accept that it’s just me. Maybe that’s why the latest round of somewhat justified Israel bashing, as well as the utterly unjustified Jew-bashing that’s going along with it, has been keeping me up at night. Try as I might, I don’t seem able to extricate myself from Israel anymore.

In the Mix: An Orthodox Rabbi Takes A Humanist Turn

06/15/2010
Associate Editor

Google the words interfaith, wedding and rabbi together and you get a whopping 1.1 million hits.

Perched atop this list (most are about the issues, rather than sites actually offering rabbis who do interfaith weddings) you will find Rabbi David S. Gruber, an Orthodox-ordained rabbi who has performed 60 weddings since he started doing interfaith ceremonies two years ago.

And the Band Didn’t Play On: Why a Cultural Boycott of Israel is Wrong

06/15/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In what one concert promoter has called “cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” more musicians seem to be trumpeting the latest Palestinian efforts to undermine movement in the peace process as they cancel scheduled tour dates in Israel.

How ironic that these artists are boycotting Israel, a nation that has a lively and vibrant cultural arts scene, to make a political statement about Gaza, a region where “cultural police” inhibit free expression.

Daniel S. Mariaschin

Reborn Again? A Jewish Moral Argument for Reincarnation

06/11/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I fear death. I think about dying frequently and often try to make meaning of my mortality. Until recently, if someone had mentioned reincarnation to me, I would have dismissed it as a non-Jewish theological belief. I imagine most people share my visceral skepticism of the possibility of reincarnation and of its authentic Jewish roots, but perhaps we can temporarily suspend this disbelief and explore the idea together in search of a theology that can improve us. Perhaps, this thought experiment can even promote certain moral virtues.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
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