Editorial & Opinion

Recovering The Transformative And Ethical Power Of Music

11/15/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist


After decades of dry piano, violin, and guitar lessons, I finally retired without any real merits forfeiting my hopes of ever becoming a rock star or fiery composer. Only recently have I realized that music is still at the core of my Jewish spiritual and ethical passion. Singing at protests, including melodies into activist storytelling, and opening my heart to new ideas and ideals while listening to powerful symphonies have changed the way I feel and interact with the world.

Rabbi Yanklowitz is Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek, Director of Jewish Life and Senior Jewish Educator at UCLA Hillel.

Uneven Young Israel Policy

11/14/2011 - 19:00

Regarding the article, “Amid Upheaval, National Council of Young Israel Celebrates 100th” (Nov. 11), the Council is not applying evenly the right to take a disenfranchised branch’s assets. When the Young Israel of Fifth Avenue left the movement to become the 16th Street Synagogue, the Council did not take its assets.

Young Israel Conflict

11/14/2011 - 19:00

It is telling that The Jewish Week refers to the complaints of some Young Israel branches against the national organization as an “upheaval” while your periodic portrayals of changes in the Conservative and Reform movements are nice people working things out (“Amid Upheaval, National Council of Young Israel Celebrates 100th,” Nov. 11).

I guess The Jewish Week just can’t help itself.

Taking Sides

11/14/2011 - 19:00

On the website of the “Other Film Festival,” Carol Zabar, founder and member of the boards of the JCC and its co-sponsor, the New Israel Fund, states: “It is not about the conflict — it is not about taking sides — this festival is about people ... paving the way to co-existence and a new, more inclusive culture in the Middle East.”

Early Criticism Of Pius XII

11/14/2011 - 19:00

It is simply not true, as Gary Krupp of Pave the Way Foundation asserts, that criticism of Pope Pius XII’s public behavior during the Holocaust was “artificially created” and unknown until Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” (Letters, Nov. 11).

Stop Cowering

11/14/2011 - 19:00

While I am heartbroken at the plight of the agunot, regarding the Opinion piece by Rivka Haut and Susan Aranoff, “Religious Courts Are Treating Agunot Unfairly” (Oct. 25), I must question why they would feel so ashamed to be issued a seruv (halachic contempt citation) from an institution so obviously corrupt and unworthy of any honorable Jew’s respect.

Prenups Are Not Enough

11/14/2011 - 19:00

Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann’s Opinion piece, “A Long-Term Solution To The Agunah Problem” (Nov. 11), asserts that the prenuptial agreement, which is in wide use by Rabbinical Council of America rabbis, is a panacea/solution that resolves the get (religious divorce) problem.

This is misleading. The prenup, while it may have good intentions, is almost impossible to enforce.

A Unity Pledge That Backfired (Proving Its Point)

11/14/2011 - 19:00
Editor And Publisher

Speaking at the annual Anti-Defamation League meeting in New York last week, a senior official of the Obama White House warned that “harm could come” from turning differences over Mideast policy between the U.S. and Israel into “election-year talking points.”

Gary Rosenblatt

The Journey To Self

11/14/2011 - 19:00

Similar wisdom from two very different sources:

From Carl Jung: “If you do not acknowledge your yearning, then you do not follow yourself, but go on foreign ways that others have indicated to you. So you do not live your life but an alien one. But who should live your life if you do not live it? It is not only stupid to exchange your life for an alien one, but also a hypocritical game, because you can never really live the life of others, you can only pretend to do it, deceiving the other and yourself, since you can only live your own life.”

Dennis Ross Departs

11/14/2011 - 19:00

With Israel facing extraordinary challenges in the Mideast, it is losing a key advocate in the White House.

Dennis Ross, a Mideast adviser to five presidents, once was derided as one of “Baker’s Boys” during the administration of President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker. More recently, though, he has been viewed as a confidante and friend of Israeli leaders. He is leaving his post at the end of the year, an implicit signal that the U.S. effort to break the Israeli-Palestinian impasse is on hold until after the 2012 election.

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