Editorial & Opinion

Defends JONAH’s Credibility

Co-directors, JONAH

On behalf of JONAH and for the following reasons, we found Naomi Marks’ letter to the editor (“No Quick Fix For Gays,” Sept. 17), arguing against the credibility of JONAH’s programs, to be totally disingenuous.

Sukkah City


While Eric Herschthal’s article, “Temporary Housing of the Highest Order” (Sept. 10), does well in describing the halachic complexity of the Sukkah City design competition, it misrepresents the halachic process involved.

First, I consulted the traditional halachic literature in reviewing each sukkah. With regard to the “LOG” entry, the initial design called for a log greater than four handbreadths wide, not less than four, as recorded in the article, since such a log too closely resembles a permanent home.

Mental Health Needs

COO, Ohel, Brooklyn

Comparing Dr. Eliezer Schnall’s data with Drs. David and Karyn Feinberg’s earlier data, one can indeed conclude that the glass is half full (“Orthodox Mental Health Needs Not Being Met: Study,” Aug. 20).

Whose God?

Monsey, N.Y.

It would be hard to imagine that even Woody Allen could come up with a scene more comically cynical than the following: A woman attends Rosh HaShanah services, opens the book to the correct page, stands up and sits down with everyone else, but does not pray because she does not believe in an “external” God (“Choosing Soul Over Mind,” Sept. 3).

JCCs As Synagogue Allies


Perhaps the most poignant tragedy of American Jewish life is the incessant institutional turf wars. Your report on tensions between the Boca Raton Jewish community center and neighboring synagogues over High Holiday programs highlights this disheartening trend (“JCC, Synagogues In Holy War In Boca,” Sept. 3).

Learning To Embrace Uncertainty


Many parents say they learn from their children. Rabbi Naomi Levy’s new memoir, “Hope Will Find You” (Harmony Books) — a poignant and compelling account of grappling with her young daughter’s potentially fatal illness — describes how the child’s faith and fortitude saved the author, spiritually and in every other way.

Gary Rosenblatt

Suddenly It’s Sukkot


For a major holiday, Sukkot sneaks up on us. Less than a week after the grandeur and majestic pomp of the Days of Awe, we find ourselves doing construction work and pretty much living under branches and within the fluttering sukkah walls in our backyards and porches. From our Rosh HaShanah-Yom Kippur finery, we’re now dressed, as often as not, in coats and sweaters, swatting bees and sensing the change of seasons.

Clicking Against Ahmadinejad


There was no community-wide Jewish protest rally near the United Nations this year on the day Iranian President Ahmadinejad addressed the General Assembly. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In part, there was no public demonstration Sept. 23, when Ahmadinejad was scheduled to deliver his annual diatribe against Israel, because it was the first day of Sukkot. And in part, it may well be because the organizers of the rally for the past three years recognize that it was becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

The Essence Of Sukkot, Inside And Outside Israel

Special To The Jewish Week

Shabbat candles: 6:33 p.m.
Torah reading: Exodus 33:12-34:26; Numbers 29:17-25
Haftarah: Ezekiel 38:18-39:16
Havdalah: 7:30 p.m.

What is the true symbolism of the sukkah? The Talmud [B.T. Sukkah 11b] cites a difference of opinion between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer as to whether the sukkah commemorates the huts in which the Israelites dwelt in the desert, or the “clouds of glory” which encompassed us in the desert as a sign of Divine protection.

The Politics Of Anger: Are Jews Becoming Republicans?

Special To The Jewish Week

The national anger found among the electorate concerns the economy, jobs, health care reform and foreign policy. In addition to recent primary victories around the country by Tea Party candidates, several national polls point to the depth of the public’s anger. A Fox News Poll from June noted that 83 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents expressed dissatisfaction with the direction of the nation; in addition, 43 percent of Democrats expressed similar unhappiness with where the country is headed.

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