Editorial & Opinion

How An Extremist Changed His Ways

Read the re-released 'Memoirs' of Yossi Klein Halevi to understand Jewish rage and violence.

12/31/2014
Editor and Publisher
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Talk about bad timing.

Yossi Klein Halevi’s re-released book, “Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: The Story of a Transformation,” was first published 19 years ago, two days after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated. It should have become a best seller for at least two reasons.

Gary Rosenblatt

A Call For Nonprofit Transparency

12/31/2014
Editorial

We are proud to introduce “The Jewish GDP Project: Beyond the Dollars” in this week’s issue and report on its initial findings, sobering though they may be. The study, a project of The Jewish Week Investigative Journalism Fund, is based on the generous pro bono research and incisive analysis over a period of months by two experts in the field, business strategist Mark Pearlman and Yale University management professor Edieal Pinker. They note that the collective revenue for Jewish nonprofits in 2007, the start of a major recession, was higher than the same figure for 2012, by approximately $1 billion — an 11 percent drop in funding that could have gone to a variety of Jewish charitable, educational and social causes.

Is My Father Still Alive?

12/30/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 4:21 p.m.
Torah: Gen. 47:28-50:26
Haftorah: I Kings 2:1-12
Havdalah: 5:22 p.m.               

Our Torah portion, Vayechi, begins by telling us that Jacob lived in Egypt for 17 years. It describes the concluding days of his life, and we read of the passing of the last of our forefathers: “When Jacob finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet onto his bed and he expired and was gathered to his people” [Genesis, 49:33].

Fred Ehrman

Seventy Years After WWII, Time To Honor Our Vets

12/30/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The American Jewish community and other institutions have done a commendable job of capturing the Holocaust story as seen through the eyes of survivors, liberators and others for the benefit of future generations. But I am concerned that as a community we have done a less effective job of conveying the experiences of courageous American war veterans, including hundreds of thousands of Jews, who put their lives on the line and were pivotal in bringing an end to the Nazi horrors in Europe.

The author’s father, Lt. Col. Maurice Raffel, who flew 50 combat missions across Europe during World War II

Why Judaism Needs Journalism

12/30/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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There’s a tendency in the Jewish world to look for big solutions to big problems. One of those problems is the disheartening fact that most Jews today are simply not that interested in Judaism.

David Suissa

Not Another Video, Please

Bat/Bar Mitzvahs should celebrate the Jewish people, not any individual child.

12/30/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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As we start a new calendar year, we mark off dates that will require our presence: school dinners, graduations, weddings, family reunions and birthdays. Let’s circle one such occasion and offer the challenge of 2015: changing the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony.

Erica Brown

Understanding The Mandate

12/24/2014
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The settlements are legal (“Undiplomatic Talk From Michael Oren,” Dec. 12, Editor’s column). That they are is confirmed by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, as well as by the San Remo Resolution before this Mandate and the Anglo-American Convention after the Mandate. The Mandate for Palestine recognized the right of world Jewry to reconstitute their historic homeland in all of Western Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Article 6 of this Mandate reads:

Remembering A True Rabbinic Leader

12/24/2014
Editorial

While there are rabbis these days who are hailed in the media as major moral and spiritual leaders, Rabbi Harold Schulweis, whose Valley Beth Shalom in the San Fernando Valley of California became one of the most creative and dynamic congregations in the country during his four decades of leadership, made his mark before national magazines compiled “Top Rabbis” lists. Rabbi Schulweis, a native of the Bronx who died at 89 last week after a long battle with heart disease, was less interested in glory than he was in transforming Jews on the sidelines into active participants in their religious life (see Obituary on page 24). His appeal was to their minds as well as their hearts, and his teachings — through his sermons, essays, poetry, wit and compassion — helped his synagogue become a caring and sacred community, leading the way for others to follow.

Europe: Hamas Not A Terror Group

12/24/2014
Editorial

The European Court of Justice ruled last week that Hamas is not a terrorist group after all. The decision is the latest indication of Europe’s increasing embrace of the Palestinian cause and vexation with Israel.

The Argument From Evil

12/24/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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There are evil things in the world, of course, but too often “evil” is a category that helps us to avoid thinking. When I mention a political figure, some will grapple with that person’s ideas. Others, far too many, will accuse her or him of hostility, evil, secret origins or nefarious aims. It is as if they cannot imagine that someone with good intentions would think other than they do or act in different ways from their own dispositions.

Rabbi David Wolpe
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