Sorry About That

Special To The Jewish Week

I don’t know about you, but I made a lot of mistakes this past year. I forgot to pick up my kids at school once. I gained weight in all the wrong places. I was consistently late in writing this column — and in just about everything else of importance in my life.

This is par for the course, and most of the time, after purging myself on Yom Kippur, I can make it at least to Sukkot before a new mistake haunts me — usually in the form of an injury to myself or a small child during the construction of the sukkah in our backyard.

Daniel Schifrin

Sukkot 2.0

Aaron Herman checks out some innovative sukkahs, including a portable one.

Gilad Shalit: How Do You Measure The Life Of A Man?

Jewish Week Online Columnist

The title of this piece is, of course, taken from the painful but magnificent song from Jonathan Larson’s RENT titled “Seasons of Love.”  As two of the protagonists are slowly dying from AIDS, their friends struggle to assess the value of their lives, which they know will end far too early.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

A Strike For Retired Major Leaguers

Staff Writer

A Queens native and lifelong baseball fan, journalist Doug Gladstone is interested in more than the sports’ pinnacle, the World Series, which began this week. He’s also interested in the welfare of the players — particularly some of the retired athletes, who played briefly in recent decades before they were able to qualify for baseball’s current pension plan.

Doug Gladstone: His work on behalf of retired ballplayers was inspired by the prophet Zechariah.

Standard Sukkah, Unusual Setting


Like any sukkah, the 10-by-10-foot tarpaulin hut put up by the Academy for Jewish Religion in Riverdale last week attracted people committed to religious tradition.

In the case of some who ate and studied in the AJR sukkah, it’s the Catholic tradition.

The nondenominational rabbinical school is located on the campus of the College of Mount Saint Vincent, a Catholic institution that is also the home of nuns affiliated with the Sisters of Charity.

Photo By Helene Santo And Irwin Huberman

Along The Apulia Promenade

Travel Writer

Lungomare is the Italian word for a seafront promenade. Every coastal town worth its dot on the Italian map has one: a stretch of travertine where lovers snuggle on benches, locals walk their dogs and everyone comes to contemplate the sea.

A piazza in Lecce Photos by Hilary Larson

Where Occupy Wall Street Meets Sukkot

Jewish Week Online Columnist

“When a person eats and drinks in celebration of a festival, he is obligated to feed converts, orphans, widows, and others who are destitute and poor. In contrast, a person who locks the gates of his courtyard and eats and drinks with his children and his wife, without feeding the poor and the embittered, is not indulging in rejoicing associated with a mitzvah, but rather the rejoicing of his gut … This rejoicing is a disgrace…” 

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Think Jewish!

It's Not Just For Holidays Anymore

Jewish Week Online Columnist


My 10 year old twins, Jacob and Sophie, were in the back seat of our minivan, and bickering once again. I mean, I love it when people fight over me, but this was getting ridiculous.

“I’m the one who made mom a mom!” Jacob announced, holding his one-minute head start in life over his twin sister’s head.

“Yeah, but I’m the one who made her a mother of twins. That’s even more special!” Sophie reminded him.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

There Are No Silly Questions

Jewish Week Online Columnist


Over the years, I’ve had what must be tens of thousands of conversations with congregants, and strangers that I’ve met in the context of my work.  I couldn’t begin to count the number of times those conversations began with the words “Rabbi, can I ask you a silly question?” 

The good teacher — or should I say the wise teacher -— will tell you that there are no silly questions.  There are silly answers, to be sure, but very few if any silly questions.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik
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