The term Tikkun Olam, translated as repairing or improving the world, has become today a shorthand phrase for social justice, endorsed by elected officials (President Obama and House Leader Eric Cantor to name just two) and a plethora of Jewish organizations.
When Roger Bennett offered 54 accomplished young writers and artists a chance to comment on a portion of the Torah, each of them “leaped at the opportunity, like Michelangelo painting the Sistine chapel.” It all began at a networking event for Reboot, a Jewish outreach organization Bennett co-founded in 2002.
The more things change, the more they stay the same…
Though the Torah is, by anyone’s definition, an ancient document, its “cast of characters,” if you will, often portray sensitivities that are strikingly relevant to contemporary concerns. One area in particular in which this is evident is in the responsibility of those in leadership positions to be worthy of the trust that others put in them, particularly with regard to fiduciary duty.
Yeshiva of Belle Harbor, Brighton Beach’s Mazel Day School suffer major damage in Sandy’s fury; other schools hit too.
UPDATE (NOV. 4): The Jewish Week has learned that, at an emergency meeting on Saturday night, a group of parents and organizations pledged to keep the Yeshiva of Belle Harbor operating, from a new location in Brooklyn. The school will no longer merge with the Crown Heights Yeshiva, but will be an independent school. Leaders plan to secure a location and open school there in the next few days. More details to follow on Monday.
One of my very favorite movies is Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride , based on the classic novel by William Goldman. The movie is wonderful for a whole host of reasons, but essentially, it is a whimsical riff on the idea of “true love.” Wesley and Buttercup, the hero and heroine, endure all kinds of outrageous misfortune, but ultimately, their destiny is to be together.mTrue love wins out.
The Jewish people seemed poised for entry into the Promised Land when suddenly the nation became a group of kvetchers, “The people were as murmurers, speaking evil in the ears of the Lord… saying ‘who will feed us meat? … Remember the fish which we ate in Egypt for free, the cucumbers, the watermelons, the onions and the garlic?’” [Numbers 11:1-5]