Just about a week ago, on Shmini Atzeret, many of us read in synagogue the book of Kohelet, known more widely to most as Ecclesiastes. People who know the book tend to regard it as more than a little cynical, and clearly, the author of the book- ascribed by tradition to King Solomon in his old age- had been around the proverbial block more than a few times. There was little that he hadn't seen, and he was sure that what he was yet to see would not be new to him. Ein hadash tahat hashamesh, he famously said- there is nothing new under the sun.
The tragic death of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who took his own life after being filmed having sex with a man, has led some to voice concern over young people's misuse of technology.
Rabbi Andy Bachman, the founder of BrooklynJews, wrote an open letter to young people in the community on his blog. The letter was reposted on the Forward's Web site.
The future is happening now. In Manhattan’s Union Square, typical Sukkahs get a cool, modern makeover. Shabbat in a box is being handed out at the University of Southern California. Traditions are taking on a new twist as Jewish students incorporate interesting ideas to make the holidays more exciting. Jews and Muslims are taking on a modern and mature approach by sharing the holidays with each other.