Viewpoints

The Hanukkah hammer

The Hanukkah hammer

By Rabbi Marc D. Angel, Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals The Shabbat of Hanukkah was observed among Sephardim of the Ottoman Empire as “Shabbat Halbashah,” the Shabbat of providing clothing for the needy. Traditionally, the rabbi would deliver a sermon that day on the mitzvah of charity and lovingkindness. Beginning the following day, members(…)

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Let us reconnect

Federation CEO Keith Dvorchik echoed many of my feelings in his recent column (“As we mourn, let us stop the divisiveness about Israel,” Nov. 21). We, the Jewish people, are 0.2 percent of the world’s population. In today’s world, however, it’s easy to feel close only to those Jews who are like us, rather than(…)

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To security officials, Chabad attack underscores importance of preparedness

By Ron Kampeas, JTA World News Service WASHINGTON (JTA) — The stabbing of a rabbinical student at Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in New York underscores three things that Jewish security officials have been urging in recent years: Be alert for copycats, cooperate with law enforcement, and don’t stay away from shul. American Jewish community officials have been(…)

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The first and future Thanksgiving

The first and future Thanksgiving

By Rabbi Seth Goldstein, Special to JTNews One of my challenges as a rabbi is to make Judaism relevant across demographics. Part of the challenge comes from the fact that what necessitates how we teach Judaism to kids is different than how we teach Judaism to adults. And very often I find that people who(…)

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As we mourn, let us stop the divisiveness about Israel

As we mourn, let us stop the divisiveness about Israel

By Keith Dvorchik, Special to the Jewish Sound I read with horror this week about the attack in a synagogue in Israel that left five dead, many injured, and millions of Jews around the world demoralized and shaken. How did we arrive at such a place when the vicious murders we have seen in the(…)

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A personal account of the terror in Har Nof

A personal account of the terror in Har Nof

By Tziporah Heller Dear friends, Yesterday at about 7 a.m. my daughter Miri called. “Mordechai just came home from shul. He said that Arabs came in and are shooting, and that a man with an axe is hitting everyone. Some of the people threw chairs at them, but it didn’t help.” The 12 year old(…)

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Op-Ed: Centralizing authority on conversions hurts converts

Op-Ed: Centralizing authority on conversions hurts converts

By Avi Weiss and Marc Angel NEW YORK (JTA) — The Israeli government recently moved to decentralize the conversion system by allowing local courts to convert individuals on their own. Ironically, as Israel moves away from centralization, here in America the Rabbinical Council of America is enthusiastically embracing it. The modern Orthodox rabbinical organization recently(…)

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We have nothing to fear from fear itself

By Rabbi Adam Rubin, Congregation Beth Shalom While most Americans are religious — the great majority of our fellow citizens continue to assert a belief in the Divine (though this has declined in recent years, according to most surveys) — it’s how we’re religious that I find interesting. In order to attract people to churches(…)

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Rethinking Jewish education

By Rabbi Bernie Fox, Northwest Yeshiva High School Jewish education should no longer be marketed as the foundation of Jewish continuity. I have been professionally engaged in Jewish education for over 35 years. Until recently, I believed that we should promote intensive Jewish education as the only proven means of assuring Jewish continuity. My reasoning(…)

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It’s time to act: Vote Yes on I-594

It’s time to act: Vote Yes on I-594

By Joel Magalnick, Editor, The Jewish Sound Every morning, Seattle mayor Ed Murray wakes up, walks his dog, then gets a report on what happened overnight throughout the city. Invariably, he told a crowd of nearly 200 at Temple De Hirsch Sinai on Oct. 19, there will have been an incident involving gunfire. His audience,(…)

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Op-Ed: What the Freundel scandal says about Orthodoxy

Op-Ed: What the Freundel scandal says about Orthodoxy

By Elana Sztokman, JTA World News Service MODIIN, Israel (JTA) — With the news that Rabbi Barry Freundel, a prominent Orthodox rabbi, has been arrested for peeping at the naked bodies of his female congregants through a secret camera in the mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath, many disturbing questions are being raised about the implications(…)

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Other Jewish values

You published an op-ed written by Ms. Gown and Mr. Bridge (“Fighting extremism and tolerance in Israel and Seattle,” Oct. 3), which urged action concerning the problem of gender-segregated bomb shelters in Israel during the Gaza action. In fact, based on my research, they were referring to one outrageous incident in Ashdod that the Israeli(…)

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A transformative, yet ordinary, message

By Eugene Lipitz, Special to The Jewish Sound When my daughter Sophie went to Israel,  one moment for her seemed a profoundly transformational experience. It wasn’t seeing the Western Wall or the huge variety of Jewish people so different from her own experience. It wasn’t even going to a venture capital meeting with her father to learn(…)

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