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January 7, 2011

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pAGE 22A Seven should offer a secular core cur- of Riverdale was given the title riculum and that Shas leaders, of "rabba" by the synagogue's From page 4A should not be emulating the spiritualleader, RabbiAviWeiss, narrowness of the Ashkenazi setting off a controversy over solution emerging--and he (Lithuanian) yeshiva world, the role of women in Orthodox insists on going forward. As a result of such talk, Shas Judaismthatissuretocontinue One unlikely source of hope leaders expelled him from the for years. andcompromiseontheconver- party, though he refuses to Born in South Africa and sionissueisalearnedSephardic give up his Knesset seat, and now 33, Hurwitz was given rabbiwhosetenureintheKnes- they denounced him in the the title of"maharat" in 2009 setuntilnowhasbeenunderthe strongest terms, even compar- to signify her accomplishment radar. But Chaim Amsalem, a ing him to Amalek, the biblical of completing the full rabbinic 51-year-old native of Algeria personificationofevil,whoJews ordination process. She served first elected to the Knesset in :are commanded to destroy, in a rabbinic capacity at HIR, a 2006, has been increasingly The Ameldcan Jewish Corn- Modern Orthodox synagogue assertive this year in scholarly mittee praised the maverick with little fanfare. But when and political pronouncements rabbiforhis"innovative, coura- RabbiWeissdecidedtoupgrade stating that conversion stan- geous and farsighted position her title, the synagogue and dardsshouldbeeasedforthose onmattersthataffecttheentire much of the movement was who have Jewish lineage, and Jewish people." divided foiavariety of reasons, especially if they have shown In the coming yearwe will from personal to political to their loyalty by serving in the learn which approach to con- halachic. Israeli army and risking their version, if any, can help solve Much of the controversy has lives for the Jewish state. Israel's societal problem with- focused on Rabbi Weiss for his Though a member of the out alienating diaspora Jewry. seemingly impulsive decision. haredi Shas party, Rabbi Am- On the home front, three He reached a compromise of salem has also said that only women associated with New sortswiththeRabbinicalCoun- the most qualified of scholars York made national news for cil of America, the rabbinic in kollels [rabbinical schools] very different reasons,arm of the Orthodox Union, by should be exempt from army Sara Hurwitz of the rabbinic agreeing not to confer the title andwork, thatreligiousschools faculty of the Hebrew Institute on anyone else. HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 7, 2011 Throughout the ordeal, the that there should be ritual bat formakingthecenteranational world's only rabbamaintained mitzvahinthesynagoglJe,'and and international issue this her quiet dignity as she went paved the way for many others, year.Shewashailedbysupport- about her duties, including Praisedbycolleaguesashav- ers as prophetic for warning of that of dean ofYeshivat Maha- ingstrongpersonalskillsaswell the dangers of Islam, and at- rat, which describes itself as a as a keen legal mind, Kagan is tackedby critics as stridentand "pioneering venture to be the seen as a potential consensus- abusiveinseeingnodistinction first institution in Jewish his-. builder on the court, between the Muslim religion tory to train women to be fully Pamela G'eiler, by contrast, anditsmostmilitantadherep~. integrated into the Orthodox has been described as one of Before walking outin anger community as spiritualleaders the most"outraged and outra- duringaJewishWeekinterview and halachicauthorities." geous" personalities influenc- this summer, she asserted: Stay tuned, ing public policy in the U.S. "There's no gray areawith me." Anotherwomanpioneerwas Her website, Atlas Shrugs, At a moment of particularly ElenaKagan,50,whojoinedthe portrayed Kagan in a Nazi strong polarization, in Wash- Supreme Court this summer, helmet; she has written a book ington and in the American bringing the number of Jews about the dangers of Obama's Jewish community, there was on the current bench to three presidency,-and has called for little gray area in most politi- (RuthBaderGinsburg, Stephen removingtheDomei)ftheRock cai and religious disputes this Breyer) and adding a liberal from the Temple Mount in the year. Time will tell if there will voicetoaright-of-centercourt. Old City of Jerusalem. be "climate change" in those Kagan displayed her inde- But Geller, 52, a Manhattan discussionsin2011,butitseems pendence and interest in Juda- Jewish day school morn, is best certain the seven Jewish men ism as a youngster, requesting known as one of the strongest and women cited here will play the opportunity to become publiccriticsofIslam, asserting key roles in the debate. the first formal bat mitzvah at that it is prone to violence and Gary Rosenblatt is editor Lincoln Square Synagogue in hate, and for galvanizing op- and publisher oftheNew York 1973. Shlomo Riskin, founding position to Park51, the planned Jewish Week, from which this rabbi of the Modem Orthodox site of an Islamic center and column is reprinted with per- congregation, recalled that mosque near Ground Zero. mission. He can be reached at young Kagan"feltvery strongly Geller is credited, or blamed, Textbook From page 4A for their bus to Jerusalem, in their homeland and not Simon already pressed Rachel the dry bones Hebrew found colloquial and contemporary for her first impressions of the in" hundreds of teaching aids 'Jewish-Palestinian flavor.' country. She exclaims, "It's spanningcenturiesandaimed Rabin begins his little tale marvelous! The sun and these either at Biblical scholars or of new arrivals in the country colors! It's like adream Ialways for use in prayer and religious with Simon and Rachel. The thought people were exag- servicesbutdivorcedfromany author is at pains to explain gerating when they spoke so social reality of a real com- to the reader much of the new enthusiastically of the beauty munity of speakers. social environment of Jewish of Palestine, but now I see that The first negative remarks Palestine and the prevailing therealityisfarbetterthanthe are those of the alert Simon British administration,description." who calls upon the waiter "to In chapter one, Rachel Right away, her attention is give us another fork, please, proudly exclaims to her Pal- diverted to the menu because this one isn't clean. Also we estinian born husband upon she has never seen one in He- have no napkins." The English their arrivalthat"I have been a brew and she admits that she version of the conversation is fullPalestinianforafortnight, hardly understands a word of thoroughly British with ex- ever since I was married to italthoughshestudiedHebrew pressions like " We shan't be you." abroad. Simon calmly reas- able to explore Tel Aviv before She is questioned by the sures her "No wonder. It's weleave',andwhenmeetinga customs officer at the Haifa not so easy to get the hand friend "Well, ifitisn'tGabriel, port of arrival in the follow- of practical Hebrew outside you've got so fat. How are you, ing chapter: "Is this your first the country. Your Hebrew old man?"; and "after all, I visit to Palestine, madam?" conversationisfluentenough, mayn't get the job." to which she responds, "Yes, but you will still have a lot of Rachel intends to visit her only it's hardly a visit. I've difficulties in the kitchen and sister in Hadera and so we get come to stay," prompting the in the shops." a brief geographical picture of response "That's the right Simon is basicallyintroduc- " the journeyvia coach to Lydda spirit!" ing the reader/learner of the and then train. We learn that Whilesittingatarestaurant textbooktothenewcolloquial the sister actually lives in a enjoying lunch and waiting Hebrewofalivingcommunity kibbutz near Hadera and it is referred to as "The English . is considering to settle there, tos dramatize Jews as workers Kibbutz." Simon is careful to In this way, Rabin smoothes in the fields of agriculture, address the members of the overthepainandanguishthat industry and a woman in a kibbutz as "comrade." was caused to so many Jewish knitting mill. " The kibbutz consists en- parentsintheDiasporabytheir Of course, the thread run- tirely of huts and tents. The children's decision to embark ning through the entire book sister, Elizabeth, works in the on the treacherous journey is one of wishful thinking and chicken run and is training andthedangersoflifeinPales- optimismaswellasdevotionto to take part in settling a new tine.TheArabsareonlybriefly the Zionist ideal. All problems kibbutz on"our landinthe Bei- alluded to in several remarks, arid hardships are minimized. san Valley." Rachel is thrilled the mostimportantofwhichis This was the spirit of the by the way her sister refers to that "Ourrelationswithour time that enabled the con- 'our land' although security Arab neighbors are excellent structionofaJewishhomeland considerations require leaving justnow, it'strue, butwhocan and the victory of the rein- the children for the time being tell? One must be prepared for vigorated, dynamicand earthy in the care of others. Rachel any emergency." modernizedHebrewlanguage admits she is jealous and Thefirstediti0nofthebook, to triumph. Although largely that--from the moment she writtenin1943,waspublished of historical interest today, landed in the country--she at a time ofconsiderable pros- the book is a delightful com- has experienced the marvel- perity and good will in the binationofhowstudentswere ous feeling of speaking about country due to the demand offered both a novel textbook "our country" and that she provided by the British forces for language learning and an envies her sister the privilege intheMiddleEastandthelarge introduction to the pioneer- of"upbuilding the country." numberofrecentJewisharriv- ing spirit and rebirth of the Even Rachel's mother in als from Germany and Austria Jewish nation in its old-new England,whowassodisturbed and the skills they brought homeland. by her daughters emigration with them. Two photos show Dr. Norman Berdichevsky to Palestine, is affected by her posters calling for volunteers is a Hebrew instructor in the daughters' enthusiasm and to join the British Army and Judaic Studies Department the prevailing good feelings a recruiting office for young at the University of Central and prosperity that she too Jewish vo!unteers. Other pho- Florida. Remarks From page 5A Those who have called him a political discourse and I am thejudgeacceptsaguiltyplea, released Nixon White House of the Allende government 'court Jew' are giving Court sorry I made that remark 37 And yet, terminal damage to tapes. Because we need to in Chile. Perhaps we can all to curry favor with superiors, Jews a bad name." years ago." His comments, Kissinger's reputation has, I make clear to our leaders and be at least a little grateful for evenanti-Semiticones, andthe It was then and only then he went on, were "in a kind think, been done. ourselves that pragmatism or small favors. over-compensation to hide an that Kissinger bit the bullet ofshorthandthat, when read Why not just move on? bpportunismattheexpenseof Menachem Z. Rosensaft is emotional identification." More and did what he should have 37years later, is undoubtedly Because the one thing Kiss- conscience and integrity must an adjunct professor of law acerbically, Michael Beren~ done in the first place. In offensive." inger never didwas to tell his never be tolerated, atthe Cornell University Law baumconcludedin.TheJewish a Washington Post Op-EdWhatarewetomakeofthis boss that he, Kissinger, found Still, he did say the magic School a distinguished visit- JournalofGreaterLosAngeles posted online last Friday, reluctantquasi-apology?Tobe Nixon's bigotry against Afri- words: "I am sorry." Kiss- ing lecturer at the Syracuse thatKissinger"wascrawlingon Dec."24, arid published on sure, the requisite expression can-Americans, Irish, Ital- inger, after all, never publicly University College of Law, his hands and knees, betraying Sunday, Dec. 26, Kissinger of remorse, albeit palpably ians and, yes, Jews offensive, expressed any qualms for his and a vice president of the hisfamily, his people. He lacked wrote, "References to gas grudging, isthere, almostlike Because we don't know what acquiescence in the massacre .s American Gathering of Jew- elementaldignityanddecency, chambers have no place in theallocutionadefendanthas other nuggets may emerge in East Timor, or his covert ish Holocaust Survivors and to make in open court before from the remaining, still un- role in the violent overthrow Their Descendants. Sudoku solution from page 7 564182937 173956428 289374561 826417395 341295786 957638142 61274!9853 435861279 798523614 Roundup From page 11A lie Hershlag in Jerusalem; her father is Israeli and her mother American. She lived in the United States from the age of 3. Portman told the Israeli news site Ynet in an inter- view in 2006, "A priority for me is definitely that I'd like to raise my kids Jewish, but the ultimate thing is to have someone who is a good person and a partner." Israeli natural gas field is significant find JERUSALEM (JTA)--A natural gas field discovered in Israel's territorial waters contains an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet Of the president of Noble Energy. all of Israel's citizens and natural resource. The field is saidto be the residents to be positive-- Electrical log tests con- largest discovery in the his- regardless of race, religion firmed the size of the tory of the Houston-based or sex," the new letter, dated naturalgas field, whichwas company, which has a con- Dec 29, read. The letter is discovered in drilling earlier trolling interest in the field, signed by the 40 female this year off the Mediterra- Female Israeli Reform Reform rabbis who are part nean coast near Haifa and rabbis speak out in favor of the rabbinical council dubbed "Leviathan." Noble of contact with Arabs of the-Israel Movement for Energy Inc. announced the JERUSALEM (JTA)--Fe- Progressive and Reform results of the tests Dec. 29, male Israeli Reform rabbis Judaism. 2010. issued a letter slamming The letter came in re- Leviathan is almost dou- some elements of a call last sponse to a statement dis- ble the size of the Tamar week for Jewish women to tributed earlier last week field, which was discovered shuncontactwithArabmen,byLehava, an organization off Israel's Mediterranean "We, rabbis of the Israel dedicated to preventing in- coast in 2009. Movement for Progressive termarriage between Jews "This discovery has the Judaism, oppose interfaith and Arabs, and signed by potential to position Israel marriages, but we con- 27 Israeli rabbis' wives that as a natural gas exporting sider professional and social urged Jewish women not to nation," said David L. Stover, contacts between us anddateorworkwithArabmen.