Not too many rabbis spend their day trying to cure cancer. Fewer still own three dogs and a killer fish named Shalom on the side. But Rabbi Dr. Robert Shorr does and sees no inherent conflict or tension between his various activities.
I thought she would be with us forever. My beloved aunt Rhoda was 101, 102 or maybe 103 when she passed. Aunt Rhoda was one of the first people to see me when I was born and I was one of the last people to see her before she passed away.
Memo to the New York Public Library: I'm sorry that I still haven't returned several books by Livia Bitton-Jackson. They are a series of vibrant, touching memoirs of a young girl navigating her way through the world, both literally and on an emotional plane; the stories of a Holocaust survivor with wanderlust in a world that doesn't want to hear it are not easy to part with.
"If I want to just be a good mayor, I could fix the roads and pick up the garbage," says Yakov Asher, the new mayor of Bnei Brak, Israel, in an exclusive interview at the editorial offices of The Jewish Press. "But there's so much more we can do."
The Jewish Press spoke last week with Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sephardi chief rabbi since 2003, on the contentious issue of conversion to Judaism.
Suffice it to say that when I moved in with Dorothy, my friends were in shock. Most of them were planning to live in the more popular Washington Heights, whereas I had decided to remain in midtown Manhattan. Mostly, however, most of their astonishment was because I was 22, and Dorothy, or Mrs. Hilf, as I call her, was 95.
Victor D. Sanua, Ph.D., z"l, a pioneer in cross-cultural studies of mental illness, was also known for his studies on American Jewish communities and the Jews of Egypt, passed away July 12, at the age of 88 in Brooklyn, New York.
An Interview With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Alex Storozynski
The hottest event at the 18th Maccabiah Games currently being held in Israel could be the anticipated encounter between the American and Israeli men's basketball squads during the playoffs next week, a prospect that Bruce Pearl - the University of Tennessee and Maccabi USA coach - is actually counting on.
Not widely appreciated during his lifetime, composer Gustav Mahler famously predicted, "My time will yet come." And it did. Aaron Blumenfeld, a 77-year-old composer from the San Francisco Bay Area, hopes a similar future is in store for him - and the sooner, the better.
"When I first started," said Beverly Marcus, "I couldn't sleep the night before because I'd be so nervous, wondering what I'd do and how it would go. And then I wouldn't sleep the night after a class, either, because I was so excited. It really gives me a high."
I had recently had the opportunity to sit down with Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld, author of the new book, The Art of Kavana (Devora Publishing, July 2009) and discuss what it means to truly focus on yiddishkeit.
Tzipi Hotovely, 30, is the youngest member of Knesset and a rising star in the Likud party. She grew up in Rechovot and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bar Ilan University, where she served as editor of the Law Review.
The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent named him one of the top dozen "Jewish activists of the century." The New York Times called him "a relatively rare voice from the outset in the American Jewish community against the Oslo peace accords." The Wall Street Journal praised him as "wise, brave, and unflinchingly honest."
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, longtime spiritual leader of Chicago's Modern Orthodox Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, comments about his famous congregant, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; Jewish rights to settle in Israel; plans to build in the Negev; Orthodoxy and pluralism; and political talk from the pulpit.
In one of his thousands of aphorism-filled columns for The Jewish Press, Dr. Morris Mandel wrote, "Counting time is not as important as making time count."
Many years ago, an Arab called a friend of his. "They're after me, they want to kill me and my family. No one will help us. What can we do?" His friend, realizing the seriousness of the situation, quickly answered. "Come to my house. I'll keep you here until it's safe for you elsewhere." The Arab and his family lived with his friend for quite a while.
There are dozens of English-translated siddurim on bookshelves these days. Surely, you may think, we don't need another one. But before you make up your mind, consider that the new one that has just come out is translated by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Kingdom. Rabbi Sacks, who also wrote a commentary and introduction, has been a consistently brilliant source of insight into Jewish philosophy, Chumash, and other topics.
He put on tefillin every day. He was rarely absent from shul. He ate only kosher. But during the busy season in the garment industry, this Bronx Jew who grew up in the first half of the 20th century worked on Shabbat. Can such a person be considered an Orthodox Jew?
Natan Sharansky has been a hero of mine ever since I learned this courageous refusenik refused to be exchanged for two spies without the Book of Psalms he had treasured for nine torturous years in Soviet prisons.