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December 2, 2016 / 2 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘avi weiss’

Former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Lead Klinghoffer Opera Protest

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

The second in a series of blockbuster protests against the Metropolitan Opera will take place Monday evening, Oct. 20.

The Met is being protested for staging an opera which seeks to humanize the Palestinian Arab terrorist thugs who hijacked an Italian cruise liner and singled out an elderly disabled Jewish man, Leon Klinghoffer, whom they shot and threw overboard to drown. The name of the opera is ‘The Death of Klinghoffer.’

Before the protest on Monday there will be a press conference, starting at 5:00 p.m., at which former New York City Mayor Rudy Guliani will be the keynote speaker.

Giuliani, of course, is the American official who has twice stared down evil and refused to sacrifice his principles to political correctness or even the dangling of millions of dollars.

In 1995 Giuliani expelled Yasir Arafat from a concert for world leaders at Lincoln Center in 1995, saying he could never forgive Arafat’s acts of terror.

“I would not invite Yasir Arafat to anything, anywhere, anytime, anyplace,” Giuliani said at the time. “The U.N. is one thing, the peace process is another thing. When we’re having a party and a celebration, I would rather not have someone who had been implicated in the murder of Americans.”

In the wake of the Islamist terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, Giuliani rebuffed Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who suggested that the attacks were caused by U.S. policies in the Middle East, and that the U.S. should “adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause.” The prince offered $10 million towards disaster relief in the aftermath of the attack on New  York’s Twin Towers.

Giuliani, then the mayor of New York, responded to the Saudi prince:

There is no moral equivalent for this act. There is no justification for it,” Guliani responded, “And one of the reasons I think this happened is because people were engaged in moral equivalency in not understanding the difference between liberal democracies like the United States, like Israel, and terrorist states and those who condone terrorism. So I think not only are those statements wrong, they’re part of the problem.

And with that, Giuliani refused the offer of the Saudi prince’s $10 million.

That is the stuff of which the Stop the Terror Opera coalition is made.

In addition to Giuliani, former New York State Governor David Paterson (D), New York Congressman Peter King (R)(NY-2), criminal defense attorney Ben Brafman, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz  (D), Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Jewish war veterans and terror victims will lend their presence and support to the press conference and protest.

Prior to the press conference and protest, Rabbi Avi Weiss and a group of rabbinical leaders will hold a prayer vigil, beginning at 12:00 noon, at Lincoln Center Plaza at Broadway and 65th Street in memory of Leon Klinghoffer’s soul. It is an effort to assuage the pain and tribulation to Klinghoffer’s soul and his memory caused by the glorification of his terrorist murderers in the Klinghoffer opera.

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In the run-up to this latest protest which will be held on the evening the Klinghoffer opera opens at the Metropolitan Opera, an interesting glimpse into the dark soul of the opera’s librettist, Alice Goodman, was provided by a remark she made on social media.

JCCWatch, a small activist organization based in New York and run by New York businessman Richard Allen tweeted out a provocative message to Goodman, asking her, “an apostate” (Goodman was born a Jew but converted to Christianity and is now an Anglican chaplain) why she thinks a dead Jew is art.

Goodman responded, revealing her conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and wrapping it in a Jewish conspiracy, all in fewer than 140 characters!

She claimed that JCCWatch is an entity controlled by Israel to police people’s views and to attack any who do not conform to the Jewish State’s positions. It appears Goodman confuses Israel with ISIS. Maybe confirmation of that will be found in the next libretto she writes when she teams up again with her fellow Klinghoffer desecrators John Adams and Peter Gelb.

Tweet from Alice Goodman, librettist for 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera, confirming her Zionist conspiracy beliefs and anti-Semitism.

Tweet from Alice Goodman, librettist for ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ opera, confirming her Zionist conspiracy beliefs and anti-Semitism.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

The ‘Maharat’: Wonderful Achievement, Bad Idea

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

When I was a young man around the time I was studying for semicha at the Hebrew Theological College, I had written article in a now defunct local Jewish magazine, the Sentinel. It was in response to a scathing attack against the idea of ordaining women by a prominent rosh yeshiva (yeshiva dean).

I explained that the title rabbi stems from the word “rebbe” which literally means teacher. As such there was nothing wrong with calling a woman educated to teach Judaism with that title. That was over 40 years ago. Some would say that I was ahead of my time.

But I was wrong and regret writing it. I was wrong because in my impetuous youth I did not understand what I understand today, that something which is not a black and white issur (prohibition) does not necessarily make it a good idea to pursue. Nor did I understand that breaking with tradition can open a Pandora’s box that will be counter-productive to our future.

The truth is that there are Halachic issues with female rabbis. I’ve discussed them before in essays where I argued against the ordination of women. It is not that I am a misogynist. I personally have no problem with female rabbis. But I would not have any problem counting women into Minyan either. Except that Halacha does not allow me to do that. There are Halachic issues with respect to female rabbis too. Like serara. While I have no personal problem with it, I have a Halachic problem with it. Women are forbidden by Halacha to take positions of leadership in certain Jewish areas. Like Shuls.

I had also argued in the past that even though women can serve in other areas the way rabbis do (e.g., teachers) the primary and historic function of a rabbi has always been in a shul as a pulpit rabbi. Leaving aside the issue of serara it is highly impractical and awkward for a woman to be the rabbi of a shul.

The primary function of a shul is prayer – doing so with a minyan. A woman may not be counted into a minyan and may not be present in the actual sanctuary of a shul with the men unless she is separated by a mechitza (partition). While a rabbi can have a position outside of the actual area of prayer – like in a classroom or as a principal or a pastoral marriage counselor, that has always been a secondary role. Even though there are ways where a woman can technically lead from ‘behind the mechitza’ and address the members with a D’var Torah from a podium after the service… I think it is safe to say that this is a highly impractical way for a spiritual leader of a shul to function.

There are also perception issues. When an Orthodox Shul lists a woman as a rabbi a public unfamiliar with the nuances of Halacha on this issue can make the mistaken assumption that the Shul has broken with Halacha.

So while there may be ways to skirt the Halacha and technically not violate it – it isn’t pretty… and in my view undermines the spirit if not the letter of the law. What is gained on some sort of equal rights way is lost by the radical departure from normative Orthodoxy.

Which is the reason I agree with the Rabbinical Council of Amercia (RCA) position on the recent graduation of three women clergy from Yeshivat Maharat. They have rejected it. In an article in the Forward RCA President Rabbi Shmuel Goldin explained it as a violation of our Mesorah – tradition:

“We feel extremely strongly that there is certainly room for women leadership within the Orthodox community, both educationally and professionally,” RCA President Rabbi Shmuel Goldin told the Forward. “We do not believe, however, that it is appropriate for women to be ordained as rabbis.”

Goldin added that he did not think the school was defying the Orthodox community but rather was “moving in ways that are removing it from the normative Orthodox community. It’s not a question of defiance, it’s a question of direction.”

I completely agree. Calling a woman a “maharat” instead of rabbi is an irrelevant distinction. A spiritual leader, a maharat, and a rabbi are all the same thing. That Yeshivat Maharat founder Rabbi Avi Weiss gave in to pressure- promising not to call his graduates rabba (his feminization of the word rabbi) is really a meaningless gesture. With apologies to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – a rose by any other name is still a rose.

Harry Maryles

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/the-maharat-wonderful-achievement-bad-idea/2013/05/16/

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