Question Off Target

Before the JT publishes a poll question it should do some  research to see if the question  is even relevant. Anyone who responded “yes” to the June 17 question, “Do you believe that either federal or state officials should ban the sale of assault weapons?” clearly is not versed on the facts of this issue…. Read More

Of Modesty, Handshakes

With regard to the comment if the JT’s June 17 editorial “Of Swiss Handshakes, Restricted Swimming,” comment that “many observant Jews will decline  a handshake from someone of the opposite sex out of modesty”: Modesty is an arbitrary, subjective criterion, lacking dispositive validity. Halachically, according to Rambam, only  libidinal physical contact between the sexes is… Read More

Shabbos at the JCC: Crossing the Line

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Last week, the board of the JCC voted overwhelmingly to open the Owings Mills JCC for the full day on Shabbos, expanding on the afternoon opening that was initiated seven years ago. This is a troubling  decision. During the broad communal debate over the initial Shabbos opening of the JCC, many asserted that it would… Read More

Simply, Sadness

Editorial Director

You can tell a lot about a person by how he or she responds to a crisis. The same can be said for a community. Take a look at all of the reactions this week to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history: Among the near-universal condemnation — news reports indicated that at least one… Read More

Strange Bedfellows

I simply do not understand the intensity of the current anti-Trump crusade as represented by the JT’s May 19 “Trump: No Way” letter of Ruben Moller. Sure, Trump’s “ideas are not really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies” (Hillary Clinton); and he is “utterly amoral” (Ted Cruz); “a con… Read More

After the Tel Aviv Attack

Last week’s terrorist attack, in which two Palestinian men shot and killed four Israelis in a Tel Aviv food court, came after the country’s least violent month since May 2015. Still, the brazen, almost cinematic  nature of the attack — “They dressed in suits and ties and posed as customers at a restaurant, ordering a… Read More

Daring to Dream

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There are very few passages of the Bible that are as well-known as the  “Priestly Benediction.” In Israel, the kohanim,  “priests,” rise to bless the congregation every single morning. However, in the Diaspora, the Ashkenazi Jews include this special benediction only on the Festivals. Nevertheless, there are many life-cycle celebrations, such as circumcisions, redemptions of… Read More

We Are One Community

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We often hear that Baltimore is a special community. But it is when I travel to other Jewish communities that I am truly reminded about the incredible community we’ve built in  Baltimore. One of the secrets to our success is that we have worked hard to engage all parts of our community. So many times,… Read More

Of Swiss Handshakes, Restricted Swimming

We are so used to thinking that the world is growing steadily more homogenous, particularly in the West, that it’s a surprise to learn about local customs that continue to thrive. Last week, we learned that in Switzerland it is customary for students to shake their teacher’s hand before and after class. It is a… Read More

A ‘Rupture’ Over the Wall?

The stalled implementation of the plan to bring pluralistic Jewish prayer to the Kotel probably won’t cause a major rupture  between American Jews and Israel, but it is further proof of the complaint that  Israel guarantees religious freedom for all, except many Jews. Emerging from a meeting on June 1 with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, … Read More