From Strength To Strength

Conservative Judaism has always prided itself on being a big tent. There are inherent challenges that go along with this approach, as sometimes trying to be everything to everybody diminishes one’s ability to take a particular stance or to define a specific vision. And yet, our movement’s commitment to the greater klal Yisrael is both… Read More

The Challenge of Being One

There are approximately 14 million Jews in this world, among whom about one million consider themselves Chasidic. The Chasidim are separated into 30 different sects, or dynasties. Three of the most significant dynasties — Satmer, Bobov and Vizhnitz — are split in half. Each one is divided within a family, whose leaders are either brothers… Read More

Uncompromised Commitment

090613_Rabbi_Andre_Busch

To grasp the Orthodox perspective on Jewish unity requires an appreciation of two fundamental Orthodox beliefs, one of which challenges our religious unity, the other of which strengthens our national unity. 1. “I believe with a complete belief in the divinity and the immutability of the Torah.” This is a fundamental religious assumption of Orthodox… Read More

Discover The Beauty

How wonderful to read your editorial, “A Seat at the New Year’s Table” (Aug. 23) and to know that now other Jewish organizations are following in the footsteps of The Reform Temple, offering welcoming places to join together in prayer for Rosh Hashanah. Because classical Reform Judaism is no longer available at any synagogue at… Read More

Picking And Choosing

Steve Sklar is going down a slippery slope when he criticizes the Jewish Times for taking advertisements from Maryland Live (“Your Say …” Aug. 23). The JT is a (hopefully) for-profit enterprise that has the right to take advertisements from legal commercial enterprises. Picking and choosing when to use Biblical verses to challenge a commercial… Read More

Why Don’t Jews Like To Pray?

With regard to the article “Why Don’t Jews Like To Pray?” (Aug. 23), I would like to make a few observations: While the article mentions that many Jews don’t believe in God, I find that there is a lack of spirituality in the manner in which services are now presented in most synagogues. I am… Read More

Good Riddance

I just watched a video of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech 50 years ago (“Be Loving To Your Neighbor,” Aug. 23). … It is by far the best speech I have ever heard. His delivery was perfect, his content was perfect, and his message was perfect. I agree with every word he said and am… Read More

Above The Stars

I’ve always found the naming of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s “Rosh Hashanah under the Stars” event, which is held each year at Oregon Ridge, particularly ironic (“Worth The Schlep,” Aug. 30). Here’s why: Parshat Lech Lecha recounts how God addressed Abraham’s concerns that he did not have any descendants to continue spreading awareness of God in… Read More

King Helped Cause A Jewish Spiritual Rebirth

For the Jewish community, the iconic image of our relationship to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the photograph of Dr. King marching from Selma to Montgomery on March 21, 1965, arm in arm with a man the children thought looked like Santa Claus, the pre-eminent Jewish theologian, Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel. About that day… Read More

Lost In Translation

When I was growing up in Baltimore, the modern State of Israel was the center of the Jewish universe. It was at the core of being Jewish, tucked inside the greater American Jewish identity. There were no contradictions. Jews were solid U.S. citizens, equally proud of their American heritage. But the brutal sting of the… Read More