Saturday, October 31st 2020   |

Opinions

OP-ED: Amy Coney Barrett, Jewish liberals and the U.S. Constitution

By RUTHIE BLUM

– The apoplexy on the part of Democrats in general and Jewish liberals in particular to the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court was to be expected. Anything that President Donald Trump does drives them crazy.

But the fact that he decided to fill the seat vacated by the Sept. 18 death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the fast-approaching election...

OP-ED: I’m a rabbi who learned the hard way that policing how Jews mourn never ends well

By RABBI LISA SILVERSTEIN

(JTA via Kveller) — When I was in rabbinical school, we were taught some pretty solid information about death and burial. It was academically correct and historically accurate — it was actually one of my favorite courses.

However, the class did not prepare me in the least to conduct a funeral. Moreover, the information I learned certainly did not give me the tools to counsel families...

OP-ED: Not feeling it in Zoom synagogue? Going outside could help.

By TIFFANY SHLAIN

(JTA) — This year, you can quiet a congregation of Jews with a press of your mute button. It’s hard to believe.

During a normal High Holiday season, synagogues are packed, and services are accompanied by a cacophony of on- and off-key singing, random coughs, babies crying and an impatient chorus of “Is it over yet?” from both children and bubbes. 

Just as the Beatles’ managers hired...

OP-ED: What Ruth Bader Ginsburg taught us about the gift of time

By DANIEL B. SHAPIRO

(JTA) — As Jews in the United States prepared to light candles to welcome Rosh Hashanah, they were hit with the last terrible news of a terrible year: the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At 87, and with a lifetime of accomplishments that few can match, she has earned her rest. But the exquisite, agonizing time of her passing underscored one of the great lessons...

OP-ED: A year like no other

By ALAN SMASON

When Rosh Hashanah 5780 arrived last year, there was little indication that our world would be so throughly upended as it was.

It started off promising. 

Continued progress in the business and financial sectors was evident as unemployment was down to historic low levels and commerce seemed to be making a comeback from the starts and stops of the Trump Era tariffs.

There was less talk about...

OP-ED: New Details on the UN BDS blacklist

By ANNE HERZBERG

– In a March 2020 interview posted on a fringe website, BDS activist Shir Hever revealed new details about the creation and operation of the United Nations’ BDS blacklist. (For information on the list, known in U.N. parlance as “database,” see NGO Monitor’s Key Issue page.)

Hever’s interview raises the standard BDS claims relating to the list: that doing business in conflict zones and situations of occupation is...

OP-ED: Do the lessons of 9/11 still apply in a post-COVID world?

By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

– For some of us, it seems like it happened yesterday. For others, the 9/11 attacks are ancient history or just a meme about an event that doesn’t resonate with their concerns.

It’s been 19 years since the 9/11 attacks and, as many of us feared, the commemorations of this trauma are beginning to seem routine rather than a moment of shared mourning. With...

OP-ED: Laura’s narrow miss; Carnival curtailed

By ALAN SMASON

We all breathed a sigh of relief when short-lived Hurricane Marco skirted past us last week and when the most destructive storm to ever hit the Louisiana coast in recorded history, Hurricane Laura, took aim at Lake Charles and reached Shreveport with hitherto unheard of hurricane force winds and rain.

It was a frightful reminder that there but for the grace of God, goes New Orleans and,...

OP-ED: Why they scrawl ‘Free Palestine’ on synagogues

By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

(JNS.org) – It could have been a lot worse. With dozens of buildings in Kenosha, WI., burned during the riots that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, one of the town’s synagogues was tagged with graffiti.

Amid the outrage about what happened to an African-American man at the hands of police, what CNN labeled without irony a “fiery but mostly peaceful protest” devastated the small city....

OP-ED: Can the world wait for Biden to deal with Iran?

By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

– In an election year, everything a president does is fair game for political potshots. So the sniping at the Trump administration’s policy towards Iran from Democrats is to be expected. But do they have a sensible alternative?

In one of the few moments devoted to foreign policy at this week’s Democratic National Convention, former Secretary of State John Kerry lambasted Trump’s foreign policy...