HERESY OR ERROR?: The New York Jewish Week follows up on the debate prompted by an Israeli rabbinic court’s refusal to convert a man who reportedly believes the late Lubavitcher rebbe is the messiah.
MISSING MATZOH: Something has vanished from the shelves of the kosher sections of American supermarkets. “Customers looking for Manischewitz matzah and matzah crackers will have to wait a little longer to satisfy their cravings, as the non-Passover version is out of stock across the country,” The Cleveland Jewish News reports.
BLAME OLMERT, NOT BUSH: Brooklyn’s right-wing Jewish Press isn’t pleased by the prospect of Israel giving up land to the Palestinians. But, the paper argues, those who share its views should be angry at Ehud Olmert, not President Bush.
IN-DEFENSE-OF-HYPHENS: Orthodox gadget guru Rabbi Yisrael Rozen recently proclaimed that a “hyphenated last name for women undermines family values,” explaining that it sends “a feminist message which strays from the patriarchal tradition and makes a statement that women are not the husband’s property,” and thus sends us down a “slippery slope.” The New Jersey Jewish News’s happily hyphenated editor, Andrew Silow-Carroll, concurs in part:
…Rabbi Rozen is right, too. Because the slope is not only slippery, but incredibly steep. Because once you add a hyphen, soon you start talking about husband and wife as equal partners, women as the intellectual and spiritual equal of men, and marriage as a means of instilling your children with such notions. Next thing you know, we’ll make divorce egalitarian as well, and Jewish men will lose the ability to extort their estranged wives.
Silow-Carroll does, however, does concede: “Our hyphenated moniker is a mouthful to say and spell, and pity the Silow-Carroll child who falls in love with a Rosenthal-Jagoda.”
‘WET DREAM’: The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent’s Jonathan Tobin psychoanalyzes Ha’aretz editor David Landau, who garnered headlines when he told Condoleezza Rice that Israel wants “to be raped” by the United States into making peace, and explained that it was his “wet dream” to convey his ideas to the secretary of state.
Also in the Exponent: Temple University loses a $1.5 million offer from an Islamic educational research foundation for an endowed chair.
ELDRIDGE OF BALTIMORE: The Lower East Side’s newly renovated Eldridge Street Synagogue isn’t the only historic East Coast urban shul that’s being restored. East Baltimore’s Lloyd Street Synagogue has received a series of government grants to help restore its former luster, The Baltimore Jewish Times reports.
DIASPORA DINING: Even gentiles enjoy the global Jewish grub served up at San Jose’s Temple Emanu-El. San Francisco’s J. has the story of the fundraising dinners that have tickled the taste buds of Silicon Valley foodies.
LITHUANIAN FOLK FEST FEUD: Lithuanian American leaders have been feuding over a proposal to include Yiddish performers in their folk dance festival. The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Lithuanian American Community has resigned after his suggestion to include Yiddish song and dance in the ethnic heritage festival was turned down, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles reports.
Also in the Journal: Rabbi Haim Ovadia writes about the need to reach out to Muslims from his perspective as a “Jew of Islam.”
DUSTBIN DEFENSE: The owner of Manchester’s oldest kosher restaurant fought off a gang of hammer- and iron-bar-wielding robbers using a dustbin. London’s Jewish Chronicle has the story of a restaurateur’s dinnertime derring-do.
Also in the Chronicle: Britain’s Jewish religious movements try to reach an accord to promote “peaceful co-existence” with each other; a Liverpool Jewish school is declining to take its students to an Anne Frank exhibit because it’s being held in a cathedral; and an Oxford debating society taps Norman Finkelstein to defend Israel’s right to exist.