The Rabbi’s Beard

A Chabad rabbi was accepted as a chaplain in the Army Reserve, but the acceptance letter was rescinded the next day because he has a beard. The Army has granted beard waivers for others, but is apparently saying he would have to shave first and then ask for a waiver. This is ridiculous.

Jews and Presbyterians

It’s a tricky thing–how do you speak for justice in the Middle East, criticizing Israeli policy, while not sounding antisemitic? The upcoming General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will consider a statement on this subject. The initial draft was praised by Jewish leaders, but the revision (whose appearance surprised many on both sides) has…

The Pope and the Jews

Pope Benedict had some remarks yesterday for the Jewish community. At this time of your most solemn celebration, I feel particularly close, precisely because of what Nostra Aetate calls Christians to remember always: that the Church “received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the…

“Ultra-Orthodox”

“Stop Calling Us ‘Ultra-Orthodox,’” writes Yaakov Menken at Cross Currents, commenting on Abbott Katz’s article, “Stop Calling Me an ‘Ultra-Orthodox Jew,’” in The Forward.

The Vatican and the Jews

The Vatican has issued an explanatory statement on the revised Good Friday prayer for the 1962 Roman Missal (see also John Allen): Following the publication of the new Prayer for the Jews for the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, some groups within the Jewish community have expressed disappointment that it is not in harmony…

“Jewish Multiple Personality Disorder”

Rabbi Avi Shafran at Cross Currents on Jews’ attitudes toward other Jews, especially the anger sometimes directed at the Orthodox for daring to stand out in their dress and their Sabbath observance. Yet these same Jews can be very tolerant of others who do the same thing. What it brings to mind is the story…

Pie-Rates of the Carob Being … and Other Purim Tales

It is Purim (another article), and one of my rabbi friends was telling me about his costume tradition … My costumes are always of a movie title. One year i came with a Barney the dinosaur sticking out of my sweater with a yarmulke on his head, with little dinosaurs pinned on my sweater,each with…

“Jews and the Pro-Life Movement”

Toby Katz at Cross-Currents: In truth we have many good reasons to ally ourselves with religious believers in the pro-life movement, because the “pro-choice” movement is so horrendously murderous and immoral. The entire point of the pro-choice movement is to guarantee “sex with no consequences”—in fact, you could put that on a bumper sticker, it…

Interfaith Dialogue in St. Louis and New York

The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis is angry at Rabbi Susan Talve, senior rabbi at Central Reform Congregation, for hosting an illicit ordination of two Catholic women. Other Jewish leaders are distancing themselves from the synagogue. NCR; St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I certainly understand Archbishop Burke’s anger. This is rather insensitive on the part of Talve.…

Cardinal George and the Jews

John Allen gives context, and update: Speaking of cardinals, two weeks ago I interviewed Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who will likely soon take over as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our conversation was wide-ranging, and at one point I asked the cardinal for a reaction to Jewish criticism of the…

Cardinal George Asks Jews to Edit Talmud

Cardinal Francis George says maybe the traditional Good Friday prayers of the Tridentine mass need to be edited–and also says that sensitivity is a two way street, and that the Jews should edit the Talmud to remove statements against Jesus. “It does work both ways. Maybe this is an opening to say, ‘Would you care…

More on the MP and the Jews

Fr. Thomas Rausch of Loyola Marymount comments on the interfaith implications of the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI permitting greater use of the 1962 Missale Romanum. On the other hand, here is a “Traditionalist Catholic” article, originally published in Seattle Catholic. The author maintains that the Latin phrase “perfidus Iudaeus”, found in the Good…

That Good Friday Prayer

Report that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone says the 1962 Good Friday prayers could be revised. Update: Catholic News Service has more: “It is a formula,” Cardinal Bertone said. “The problem can be studied, and it could be decided that all those celebrating the Mass in the Catholic Church, according to the old missal or the new…