Gerald C. Skolnik
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Oct 18, 2020, 11:02 PM
Drawing Lines, and Learning Lessons
At a weekend rally in Michigan, President Trump sarcastically intoned the name of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the woman who had the audacity to actively try and stem the spread of Covid-19 in her state. He exhorted the assembled, unmasked attendees to press her to”open up...
May 5, 2020, 11:15 PM
Observations From Along Pandemic’s Way
As a lifelong student of Talmud- at least since fifth grade- I was taught from a very early age to question what the broader implications of a text or teaching might be. One of my earliest memories of Yeshiva instruction was my rebbe saying to...
Mar 20, 2020, 9:25 PM
People Have Endured Far Worse… And We Should Know
This past summer, my wife Robin and I spent a few short days in Amsterdam en route from Italy to Israel. (I know, wrong way, but that’s a long story). It was impossible to take advantage of everything that that great city has to offer,...
Jan 28, 2020, 7:13 AM
Reflecting on what was lost…
Along with virtually all sports fans here in America and around the world, I spent a good part of Sunday afternoon trying to process the news of Kobe Bryant’s sudden and violent death, along with his teenaged daughter and seven other souls. If, at some...
Oct 30, 2019, 10:48 PM
From Anatevka to Pittsburgh…
Weeks ago, when we learned that relatives visiting from California wanted to see a show, my wife and I immediately thought of the Yiddish production of Fiddler on the Roof, currently playing off-Broadway. We saw the production a few months ago, when it was still...
May 31, 2019, 7:23 PM
Remembering Bill Buckner — and learning from him
Full disclosure: I’m a Yankees fan, and always have been. But like virtually every New Yorker in 1986, I was glued to my TV set when Bill Buckner, the Boston Red Sox first baseman, allowed New York Met Mookie Wilson’s ground ball to slip between...
May 12, 2019, 10:24 PM
Hineh Mah Tov… Sharing a Joyous Space
As it has every year throughout its more than eighty years of existence, the Conservative synagogue I serve- Forest Hills Jewish Center, in Queens, New York- held its annual Journal Dinner-Dance last weekend. The event is a major source of revenue for the synagogue, but...
Dec 28, 2018, 7:20 PM
America, Israel and Syria: This Can Only End Badly
By most accounts, President Trump’s sudden decision last week to withdraw the remaining two thousand American troops from Syria caught Israel’s political and military leadership by surprise , and off guard. For reasons both practical and electoral (are they any different?), Prime Minister Netanyahu was...
Dec 20, 2018, 6:31 AM
Rona Ramon… An Appreciation, In Sadness
As a rabbi, I spend a lot of time trying to help people navigate what I refer to as “cosmic chaos.” Life isn’t always fair, and that discovery is invariably unsettling. . Rabbi Harold Kushner’s When Bad Things Happen to Good People became a huge bestseller...
Nov 28, 2018, 1:05 AM
“We Got Moral Later”
Around the Seudah Shlishit table in my synagogue last week, a lively discussion centered on one of my favorite seasonal topics: how to read and understand the stories in the Book of Genesis. As has been amply noted by scholars and laypeople alike, the main...
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.