Rabbi Friedman was talking about the human soul as if it had a mind of its own, a very confident mind.
Contemporary Judaism cannot spare any of its competing components. Each one, from Charedi to Reform, has a unique contribution to make.
I recently spent some time with the Helsinki Jewish community and learned something about Judaism I didn't know. First, I learned that the community of Judaism needs the Reform movement and cannot survive without it.
Second, I learned that the community of Judaism needs the Chabad movement and cannot build a future without its unique contribution.
While federal laws require public buildings to provide access for the handicapped, Jay Kruger still encounters restaurants without ramps, public restrooms with hard-to-open doors that trap him inside and theater seating that is spitting distance from the screen.
For the Kids
At Ramirez Canyon Park in Malibu, Happy Trails offers an opportunity for city-dwelling kids to interact with nature.
Call me short-sighted and atavistic, but I believe one of the most encouraging bits of news I heard last week was the decision by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to suspend its renovation.
The bad news is Los Angeles will have to wait indefinitely to have a splashier namesake art museum, a Getty-by-the-Tar Pits. The good news is the major donors, many of whom are Jewish, now might be swayed to move some of that museum money over into other communal needs.
Just over one year ago, the museum unveiled a bold plan to overhaul and expand the Wilshire Boulevard institution, according to an architectural design by Rem Koolhaas of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The renovation, which would have involved a downstairs plaza and redesigned upstairs galleries under a tent-like roof, was expected to cost upwards of $400 million.
"He has proved his great potential. He has the attributes of a champion," an ecstatic Gebhardt said Sunday of Friedman. "He has great technique and a strong character, but he needs some moral support to make him even better," he said.