Who was Reb Shlomo? In Shefa Siegel's review of Aryae Coopersmith's "Holy Beggars", he suggests that Coopersmith is coming "from the left of the religious-cultural spectrum" to say that Shlomo " was one of us" and not "a preacher on a mission to return Jewish hippies to ultra-Orthodox Judaism". I suggest that such a dichotomy belies both Shlomo's complexity and his flexibility. He was able to easily resonate with hippies and Swamis as well as with Rebbes and haredim… Reb Shlomo had a way of tuning into the wavelengths of whoever he was with and reflecting the holy sparks that he discovered. From the day he received his calling, Dec. 10, 1949, he was on a mission to save Jewish souls. This does not contradict his uncanny ability to empathize with anyone he met. His agenda included guiding others to become more religious, move to Israel, get married, be spiritual, be real, be "deep" etc. etc. So rather than ask if Shlomo can be pigeonholed into a preset category and straitjacketed into preconceived definitions, I recommend asking what are the varieties of possibilities that open up in the new versions of "Carlebach" Judaism?
UN: At least 1,332 Iraqis killed by violence in July (AP)