I have always been fascinated by large Jewish gatherings and Israel’s national events. Yom Haatzmaut ceremonies, the mass Birkat Kohanim (Blessing of the priests) at the Kotel, the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York, and numerous other such events leave me awestruck. More than the pageantry, I believe it is the sheer number of Jews gathering for a single purpose or
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has instructed IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, to initiate an inquiry against a senior reservist officer who is suspected of leaking unauthorized information to Minister Naftali Bennett during Operation Protective Edge.
The senior officer has already been dismissed from his position because of passing on the information,
For the past several weeks, certain ideas have dominated my consciousness. Don’t worry, these are not obsessive thoughts, and I am not a candidate for a psychiatric diagnosis. Rather, whenever I prepare a speech lately, or sit down to write a column such as this, I can’t help but think about a particular set of political principles.
The principles I ponder
It was the kind of thing you would hear from old men. “Things just ain’t the way they used to be.” “This new generation is going to hell in a handbasket.” “I remember when things were different and better, back in the good old days!”
Now that I am becoming a bit older myself, I find that I sometimes parrot some of those phrases. Increasingly, my
The Jewish obligation of tikkun olam is widely referred to and it is traditionally assumed that the Aleinu prayer is one of the texts upon which this obligation is based. This article will show that a very strong case can be made that the original version of Aleinu read Letakein Olam with a caf (=to establish the
It seems that war is one of the most common of all human activities. Study history of the human race, and you will not find many years that were not blemished by warfare. Read the literature of the world, and you will find very few books whose pages are not bloodstained. Study the Jewish tradition, beginning with the Bible itself, and you will find very few narratives
I have had a long and abiding interest in the process by which we make decisions in our lives. Long ago, I was taught that the best way to make a decision is to impartially examine all of the relevant available facts. Impartiality guarantees objectivity. Sadly, however, we are seldom truly impartial and, therefore, our ability to make
The old and crumbling building housed a synagogue that was a “gift” from Joseph Stalin to the Jews of Odessa. Historically, Odessa was a metropolis with a large Jewish population and many dozens of synagogues of all types. With the advent of the Communist regime, and especially under Stalin’s heavy-fisted rule, almost all of those synagogues were closed
As a parent, grandparent, and psychologist, I am often considered to be something of an expert on parenting and child-rearing. In that capacity, I have frequently been asked to review or give an opinion about any of the plethora of books on the subject of raising one’s children.
Like in any genre, there are better books and worse books in this category.
The meal had been going wonderfully. The meat roll (pastrami and smoked turkey) and salmon gefilte fish had been delicious. The chulent was just so, not too runny, not too dry. The portabella mushroom chicken was perfection itself. Even the potato kugel tasted better than usual. But then Elisheva was an excellent cook, so none of this came as a big surprise. The
“Religion is good for you.” “A religious person is a mentally healthy person.” Statements such as these could not have been made when I was a graduate student in psychology back in the 1960s. Quite the contrary. The prevalent belief in the mental health profession then was that religion was a neurosis, and that religious people needed to abandon their
Scene: The Parsipanny Hilton Grand Ballroom. A hall filled with red, white, and blue balloons and streamers, with approximately 200 people standing around, looking a bit dejected. A man in a pin-striped suit with perfectly coiffed, grey hair approaches the podium. (Loud applause.)
“Thank you. Thank you. I just got off the phone with Joshua Franklin and