Wednesday, December 07, 2022


Orthodox “Retention” and Kiruv: The Bad News and the Good News

[From a reprint from ejewishphilanthropy. This essay is from “Philanthropic Priorities in Light of Pew,” reprinted with permission from Contact, a publication of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.]


We are swimming—indeed drowning—in the ink spilled on the data from the Pew Research Center’s 2013 study of American Jewry.


The New Romantics “Being Fair” to Terrorist Groups

It is terribly easy to romanticize. Human beings do it all the time. But romanticizing can get out of hand. Think of all those millions of German women who swooned as Hitler drove past; the groupies of Stalin, the steadfast admirers of Osama bin Laden, or the women who offer to marry murderers on death row. Charisma, as Max Weber told us, is not so much an


After the Fog of War: An Early Assessment

It is far too early, to assess the impact of the latest war in Gaza, but still some preliminary thoughts are in order.

Antisemitism Panic:

Judging by what I have been reading in the press blogs and emails, it seems as if many Jews are in a panic about the rise in antisemitism. Once again, people are asking: Is this 1939? 1933? Even as distin­guished a


Is There a Halachic Basis For the Refusal of Haredi Men To Serve in Tzahal? Part I

As I write, our beloved state of Israel is in the throes of a war with Hamas in Gaza—and  whenever Israel agrees to a truce, for the benefits of the Gazan inhabitants, it is Hamas who breaks it, and the lives of the people in the Israeli Defense Forces, the IDF, Tzahal, are always at risk.

Unfortunately, most of the male members of the Haredi


The Arab Downward Spiral

The rapid rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) to global notoriety has taken observers of Middle East politics by surprise. All of a sudden, a new Islamist political movement has stunningly upstaged former global public enemy number one al-Qaeda and establishes an Islamic state, a caliphate encompassing lands in both Iraq and Syria.

ISIS sees itself


UNRWA in the Crossfire? Surprise. Not.

The fact that UNRWA schools are caught in the crossfire of the Hamas war is hardly surpris­ing.

Fifteen years ago, the Gaza-based employ­ees of UNRWA held elections to determine its union leaders. Hamas took advantage of the campaign and took over the entire school sys­tem. By 2012, more the 90 percent of UNRWA employees had become Hamas


China Hacking Iron Dome, Arrow Missile Defense Systems

According to security expert Brian Krebs, writing in Krebs on Security, Chinese hackers have gained access to crucial information re­lated to Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense sys­tem. Iron Dome has been successfully inter­cepting rockets fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip into Israel, protecting the Israeli popula­tion from harm.

Krebs writes


To Save Gaza, Destroy Hamas

TEL AVIV—After nearly three weeks of fight­ing…it is time to revisit some basic assumptions about Hamas. Until now, Israel assumed Hamas was the “devil we know,” capable of attacks that were mostly a nuisance; accepting its rule over the Gaza Strip was preferable to risking a vac­uum of governance like what we see in Somalia and Libya. But Hamas’s reckless


Invest in Jewish Children

My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. The uplift­ing ceremony and beau­tiful party left an indelible mark; some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward.

My high school teacher, Rabbi Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and chal­lenged us to choose one mitzvah


Holocaust Survivors, Gaza, and My Uncle the Instigator

My Uncle Sonny (his real name is Arthur but don’t tell) has always been an instigator. The best kind. While I should have been studying about flax production in Iowa, back in eighth grade social studies, Sonny turned up at my parent’s house with a double length John Lee Hooker record. This morning was no differ­ent. Along with about 30 others, I got an email from


Moral Distinctions

The Palestinian Authority has embraced mass murderers as heroes and Israel punishes all murderers, whether they murder Arabs or Jews. There is a major moral distinction between the murders of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel and that of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The difference is that the Palestinian Authority has embraced such mass murderers as heroes and


Reflections on the Murder of Muhammed Abu Khbeir

(reprinted with permission from the author)

Today we confront the terrible revenge murder of an innocent Palestinian boy, Muhammed Abu Khdeir. Much to our horror six Jews have been arrested for being involved and/or perpetrating this evil deed.

What is our view on this revenge murder?

1. It is an evil forbidden act. Yishai

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