Friday, February 03, 2023


Us and Us

Individuals who come together in a community maintain a shared identity. Communities, and social groups of all kinds, are defined by common behaviors, beliefs and values.

But communal identity may also have a negative component, defined by behaviors, beliefs and values which a community does notaccept. What a group perceives as offensive in a rival


Gevaltism, Antisemitism and Hungary

Gevalt! The goyimare after us! It’s the Second Holocaust! Jews are not safe in Hungary—or anywhere in Europe!

My mother’s favorite story: Two Jews in post-Anschluss Vienna are walking through an antisemitic neighborhood. They see that they are being followed by two Nazi thugs. One of the Jews says to his friend, “We’d better make


Shades of Red Amidst A Sea of Blue

As New Jersey voters went to the polls on Election Day, there were those who questioned whether the race at the top of the ticket could even be considered a “race.” The gubernatorial contest, which ordinarily would be replete with intrigue and suspense, was totally devoid of any drama. The race for governor was, for all intents and purposes, over before it even


When the Shidduch Hits the Fan

This week, along with the rest of you, I read the words of Gital, a chained woman or Agunahas she publicly pleaded for a Jewish divorce from her husband. But this isn’t about Get. I’ve written


Monday Night at the Movies

Garden State Plaza Mall on lockdown after random shots are fired

Ironically, we didn’t even want to go that night.  Our flight back from Chicago had been delayed and we had just spent a lively but tiring weekend with our children and grandchildren.  On the other hand, the tickets to the movie screening at the Garden State Mall in Paramus


It’s Our Time to Shine

On Tuesday, November 5 th, the New Jersey Jewish community will have an opportunity to show its strength to elected officials and political parties around the state. On that day, every state office from the governor through the State Legislature is up for grabs. On that day, we have the ability to do something that is granted to every citizen in New Jersey,


Who’s Left Standing in the Pew? Part 2

The year was 2006, and as we sat in the backseat of a town car driving through North Beverly Hills, Rabbi Grossman watched in amazement as a machine was talking to the driver.

“What is this machine called?” asked the Rav.

“A GPS”, he was told. Having no Internet or TV in his home, much less a GPS in his own car, Rabbi Grossman was star-struck,


Can You Trust a Woman in Tefillin? The Truth About Women of the Wall

Women of the Wall (WoW) was founded 25 years ago as a women’s minyan at the Western Wall to meet on the first of every Jewish month. A few years ago, some of WoW’s leaders started getting arrested for wearing non-“feminine” (read: colorful) talitot and tefillin in violation of a 2003 Israeli Supreme Court ruling. In April 2013, this ruling was deemed to be


The Congressional Revolution

The government shutdown that took effect on October 1 crippled our nation, soured our resolve and imperiled our nation’s status quo. The gridlock that forced the closure of government facilities and furloughed federal workers did not just bring America to a standstill, it brought us to a standoff.

We are all aware that partisanship has regrettably become a


The Pew Study on American Jews: A Control Group for Orthodox Jews

Every scientist will tell you that the only way to do a successful experiment is to have a control group. As we know, new drugs are tested with a control group getting a placebo, to test whether the new drug delivers as expected. The recently released Pew Study provides a control group for the Orthodox community to measure the implications of decisions made over 40


What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Cattle prods, beatings, extortion, blackmail, revenge, and most of all money, are at the heart of the latest agunah-related scandal. Mendel Epstein, with his long white beard and saintly look, and a rosh yeshiva from Monsey, Martin Wolmark, took hundreds of thousands of dollars from desperate agunot—whose recalcitrant husbands threatened them with


Ugly Stats in Israel

In a survey done in Israel and released last summer, the Geocartography Research Institute of the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at Bar-Ilan University found that 50 percent of harediwomen in Israel are threatened with getextortion. The survey’s potential sampling error is 5.5 percent with a 95 percent

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