Friday, March 31, 2023


Glass Half Full Judaism

Some people see a split occurring within Modern Orthodox Judaism between those who adopt a more lenient religious interpretation and those who are stricter. I think they have it wrong. Yes, a split is happening, but it is not primarily about beliefs or stringency in practice. It is about temperament, how we view the world, whether we are


Santa Claus and Zionism

One evening in early November a few years ago we were having dinner and the name “Santa Claus” came up (I think we were speaking about differences between Chanukah and Christmas). My then 12-year-old son Elie said, “Who’s Santa Claus?” Despite the immediate questioning of Elie’s intelligence provided gratisby his


Harvard’s President Stops an Anti-Israel Boycott

Boston–The Harvard University Dining Service has been rebuffed in its efforts to join the Boycott Movement against Israel. A group of radical anti-Israel Harvard students and faculty had persuaded the dining service to boycott Sodastream, an Israeli company that manufactures soda machines that produce a product that is both


Heading for a Jew-Free Turkey

At the beginning of the 20 thcentury, there were about 200,000 Jews in Turkish lands – when the entire population was barely 10 million. Today, the Turkish population has reached 77 million – and there are fewer than 17,000 Jews.


An Unsettling Jewish Environment

At times over the past number of years a McCarthy-like atmosphere has existed within the Jewish world. An environment of distrust and anger has defined the Jewish landscape involving discussions on Israel and its policies. On a number of occasions, name-calling, labeling, and the marginalizing of groups has replaced a focus on policy


5 Ways to Make Jewish Life Less ‘Clichéd’ from an Actual Millennial

I am a Millennial. I say this proudly. I dance around Jewish tradition, modernity, and practice in a way that Millennials do. I whole-heartedly enjoy my status as a Generation Y’er. At the same time, however, I really don’t like how much of the conversation about how to engage my peers is fundamentally had by people who don’t seem to


The Lesser Known Effect of Har Nof’s Tragedy

It was a Tuesday morning. I had just finished leading the morning prayers in the national-religious synagogue in the heavily haredi neighborhood of Har Nof where I serve as rabbi. One of my congregants approached me and asked me to read a passage from the Book of Psalms. When I asked him why, he said, “Rabbi, there was a terrorist attack


Palestinians Must Lead The Fight To Reform UNRWA

We Palestinians can no longer deny our responsibility for the destiny of our people. For 26 years I have been devoting my life to the mission of defending human rights. I have seen wars and terror.

I live in Jerusalem and was brought up in an UNRWA refugee camp in Shuafat, a refugee camp like 58 other


Defining Israel As a Jewish State

Israel’s cabinet has approved legislation to officially define the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people. This timely measure accomplishes several important goals. It will facilitate peace by encouraging the Arab world to accept Israel’s permanence. It will help forge a sense of unity among the famously diverse and


US Tries to Head Off Israeli-Palestinian ‘Al-Aqsa War’

A source close to President Mahmoud Abbas told Al-Monitor that the Palestinian president was committed to preventing a third intifada. “It’s not in his interest,” the official said. “This crisis is not only about Israel, it is also about ruling in Palestine. Hamas intends to inflame an intifada using religious content: saving


So Right and Yet So Wrong: The Truth that Sheldon Adelson Told Us

The media has covered casino magnates Sheldon Adelson’s address to the Israel-American Council, a recently formed organization of Israelis who live in the United States, many of whom have truthfully become Israeli-Americans.

Addressing the current situation, what to do about the land and what to do


A Jewish Perspective on Obama, Lincoln, and Gettysburg

(Reprinted with permission; this first appeared in The Algeimeiner)

In light of President Obama’s recent drubbing in the midterm elections, the November 19th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address is a good time to see what Abraham Lincoln–who suffered his own (milder) setback in the 1862 mid-term

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