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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Op-eds

Why (Some) Jews Are Racist - Part II of II

Part II:

In the first part of this article, I presented some ideas as to the origins of racism, discussed some problematic statements in the Talmud and suggested why those statements should not be used as models for public discourse today.  In this continuation, I will present some other Talmudic statements and suggest how we, as individuals and as a group

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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

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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

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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

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Why (Some) Jews Are Racist

Meylekh Viswanath will be running in the NYC Marathon on November 3 to raise money for victims of terror in Israel through the One Family Fund.  If you are interested in being a sponsor, please go to http://www.teamonefamily.org/plachikkatviswanath.  You can get more information about the One Family

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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

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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 haredi women in Israel are threatened with get extortion. The survey’s potential sampling error is 5.5 percent with a 95 percent

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Who’s Left Standing in the Pew?

Like a classic Kansas tornado in early summer, the statistics left a path of destruction in their wake that would make the heartiest of storm-chasers gawk in amazement. The recent data on “Jewish Identity” released by the world famous Pew Research Center has shocked many, prodding expert after expert to chime in with their take on what the results mean for

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Women of the Wall: A Possible Solution To Endless Fighting

Two children, a brother and sister, are fighting: calling each other names, bringing each other to tears. Their father stays out of it at first. He’s hoping his kids will work things out on their own, but they don’t. The bickering escalates until the father finally throws them into a time-out. He wants his children to think about what they’ve done. He

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Beware Of The Poisonous Apple

We are all familiar with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. One of the central parts of the tale is when the wicked stepmother, in a fit of jealousy, decides that Snow White must be eliminated. She disguises herself as a pleasant old woman and puts a poisoned apple in her basket. Despite Snow White’s reluctance to open the door, the evil stepmother convinces

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Does Iraq Deserve the Return of Its Jewish Archive?

A Jewish weaver pictured in 1918 in the small town of Ramadi in the middle Euphrates region of Iraq. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A few years ago, in response to a Palestinian critic who made a disparaging remark about the fact that I don’t speak Arabic, I felt compelled to write an article explaining why that is the case. I said that under different

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Repurposing Your Lulav and Etrog

Sukkot is gone. You’ve ordered your annual bouquet of palm fronds, citrons, myrtle, and willows—the famous Four Species. Given the state of the economy these days, it’s painful to buy anything that you can only use once. Why not stretch the value of your lulav and etrog this year with a little creative repurposing post-festival? When they can be

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