As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Posted on: October 21st, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
I never liked comedienne Sarah Silverman. I never thought she was all that funny. Her humor is mostly vulgar and designed to shock people into laughing. Most comedians will tell you that if the only way you can make people laugh is with vulgar jokes, then you’re not really much of a comedian. But I digress. What upsets me the most about her is her very open self-identification as a Jew. Normally when successful people tout their Judaism, it makes me proud. But when she does it – it is an embarrassment. In fact I wish she would just change her name… or go away altogether.
Posted on: October 18th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
OK. The title is a bit extreme. But at least I have your attention. Last May - one will recall – there was a giant Asifa – a gathering of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews dealing with the dangers of the internet. Although it was billed as a way to properly use the internet, it was ultimately about trashing it and forbidding its use altogether accept for livelihood purposes. And even then - only with filters and only outside the house.
Posted on: October 17th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
I do not question Rabbi Zev Farber’s sincerity. I even applaud his resolve to right what he sees to be wrong in the way we practice Judaism today. But I do not agree with him at all on the way to do it. In a recent article on Morethodoxy, Rabbi Farber suggests that we change the paradigm with respect to a woman’s role in Judaism. His contention is that women are (at best) inadvertently ignored and mistreated vis-à-vis their public religious personae. Their current place in the synagogue is where this is mostly felt.
Posted on: October 16th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
One of the biggest issues that has arisen as a result of the Slifkin controversy is the question of whether Chazal, the sages of the Talmud knew the actuality of nature. There are those who say that they did. They say that every statement recorded in the Gemarah with respect to science is an accurate reflection of nature itself. The science redacted in the Talmud is as valid as the Halacha - both being Mesorah.
Posted on: October 15th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
One of the most informative books I have ever read on the subject of early 20th century American Jewry was Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet’s biography of Bernard Revel, the 1st President of Yeshiva University. The picture painted of American Jewry in the Revel bio matches that of Rabbi Rakeffet’s own autobiographical account of growing up in pre-war era New York. To put it simply - Orthodox Judaism as we know it today did not exist.
Posted on: October 14th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
Since being sexually attacked in Egypt, journalist Lara Logan now seems to recognizes that the real problems of the Middle East are not caused by the here and now of Palestinian suffering. My reaction to this story is to say to Ms. Logan, “Welcome aboard.” “We could use a few more reporters like you.”
Posted on: October 11th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
Despite some of my early negative observations - it still seemed like there was a tremendous sense of Achdus in many respects. The Shul I davened at was very Charedi and yet a great number of regular attendees there are Dati Leumi - Kipa Seruga, no jacket or hat. Even an occasional Israeli solider in full uniform can be found catching a Minyan there. All are welcome.
Posted on: October 10th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
It doesn’t matter to what segment of Orthodox Jewry one belongs. All segments celebrate this day with the same exuberance. It is truly the Torah which unites us all, right to left.
Posted on: October 7th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
It seems that two very prominent rabbinic figures have come on board with Rabbi Slifkin’s views with respect to reconciling science and the Torah. According to a post on Hirhurim by Rabbi Gil Student, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of England, and a man of great intellect who I respect and admire greatly is one of them. The other is Rabbi Yaakov Ariel - one of the chief Poskim of Religious Zionists in Israel. These two people are not just your average rabbis. They are both highly respected not only by me but by Jews all over the world.
Posted on: October 5th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
Why is there so much animosity between Charedi and Dati Leumi/Religious Zionist factions? I can't fully answer the question. But I do have some thoughts about it. I think it is because Israelis are far more idealistic about their religious values - especially those who make Aliyah.
Posted on: October 4th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
The enmity I have observed between groups here in the holy land has been a source of great disappointment to me. Not that I didn’t know it exists. But I have encountered numerous instances of it I and did not realize the extent of it.
Posted on: October 3rd, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
Those of us familiar with the do's and don'ts of accepted practice in the mental health profession saw similar blaring warning lights in our minds, as should have occurred when the facts were made public regarding the accusations against Nehemia Weberman. This case may very well be our community’s most important abuse trial during our lifetimes. It is imperative that we have a huge turnout in support of the victim, a courageous young lady who, may she be gezunt andge’bentched, is determined to see this through to the end so others won't suffer like she did.
Posted on: September 30th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
I though I might take a break from my regular fare here and talk a bit about my illustrious family. Many people know my New York cousins. Not so many know me. At least not outside my blog.
Posted on: September 28th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
There are many people who are born frum that have issues that are similar to ba'alei teshuva. We shouldn’'t be singling them out. But then the Rav went right into bashing Modern Orthodoxy Although he didn't label them outright it was clear from the context that the Modern Orthodox Jew is, according to him, the one with the real problem.
Posted on: September 27th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
The Torah assures us that perfection of the world comes through perfection of self. On Rosh HaShana we daven for the world to become a better place. It's in our hands to make it so.
Posted on: September 25th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
I have to believe that the prime minister has red lines. He knows when they will be crossed. He is not going to wait a moment beyond that to destroy Iranian nuclear reactors. He knows that if he doesn’t act decisively at the right moment - the consequences of a nuclear attack against Israel will rival those of the Holocaust. Only this Holocaust will be nuclear.
Posted on: September 23rd, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
Recent anti-Christian acts are due to a culture of hatred of the goy (non-Jew) that permeates certain circles.
Posted on: September 21st, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
The way of Meah Shearim is the way of the Mafia. Not civilization.
Posted on: September 20th, 2012Blogs → Emes Ve-Emunah
Charedi schools like Darkei Sarah now realize that the Charedi family can no longer survive on the kinds of menial jobs women can get without a decent education.
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