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The Joy of Achdus

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.

Torah and Science – The Controversy Remains

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.

The Downside of Religious Idealism

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.

Unholy Behavior

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.

Credible Suspicion

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.

The Way We Were

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.

Outreach, Regrets and the Wrong Man for the Job

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.

A Time to Perfect Ourselves and Thereby the World

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.

Iran, Israel and America

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.

The Atrocity of Ignorance and Fanaticism

Recent anti-Christian acts are due to a culture of hatred of the goy (non-Jew) that permeates certain circles.

A World Untouched by Civilization

The way of Meah Shearim is the way of the Mafia. Not civilization.

There’s Still Something Wrong with this Picture

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.

For Victims of Abuse – A Warm Embrace

In part the altered lives victims of abuse and molestation live are a result of the abuse itself. But it is in part also because of the unfortunate negative reaction to the victims by their own community.

Just Say No… to the Nonsense of the iPhone Smashing Rabbis

Rabbi Lior Glazer smashed an iPhone with a hammer in a show of protest. Like virtually every other Rav in the very right-wing Charedi world of Bnei Brak, Glazer blames personal tragedies on technology and not the abnormal psychology of the individual. I am beginning to find that the more I see a story like this, the more I just want to fold up my tent, and go home. No matter how much one wants to be Dan L’Kaf Zechus and judge people and their actions favorably, a story like this comes along which makes it extremely difficult to do so.

To Inform or Not to Inform – That is the Question

With all the bacteria a mouth is known to contain - and the possibility that it might contain bacteria or viruses that are very harmful to a vulnerable 8-day-old child while an adult carrier might not even be aware of it - it is not exactly rocket science to know that putting your mouth on an open wound is not a good idea.

The Emes Ve-Emunah People

The Emes Ve-Emunah blog recently ran an internal poll as to readers religious leanings, here blog author Harry Maryles analyzes the results.

An Eis La’asos – The Time is Ripe

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, the former president of the Union of Reform Judaism, has argued that the reform movement should look to Orthodox Judaism for guidance. Harry Maryles argues that this provides an important kiruv opportunity.

The Road Paved with iPhones

There are many Halachic reasons to disqualify a witness. Owning an iPhone is not one of them.

Changing Our Image for the Better

Rejecting something with knowledge is one thing, but most Jews in the world today have essentially rejected a life of Jewish observance with very little book or experiential knowledge.

Mrs. Brown’s Journey

But it is even more foolish in my view to not teach the science in the first place. Ignorance is our worst enemy. Because the minute one finds a contradiction to the insistence that only the most literal interpretation of the Torah is acceptable, believers can and often will sadly go the way or Mrs. Brown.

When Good People Cheat

Somehow, even though it should be obvious to them that the U.S. is different, they have retained the mindset that it’s OK to cheat “the Goyim” - if they can get away with it. And that is what causes the kind of Chilul HaShem that is happening here. And when the criminal is someone who is otherwise a good person, the Chilul HaShem is even greater.

Why I Believe…

Some might call this Emunah Peshuta – simple belief. Perhaps. But it is not blind belief. I am not a blind believer. However, I can understand why someone would call my belief in the truth of Judaism blind.

The Proper Performance of Bris Milah

When it comes to Metzitza B’Peh, we are not discussing a Biblical Commandment, nor are we referring to a Rabbinical enactment from the Gemarah's time. We are referring to a hallowed Minhag from days of yore to use the mouth only.

Metzitza B’Peh: Infant Russian Roulette

I would be opposed to the government legislating against doing MbP. That it is considered so vital by so large a segment of Jewry combined by the low probability of a child ever contracting herpes moves me to oppose it. In this case I do feel that banning the procedure would be an unconstitutional impediment to freedom of religion. But that is not the law being proposed.

Keeping the Faith

An increasing number of Orthodox Jews are questioning their faith and educators don't know how to respond.

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