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Reflections on the Second Presidential Debate

Obama got away with saying that he had characterized the attack on the Benghazi consulate as a terrorist incident because the moderator confirmed his point; in fact he misrepresented the facts when he said "The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that … this was an act of terror."

Rashi Was a Zionist Racist

Almost everyone is familiar with the famous first Rashi on the Torah. He asks why does the Torah begin with the account of Creation? After all, since the Torah contains the commandments which Hashem gave to Am Yisrael, it should have begun the precept concerning Rosh Chodesh - the first commandment given to the Israelite Nation.

Israel and Eilat

Eilat is a different world from most of Israel - they like it that way; they want it that way. But more and more, security is coming down here. My overwhelming memory of Eilat remains that one visit, four years ago, on our 25th wedding anniversary, when Elie's unit came under terror attack in Jerusalem as they were walking to the Western Wall days before Rosh Hashana.

Did the Guardian Just Recognize “East” Jerusalem as Part of Israel?

It’s been a tough year for the Guardian’s “research” department. Earlier in Oct., the Press Complaints Commission concluded that the Guardian’s “unequivocal statement” in their “Style Guide” that “Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel” was incorrect and therefore breached “the Editors’ Code of Practice.

And Over at the UN… Diplomats Try to Keep Israel Front and Center

Despite more obviously pressing problems in Syria and elsewhere, U.S. and U.N. diplomats keep focusing on Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Back to Dubai: Australian Travelers Should Read This

The United Arab Emirates huge airline, Emirates, has just done a deal with Qantas to essentially take over the Australian airline's steering wheel. With the Australian government blessing the deal a few days ago, it looks like full steam ahead. And according to a recent UAE business news website, the Flying Kangaroo is already thoroughly and irretrievably locked in. So it appears Australians headed for Europe on the nation's flag-carrier will be traveling through the Dubai airport henceforth, instead of via gorgeous Singapore and its magnificent Changi Airport. The reasons are all about business, money and saving Qantas.

Rav Elyashiv, Torah and Science

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.

The Snake Made Me Do It

If Eve had read www.jewishsexuality.com, she wouldn’t have followed after her eyes and got us all kicked out of the garden. If Adam had read jewishsexuality.com, he wouldn’t have eaten the “apple.” Today, we don’t have to make the same mistakes they did. We have the teachings of the Torah and the advice of the Sages to rely upon. While I won’t quote from the holy Zohar here, for people who enjoy the secrets of Torah, there’s a lot more to the snake than his pretty long tail.

I Want to have Your Baby, Sarah Silverman

Let's talk about motherhood and babies, and why some young girls start planning their weddings at age 7 and have the albums to show for it.

Palestinians Caught in the Act (Video)

Every year Palestinians and foreign activists try to blame Settlers for cutting down olive trees. But once again Settlers have caught the Palestinians and the activists on film cutting down trees, presumably to then blame the Jews.

Is Netanyahu Again Offering the Golan Heights to Syria?

Shimon Shiffer reports in Yedioth Ahronoth that in secret talks in 2010 via U.S. government mediator Frederic C. Hof, Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed in principle to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights to the June 4, 1967, lines in return for the "expectation" of Bashar al-Assad cutting ties with Iran, and that the nearly-completed negotiations ended because of the anti-Assad uprising that began in January 2011.

Is it the Army Uniform or the Jews in them?

is the Waqf upset that IDF soldiers in uniform enter the Temple Mount or that they are Jewish or represent the army of the state of Israel?

Shimon HaTzadik…Simon the Just

What sets us apart from most people can be summed up so easily. Did you know that Sunday was the anniversary of the death of Shimon HaTzadik? He died about 2,300 years ago, give or take, and we know who he was, who his father was, what he did in his life, and where he is buried. And yesterday hundreds of Israelis likely visited his grave.

The Odd Couple of Barak and Joe

The presidential and vice-presidential debates provided us with two snapshots of two different and yet very similar men. The Obama who showed up to debate Mitt Romney and the Biden who showed up to debate Paul Ryan were outwardly different types. One white and one black, one elderly and one middle-aged, one a veteran of the Senate and the other a political tyro rushed through the ranks on the promise of his electability.

If Israel’s Defensive Measures are Called ‘Disproportionate,’ What to Call Hezbollah’s Aggression?

There was not that much doubt, when reports of Israel bringing down an unidentified drone over the southern Hebron Hills first appeared a week ago, that the spy plane originated with Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

Not in Accordance with the Torah?

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.

Jewish History and Sovereignty Slipping Away

This is one of those issues that ought to be shocking, but about which nothing is done. For years — I’ve written about this before — the Muslim waqf that controls the Temple Mount has been systematically destroying archaeological artifacts of Jewish provenance at the site.

Postcard from Israel – Tel Megiddo

If the building which houses the ticket office and museum at Tel Megiddo national park seems somewhat incongruous to its surroundings – being more reminiscent of the style of an English country gentleman’s residence, with its chimney and paned windows, than of the local architecture – that is because it was built by the British army after its victory against the Ottomans, including at the Battle of Megiddo. So important was that battle that its Commander in Chief, Sir Edmund Allenby, was later awarded the title of 'Viscount of Megiddo.'

Inside Hulda Gate to the Temple Mount

The Hulda Gate is the southern entrance to the Temple Mount, also known as the 'Double Gate.' I was there, on the inside, in 1986, with the Knesset's Interior Committee on its famous tour when we were later attacked by a mob of Muslims, throwing rocks and yelling Itbah El-Yahud ('Kill the Jews'). It was a melee and I had to rush/run Geula Cohen north to the Tribes of Israel Gate to get out safely:

How Do You Answer Evil? Ten Years After the Bali Terror Bombing

Today marks ten years since jihadist terrorists carried out a ghastly bombing attack on night club spots on the Indonesian island of Bali. The Kuta Beach massacre was the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia: 202 people were killed that night. 164 were foreign nationals, 38 were Indonesian citizens. 209 people were injured. Almost immediately after it happened on 12th October 2002, the then editorial team at the Melbourne (Australia) Herald-Sun newspaper contacted Arnold Roth.

The Conversion of Lara Logan

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.”

What ‘War’ with Iran is Biden Talking About?

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently warned that, “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.” During Thursday's Vice Presidential debate the statement was read to Vice President Joe Biden and Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan  at the start of segment on Iran. What exactly Gates meant by “catastrophic” I’m not sure (Muslim/Middle East resentment towards the U.S.? Lack of access to oil? Increase in global terrorism?), but during the debate, both Biden and debate moderator Martha Raddatz seemed to argue that it meant going to war with Iran.

Impressions of the Veep Debate

Middle East expert Daniel Pipes' thoughts on the Biden-Ryan debate.

Day By Day: The Temple Mount Arrests Over Sukkot

Over the Sukkot holiday, 12 Jews were arrested and many more were harassed and denied religious rights on the Temple Mount over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Eight of the arrests were for prayer crimes and three were for peacefully protesting the policies of discrimination and denigration. Here's a day by day report.

‘Hear O You Deaf and Look O You Blind!’

We live a short walk from the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem. Over the holidays, the hotel was packed with Diaspora Jews from all over the world, but now that the holidays are over, the lobby is pretty deserted. I can’t understand how a self-respecting Jew can leave the Land of Israel and go back to the Lilliputian Jewish life of Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Melbourne, or Brooklyn after being in the Land of our Forefathers.

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