Several weeks ago my wife, Chavi, and I attended the sad funeral of Mrs. Martha Melohn a”h. Besides being a dear friend of Chavi’s, Mrs. Melohn was the matriarch of a very well-known philanthropic family. This is not the place for a full-fledged eulogy of this remarkable woman, but I begin this article with reflections on a conversation I had with her just several months before her unfortunate demise.
There are two key questions to consider when examining Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s relationship with Religious Zionism. The first is why the Rav was so firmly anti-Zionist when he arrived in America. The second is how the impact of the Holocaust and birth of Israel caused the Rav to fundamentally change his perspective.
A pattern of private remarks about Jews made by Roosevelt may explain why 190,000 immigration spots were left unfilled despite the plight of European Jury.
People are generally attracted to articles that cover subjects with which they can identify on either a personal or professional level. Of course, there are articles that are interesting in their own right and have little or no connection to a particular reader’s life. More often than not, though, subjects that touch people personally will be that bit more attractive.
The debate in the Jewish community over Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his response to the Holocaust has been bitter and emotional, a family divided against itself. On the one hand, FDR was the polio-stricken man who, after being knocked flat on his back, rose and revived an America that had been knocked flat on its back and then led it to wartime triumph over Hitler and to global destiny.
I was shamed into becoming a baseball fan by my mother, a Holocaust survivor who came to America in 1953 and who to this day doesn’t know the difference between a home run and a strikeout.
Last year, not long before Passover was to begin and my thoughts were already on the coming Seders and great drama we would be observing, I happened to be just outside a building when I observed the following small scene unfold before me.
“Therefore we are obligated to give thanks…to the One Who performed all these miracles for our forefathers and for us. He took us out from slavery to freedom…and from servitude to redemption.” – Haggadah shel Pesach
My wife was called for jury duty when she was pregnant with our fourth child. Since her due date was looming, her doctor wrote a letter to the court, asking for an exemption. When I went to the courthouse office to deliver the letter, I was taken aback by how long the line was.
“Radical,” from the Latin word for “root,” means going to the foundation. The foundation is what we have to think about when celebrating a simcha. Instead of peripheral concerns – photographing the proceedings, for example – we should attend to the meaning of the event.
Those of you who feel the way I do will immediately relate to this: I hate having to listen to pedantic women discuss their Pesach cleaning before Tu B’Shevat is even a blip on the horizon.
“In those days, when King Achashveirosh sat on his royal throne which was in Shushan the capital, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his officials and servants, the army of Persia and Medea; the nobles and officials of the provinces being present, when he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his splendorous majesty for many days, a hundred and eighty days.
Most obituaries on Ed Koch paid scant attention to his military service in World War II.
What does it mean when we say that man was created in the image of God?
With the debate over gun control at fever pitch following the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut, I thought readers of The Jewish Press would find the following account of my experience during the Los Angeles riots of 1992 both timely and interesting.
Murderous violence has been with us since the generation after Adam and Eve first trudged, ashamed and burdened, east of Eden, banished from the Garden because of their disobedience. Few things through the ages have defined us so much as our ability to visit horrific cruelty upon our fellows.
For Jews, the ancient tribal territories of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and west Menasheh – a.k.a. Judea and Samaria or the West Bank – form the very heartland of the homeland.
In the introduction to their recently published Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame, Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy hyperbolically describe American basketball between the world wars as a “majority-owned subsidiary of New York Jewish culture.”
In 1964 the eminent sociologist Marshall Sklare declared Orthodoxy to be irrelevant. His view was that Conservative Judaism was the wave of the future in America.
I’ve always wondered what factors determine whether one gets a z”l suffix (zichrono leverachah) or a zt”l (zecher tzaddik leverachah) after he’s passed on. I know of no objective standard, or of any official sanctioning board that makes these decisions. In my understanding, the term zt”l is exclusively reserved for luminaries who have benefited their generation with their exemplary deeds and accomplishments.