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Reflections Of A Former Bronx Hoopster

22 Tevet 5773 – January 3, 2013
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.”

The Enduring Power Of Orthodoxy

14 Tevet 5773 – December 26, 2012
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.

Chaim Kaminetzky – Zecher Tzaddik Leverachah

7 Tevet 5773 – December 19, 2012
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.

A Match Lit In Heaven

29 Kislev 5773 – December 12, 2012
Whatever the state of world affairs or shift in political winds, one thing remains a constant in our lives: the quest for shidduchim. There is no family or individual among us who does not know at any given time of someone in search of his or her destined life partner; yet too often the hunt is fraught with complexities and accompanied by sleepless nights and a furrowed brow.

The Maccabees’ Response To ‘World Opinion’

22 Kislev 5773 – December 5, 2012
“Israel has bad public relations.” This is the perennial cry. “Israel must improve its image to convince the world of the justness of its cause.”

Why Americans Support Israel

15 Kislev 5773 – November 28, 2012
As Israeli air strikes and naval shells bombarded Gaza last week, the world asked the question that perennially frustrates, confuses and enrages so many people across the planet: Why aren’t the Americans hating on Israel more?

The Jewish Vote: Same Old, Same Old

8 Kislev 5773 – November 21, 2012
In the wake of the presidential election, American Jews must once again ask a fundamental question that seems to defy both societal trends and a clear resolution: why do Jews overwhelmingly support the Democratic candidate, year after year, election after election?

The Legacy Of Rav Aharon Kotler

1 Kislev 5773 – November 14, 2012
As we commemorate the fiftieth yahrzeit this Friday, the second day of Kislev, of Rav Aaron Kotler – the greatest Jew, in the opinion of even many of his fellow Torah luminaries, ever to set foot on North American soil – we are obligated to reflect on his achievements and the lessons he taught.

What Happens To The Children?

23 Heshvan 5773 – November 7, 2012
The marriage is ending. Let’s start with some facts. In the general population, 50 percent of marriages end in divorce within 10 years. Sixty percent of divorces occur among couples between the ages of 25-39. More than a million children are affected by divorce per year. Half of these children will grow up in families where the parents stay angry and resentful toward each other.
George Herbert Walker Bush

Back to the Future: A Political Excursion

9 Heshvan 5773 – October 24, 2012
An incumbent American president who is perceived by many to be indifferent or even hostile to Israel, who makes opposition to Israeli settlements a centerpiece of his Mideast policy, and who seems to share a mutual dislike with the Israeli prime minister faces a tough reelection challenge from an opponent vowing to heal the breach.

To Tell The Truth: An Unlikely Scenario

1 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
Despite public surveys that show the general public largely opposed to negative campaigning, the overwhelming majority of candidates in contested races have refined this strategy almost to an art form.

A Colossal But Essential Pain In The Neck

26 Tishri 5773 – October 11, 2012
Seven years ago, I was approached by a group of friends with an unexpected request. Would I be interested in running for trustee of my local public school district?

A Monumental Distortion Of History

19 Tishri 5773 – October 4, 2012
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently continued a long tradition of attempting to question a Jewish link to Jerusalem by expressing his mendacious notion that “Jerusalem’s identity is Arab, and the city’s and Christian holy sites must be protected from Israeli threats.”

Our Holy Visitors

9 Tishri 5773 – September 25, 2012
Sukkos comes to us as a beautifully wrapped gift from Hashem, right when we can use some pampering. Having just completed an exhaustive round of appeals to our Father in heaven to forgive our iniquities and grant us yet another chance to prove ourselves worthy of His beneficence and mercy, we emerge as newborns – clean and pure and free of the stain of sin.

The End Of An Era

5 Tishri 5773 – September 20, 2012
Let’s face it: this is not going to be an ordinary year. We are praying very seriously this year because we are praying for our lives. Yes, I know: every year we pray for our lives. But how many feel it? This year, whether we want to or not, I think we are beginning to feel it.

My Father, Dayan Grunfeld

25 Elul 5772 – September 12, 2012
One cold December evening, I walked into my father’s book-lined study to light the Chanukah candles, which were placed beside the window that overlooked a high street in North London.

The Jewish Vote And The 1948 Election

19 Elul 5772 – September 5, 2012
Bob Weintraub chuckled appreciatively the first time he heard that Barack Obama described his job before he went into politics as “community organizer.” Bob knows a thing or two about community organizing: during the late 1940s, he helped organize a series of remarkable grassroots election campaigns in New York City that sent a powerful warning to President Harry Truman about the Jewish community’s unhappiness over his administration’s waffling on Zionism.

Carriers Of The Talmudic Torch

12 Elul 5772 – August 29, 2012
Earlier this month the London Games were all the rage. Tens of thousands descended upon Great Britain’s crown jewel to witness the Olympics and cheer for their respective countrymen.

Why Batman Matters

5 Elul 5772 – August 22, 2012
It’s important to acknowledge this right from the beginning: I love Batman. In fact, no one loves him more than I do. He and I have a history that goes back over four decades.
Marvin Schick

The Alternate World Of Jewish Education

21 Av 5772 – August 8, 2012
A major sociological characteristic and consequence of modernity is the tendency for people to join together in associations that express a common goal or interest or a shared experience. The United States has been a nation of joiners from day one and perhaps even before independence was declared. Alexis de Tocqueville described this tendency in Democracy in America, the epic prophetic work published a century and three-quarters ago.

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