“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.
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.
“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.”
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?