“Tens of thousands visit here – ordinary Jews, educators and their students, Knesset members and government ministers, soldiers and their officers, members of European parliaments, and U.S. congressmen. And after their visits, something happens in the minds of all of them. Even left-wing Knesset members, with tears in their eyes, have written in the visitors’ book, ‘Never again!’ ”
The Media Research Center is out with its annual Best Notable Quotables awards – a compilation of the most outrageous and/or unintentionally revealing news media quotes from December 2010 through November 2011.
How is it possible that the strong could be delivered into the hands of the weak? Sounds strange, but that is the exact pattern of Jewish history.
It never used to bother me; that is, until recently. Somehow, over the years, Chanukah has come to be celebrated as a children’s holiday.
The twelve-member bipartisan congressional “super committee” on spending cuts formally conceded defeat late last month, after failing to reach common ground on the issues of tax increases and spending cuts.
The strongest attribute of any of the Republican candidates for president is that he or she is not named Barack Obama.
Earlier this year Israel passed a law that would strip Israelis of their citizenship if convicted of espionage or treason. Condemned for this by countries all over the world, almost all of whom have far harsher anti-treason laws than Israel, the Israeli government has yet to apply the law to anyone.
In the good old days, Forest Hills, New York - where I grew up between 1939 and 1951 - was a shtetl for assimilated American Jews. Like my parents, all our neighbors were American-born offspring of Eastern European immigrants. A generation removed from their identity conflicts, we children knew that Forest Hills, liberated from Judaism, was our promised land.
Miami Beach was certainly a fitting choice as the site for this month's reunion of passengers from the ill-fated SS St. Louis, the ship of Jewish refugees that sailed from Nazi Germany in May 1939. As children, they gazed at the lights of Miami as the St. Louis hovered off the Florida coast, hoping desperately for permission to land.
It is difficult to remember the last time the United States was wracked with such dissension, discontent, protests, and economic hardship.
The place that holds the record for murders in a day – even over such ghastly places as Auschwitz and Treblinka – is Babi Yar. A ravine on the outskirts of Kiev, it is today incorporated within the urban, inhabited sector of the Ukrainian capital. The events described here took place seventy years ago, in 1941, on Rosh Hashanah.
The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations show no sign of abating and the voice of collective dissent now echoes well beyond lower Manhattan. During the past few weeks, the movement has spread nationally, as protesters across the country came together in a leaderless association that rails against corporate greed and social inequality.
In March 1978, at the conclusion of the Litani Operation in South Lebanon, five Israeli soldiers and a civilian jumped into a car and decided to go on an outing. The group took to the road in defiance of army regulations and somehow got waived through a forward checkpoint. Moments later they found themselves surrounded by heavily armed Palestinians. Four of the five soldiers were killed instantly, while the civilian miraculously made it back to Israeli lines the next day.
One night, a man was shot as he tried to break into the settlement from a nearby Arab city. His family did not say, "We are so sorry that our son tried to break into your community and commit violence." Quite the opposite. There was a prolonged, noisy demonstration in his city against the Israel Defense Forces.
The newborn is far from shy about letting its feelings be known as it is thrust, against its will, into a frigid and foreign world. With flailing hands and pitiful wails, its displeasure is made amply clear. Which raises the question: Since the soul does not choose to spend time on this planet, is it fair that it is held accountable for the way it goes about living its life here on earth?
Does teshuvah apply only to individuals and not to their relationships? Only to individuals and not to communities?
Every Jew’s soul is a piece of the Divine essence, hewn from beneath the Throne of Glory.
“Overnight,” The New York Times reported, Vienna’s Jews “were made free game for mobs, despoiled of their property, deprived of police protection, ejected from employment and barred from sources of relief.”
The president held 82 press conferences in 1933 alone. The subject of Hitler's persecution of the Jews came up on only one occasion – and not because Roosevelt raised it.
Where children are emotionally and socially when they are not in school is a matter of growing concern for educators, especially in Jewish schools and other religious institutions.
“You who cling to Hashem, your God, are all alive today.”
All societies survive through the retention of customs and traditions. If ritual law, halacha and Torah observance are the keystones of Jewish existence, the customs and traditions of Israel are the chain that has kept Israel bound to the Torah and its laws and values. The rabbis called the customs and traditions of Israel "the lessons of your mother" - in contrast and at the same time complementing "the teachings and disciplines of your father."
If the UN should decide to recognize a "State of Palestine" in the biblical homeland of the Jewish people it would endorse a bizarre irony. Why?
The traumatic shock experienced in Norway is in many ways similar to the enormous, numbing sense of pain the residents of Jerusalem felt in the days and weeks leading up to the churban of our Second Temple.
Recently I had the opportunity to hear about those effects firsthand from a group of Jewish women who were willing to share their stories.