Are we created in the image of God or are we grasshoppers?
Legends are necessary for nation building and community cohesiveness. Legends of holy and pious people and legends about villains and the wicked are often subject to fabrication and gross exaggeration, but they leave no doubt in the minds of later generations as to who was the holy and pious person and who was the villain.
“Palestine” was defined as the land east and west of the Jordan River, now comprising Jordan, the West Bank and Israel.
It is late at night. There are four of us on the hospital ward. Two are young men, a religious Ethiopian Jew and a young Arab computer "techie" who spends his days working on his laptop. I am one of the two elders in the room. The other is an Arab from a village in the Galilee. The two younger men complain about the horrific snoring coming from us geezers, but they're not sure who is the worst offender. The nurses offer them sympathy and sleeping pills, to no avail.
The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799 as first counsel and later, in 1804, as emperor, heralded new opportunities for French Jewry.
Although gazing skyward is for most a spontaneous daily activity, looking up at the heavens as one begins to pray is a prescribed approach intended to enhance one’s kavanah.
Thirty years ago next week - shortly after 5:30 p.m. on June 7, 1981 - Israeli fighter jets flew undetected through hundreds of miles of Arab air space and rained fire from the skies over Baghdad, laying waste an atomic reactor and depriving a brutish dictator the potential for mass destruction.
Reportedly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been preparing to unveil new Israeli diplomatic initiatives - including the possibility of further territorial withdrawals from Judea and Samaria and even the recognition of a provisional Palestinian state - before last week's bombshell announcement of a Hamas-Fatah rapprochement.
It was the last slave prison and slave market in Europe. The United States was already an independent country and France was in the tumult of revolution. The Mediterranean island of Malta was the destination for the slaves snatched off of merchant ships by an order of Crusader Knights that had first been set up in Jerusalem in the 12th century.
Listening to "The John Batchelor Show" on WABC is like taking a graduate course in current events. Batchelor covers the news nightly from domestic to foreign affairs, politics to the economy, China to the Middle East, election campaigns to planetary exploration. His insightful take on the day's stories is delivered with an elegance and punctuated wit rarely heard on today's airwaves.
For the past twenty years the quest for a Middle East peace and for resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict has rested largely upon one specific strategy. We'll call it the "End of Conflict Proclamation."
Herbert Zweibon, founder and chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI, died on Jan. 19 at the age of 84. It was Tu B'Shevat, holiday of the trees, which only seems fitting because Herb was someone who spread his branches wide, sheltering not only his beloved family but an array of people and causes, planting seeds of wisdom and truth.
During the Holocaust, one group of killers stood out as more vicious, murderous, and bloodthirsty than all others.
Twenty rebbetzins in Israel recently issued a public call to Jewish women "not to engage in romantic connections with Arabs." The declaration followed in the wake of a number of cases where Jewish women either inadvertently or intentionally became involved with Arab men and suffered grievously as a result.
Once upon a time, there were Orthodox Jews who wore blue hats. Blue hats! Some wore brown, or shades of gray. In the summer, they wore white, or amber hats of straw.
I try to make it a point to work things into my life - including insane schedules, impossible goals and conflicting priorities - in the most upbeat way I can. OK, so it doesn't always work. What surprises me is how shocked people are when I tell them I just can't handle everything.
U.S. policy is not controlled by an omnipotent Israeli lobby but rather heavily influenced by an equally potent - yet much less visible - Arab lobby that is driven by ideology, oil, and arms to support Middle Eastern regimes that often oppose American values and interests.
Gazing wistfully through my window at the remaining leaves still clinging to the young maple tree on our lawn, I am reminded of the golden hues that come to warm the stark cold nights in the dead of winter - those of the Chanukah flames. Just when we desperately yearn for an infusion of warmth, Chanukah comes around to reassure us that our light is never extinguished, that the flame in our soul is eternal, and that from darkness comes light.
The ongoing war against Israel is most visible at precisely the point where the effects of terrorism are concealed. If that sounds paradoxical, think of the bodies hurled into the void from the World Trade Center - only to immediately disappear from the television screens and the front pages of newspapers.
Seventy years ago this autumn, the Nazis rounded up my father, grandparents and some 6,000 other Jews, shipping them from southwest Germany to the Gurs internment camp in southern France.
On the evening of December 11, 1995, businessman Aaron Feuerstein was with family and friends at a restaurant in Boston. It was his seventieth birthday, and a group of well-wishers had gathered to throw him a surprise party.
I have written about John F. Kennedy in several Media Monitor columns over the years, focusing primarily on the media myth of Camelot that attached itself to the man and his administration almost immediately following his assassination (the term "Camelot" was never once used to describe the Kennedy presidency while Kennedy was still alive).
For Jewish-Americans, the December date that lives in infamy is December 17. For on that day in 1862, Major-General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order 11.
In our quest to be spiritual entities it is incumbent on us to learn Judaism's definition of a spiritual person.
My first visit to Israel in the summer of 1959 coincided to an extent with the trip by Rabbi Aharon Kotler, the great rosh yeshiva of Lakewood, who came to give shiurim at Yeshiva Eitz Chaim in Jerusalem and to campaign for Agudath Israel in the Knesset elections, as he had done previously in the decade.