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.
On Oct. 8, 1973, two days after the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban delivered the following address to the UN General Assembly. Of particular interest are the references to Anwar Sadat, whose image had not as yet been transformed into that of a peace-seeking visionary, and to the foresight of Israeli leaders in refusing to relinquish any territory in the absence of a workable and sustainable peace treaty.
In August, the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) brought together some 110 scholars to present papers and share ideas relevant to the theme of "Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity." The conference had as its seemingly straightforward, and productive, objective to further the initiative's primary role of identifying and seeking to explain current manifestations of the world's oldest hatred.
With Israel surrounded, as ever, by implacable enemies and forced to endure withering assaults of negative international opinion, we can take needed comfort and learn an important lesson from the Torah context of some key phrases in the Yom Kippur liturgy we recited just days ago.
It was no ordinary walk home on Yom Kippur night a year ago. The clear air was the kind lungs get high on. The moon's bright essence in a star-studded sky lit my path along the familiar yet now deserted winding country road. Even the crickets' rhythmic chirping seemed muted in the surrounding stillness.
"I want a new me. But every year after Yom Kippur it seems the 'old' me is still here. After all those heartfelt prayers! The shofar blowing! Fasting! Crying! What happened to all my good intentions?"
A standing-room-only crowd of mourners paid tearful tribute Monday night to Yoseph Robinson, the beloved liquor store employee gunned down last Thursday as he tried to protect his girlfriend from a masked gunman.
The most dramatic and important political change in Israel over the past 20 years has been the transformation of the Israeli Left from a movement of political naivet? to one of, in an increasing number of instances, political sedition.
Our world is divided into two groups: those who support Israel and those who do not. There is no middle ground.
Among the bitterest aspects of the ancient tragedies commemorated during our recent national period of mourning was the crushing disappointment felt by the Jewish people when we were betrayed by our erstwhile allies: "I called for my friends [those who had professed love for me] but they deceived me" (Eicha 1:19).
Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell's recent proclamation of Confederate History Month provoked a firestorm of criticism, with many accusing him and those who commemorate their Southern ancestors' bravery of ignoring or even defending slavery.