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Posted on: December 18th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Of course, believing in God doesn’t make one Jewish. Many people identify themselves as Jews for a host of reasons other than believing in the God of Israel, and they are just as Jewish as the most pious Jew. Being Jewish is a birthright, not a belief right. According to halacha, anyone born of a Jewish mother is Jewish. Period.
Posted on: December 11th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.
Posted on: December 4th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Throughout the past week we have thanked Hashem for the improbable defeat of the powerful Seleucid forces by a small, untrained band of Jewish fighters. We also celebrated the story’s one open miracle, when the menorah’s lights burned for eight consecutive days following the Temple’s rededication.
Posted on: November 27th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
"Logically" speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.
Posted on: November 24th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Two months ago, the Pew Research Center issued a comprehensive study of American Jews and ever since the American Jewish community has been debating the findings. I have contributed my share to this debate, which concerns matters of critical importance.
Posted on: November 14th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Most areas of the city have a mix of peoples living in them who have daily contact with one another and who share the space. It just makes sense to have good relations with neighbors.
Posted on: November 6th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Seventy-five years ago on November 10 the Nazis unleashed a wave of terror, destruction and death known as Kristallnacht upon Germany’s Jews, a fearsome presage of the Holocaust. On that day, the childhood of my then-12-year-old father, Kurt Lion, of blessed memory, was abruptly and savagely ended.
Posted on: October 30th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
When Secretary of State John Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September to make the case for U.S. intervention in Syria, he offered a historical analogy.
Posted on: October 23rd, 2013InDepth → Front Page
There are many specific and readily identifiable reasons for the failure of “Oslo,” a term that – though originally signifying the accords signed twenty years ago between Israel and the Palestinians – has become a commonplace shorthand for the Middle East peace process.
Posted on: October 16th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
In recent years an important mitzvah has been largely forgotten by Klal Yisrael. Actually, it is not just a mitzvah that has been lost but an entire Torah value that impacts the very way we understand our world.
Posted on: October 9th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
The exchange was brief and simple in its content, yet profound in its implications. One morning this past summer, I davened at a shul in Passaic, New Jersey. Passaic was our new home as of mid-July, following nearly a decade of school leadership in other communities. After tefillah, I opened a conversation with someone who had also just concluded his tenure as a principal out of state. He informed me he had left the field of education entirely and had moved to the tri-state area to go into business with a relative. In the course of our talk, he mentioned that another colleague, also young by comparative standards, was not returning to the school he had helped found out west.
Posted on: October 2nd, 2013InDepth → Front Page
During the Yom Kippur War and its immediate aftermath, Rav Amital would travel from base to base, visiting his students. His frequent visits brought him into close contact with senior IDF commanders, and soon after the war he was asked by the upper command echelons of the IDF to be the rabbinic liaison between the army and the hesder yeshivot. The military even allowed him unfettered entry, in uniform, into IDF camps.
Posted on: September 25th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
As the Torah teaches, poverty will never be eradicated, nor will our obligation to assist those in need.
Posted on: September 17th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
They were lining up for gas masks in Israel. Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.
Posted on: September 11th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
A fisherman living near the banks of a river was making his way home one evening, exhausted from his long labors. As he trudged along the path, he dreamed of what his life might be like if he were suddenly rich. Just then, his foot brushed against a leather pouch. He picked it up only to discover it filled with small stones. Falling back into his reverie, he absent-mindedly began throwing the pebbles into the water.
Posted on: September 3rd, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Throughout our nation’s long history we have resided in countless countries and lived under numerous governmental regimes. For the most part, our existence in the diaspora has been difficult at best, intolerable at worst.
Posted on: August 28th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Achdus, unity, is a term that warms the heart. It is an ideal we all aspire to achieve but often find so elusive.
Posted on: August 21st, 2013InDepth → Front Page
For two thousand years, Jews exiled from their homeland and lacking political sovereignty were easy targets for elitist rulers on the right and the pseudo-egalitarian mob on the left. When Emancipation came and Jews exited the ghettos, Jewish self-made pitfalls were no less horrific, as many embraced the trendy “isms” of secular society only to spiritually assimilate and disappear from history. Yet despite the persecutions, on the one hand, and the enticements of some host countries’ cultures, on the other, the Jewish nation lives.
Posted on: August 14th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
Do you know what you are? I, for one, am not sure what to make of myself. Recently, while filling out a questionnaire on an Orthodox-content website, I was asked to identify myself by choosing one of several options – haredi, chassidish, Lubavitch, yeshivish, Sephardic, or Modern Orthodox.
Posted on: August 7th, 2013InDepth → Front Page
With the constant drumbeat of articles about “Orthodox” female rabbis appearing in the media almost weekly – essentially the same articles making the same points to the same eager audience, all to make the phenomenon of such “rabbis” seem commonplace – it is important to take a step back and examine how we arrived at this destination.
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