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God Loves Our Lost Children – And So Must We

29 Shevat 5774 – January 29, 2014
The road back is paved with love, understanding, hugs, and honest communication.

Do Statistics Tell The Real Story? Reflections on U.S. Jewry

22 Shevat 5774 – January 22, 2014
This past autumn the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project released the findings of its survey of American Jews. “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” immediately won the attention of a good number of American Jews and became the focus of considerable media coverage.

‘No Lord, Not Me!’

15 Shevat 5774 – January 15, 2014
Humility is perhaps the least understood quality a person may possess. Often it is perceived as a form of meekness, a reticence that stems from a lack of self-confidence or an unwillingness to stand up and assert oneself. But that is far from what true humility is.

The Hidden Roots Of Redemption

8 Shevat 5774 – January 8, 2014
At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary "death" Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u'matar livrachah - dew and rain for a blessing - upon the earth.

Religion In America, Past And Present

1 Shevat 5774 – January 1, 2014
A president who today used the language of FDR or JFK would be derided. If he were a candidate, the media elites would bury his chances of winning the election. He would be a laughing stock to the aimless young people whose uninformed opinions on public affairs seem to matter more than they should.

The Disposable Student

23 Tevet 5774 – December 25, 2013
An educator must not be satisfied until that soul he refuses to handle, love, nourish and develop is registered in another school, one more caring and embracing.

You’re Jewish – But Do You Believe In God?

16 Tevet 5774 – December 18, 2013
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.

The Promised Land Of Paradox

9 Tevet 5774 – December 11, 2013
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.

A Tragic, Shameful End

2 Tevet 5774 – December 4, 2013
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.

Eclipses, Red Moons And Chanukah

25 Kislev 5774 – November 27, 2013
"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.

What Pew Means For Us

22 Kislev 5774 – November 24, 2013
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.

The World’s Greatest Outdoor Museum

11 Kislev 5774 – November 14, 2013
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.

Kristallnacht: A Family Recollection

4 Kislev 5774 – November 6, 2013
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.

The Wyman Institute: A Decade Of Making A Difference

27 Heshvan 5774 – October 30, 2013
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.
Louis Rene Beres

Why Oslo Failed

20 Heshvan 5774 – October 23, 2013
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.

Citizen Yid

13 Heshvan 5774 – October 16, 2013
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.

Leading to Greatness

6 Heshvan 5774 – October 9, 2013
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.

The Rabbi Wore Battle Fatigues

29 Tishri 5774 – October 2, 2013
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.

Best of Times, Worst of Times

21 Tishri 5774 – September 25, 2013
As the Torah teaches, poverty will never be eradicated, nor will our obligation to assist those in need.

War and Sukkos

14 Tishri 5774 – September 17, 2013
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.

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