In late August, Jewish music sensation and Shlomo Carlebach/Bob Marley hybrid Matisyahu released "Light," his third album. Having enjoyed his first two albums immensely, and already humming some of Matisyahu's new tracks, I began to wax philosophical while listening to his newest compilation. I asked myself: Can we define ourselves by what we think of Matisyahu and his music?
Following in their mother's footsteps, Rabbis Yisroel and Osher Anshel Jungreis just published their first book (ArtScroll), Torah for Your Table, a collection of essays on the weekly parshah. Hineni founder and longtime Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis compiled the essays, which were originally delivered as lectures at Hineni's Torah classes.
Growing up in a wealthy, but very secular, Jewish home on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, Roy S. Neuberger never imagined he would one day be a sought-after speaker in the Orthodox Jewish world.
In the world of Orthodox blogs, few are as popular as Hirhurim.blogspot.com, run by Rabbi Gil Student. Visited over four million times since its founding five years ago, Hirhurim - which the Jerusalem Post ranked as the "Best Jewish Religion Blog" in 2005 - features informative, intriguing, and sometimes controversial discussions on halacha, Jewish philosophy, biblical stories, and more.
A recent study by the nationalist organization Mattot Arim ranked Dr. Michael Ben Ari of National Union number two in terms of Knesset members "most loyal to the right-wing's agenda in the Knesset term that just ended." (The Likud's Danny Danon finished first.)
According to the plaintiffs of a recent federal lawsuit, a conspiracy is brewing in the Five Towns. The plaintiffs allege that Lawrence's Board of Education has tried to "convert the [school board] into an Orthodox ruling committee, and to establish Orthodox Judaism as the official religion" of Lawrence.
Cancer. The disease that shall not be named. Hospitals and terminal illness are often associated with the elderly, those who have already lived a joyous and prosperous life. But what if your life has just begun? What if you are only on the brink of adulthood? What if you wake up one morning and feel two hard lumps on your neck and laugh while you force your friend to feel these lumps, the teacher in the front of the room shushing you to be quiet? What if you are just an ordinary girl in class one morning and then diagnosed with cancer the next afternoon?
Many of us who are children of the '90s - or who had children in the '90s - remember the popular television show "Blossom," which starred Mayim Bialik as a teenager confronting, and trying to survive, adolescence. After years away from Hollywood, Bialik now finds herself back in the spotlight with multiple guest-starring roles on cable and network TV shows. But there's another, more important part of her life to which Bialik has returned.
Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and a 2008 Republican presidential candidate, completed a three-day tour of some of Israel's holiest and most contentious sites last week with leaders of Ateret Cohanim.
Not too many rabbis spend their day trying to cure cancer. Fewer still own three dogs and a killer fish named Shalom on the side. But Rabbi Dr. Robert Shorr does and sees no inherent conflict or tension between his various activities.
I thought she would be with us forever. My beloved aunt Rhoda was 101, 102 or maybe 103 when she passed. Aunt Rhoda was one of the first people to see me when I was born and I was one of the last people to see her before she passed away.
Memo to the New York Public Library: I'm sorry that I still haven't returned several books by Livia Bitton-Jackson. They are a series of vibrant, touching memoirs of a young girl navigating her way through the world, both literally and on an emotional plane; the stories of a Holocaust survivor with wanderlust in a world that doesn't want to hear it are not easy to part with.
"If I want to just be a good mayor, I could fix the roads and pick up the garbage," says Yakov Asher, the new mayor of Bnei Brak, Israel, in an exclusive interview at the editorial offices of The Jewish Press. "But there's so much more we can do."
The Jewish Press spoke last week with Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sephardi chief rabbi since 2003, on the contentious issue of conversion to Judaism.
Suffice it to say that when I moved in with Dorothy, my friends were in shock. Most of them were planning to live in the more popular Washington Heights, whereas I had decided to remain in midtown Manhattan. Mostly, however, most of their astonishment was because I was 22, and Dorothy, or Mrs. Hilf, as I call her, was 95.
Victor D. Sanua, Ph.D., z"l, a pioneer in cross-cultural studies of mental illness, was also known for his studies on American Jewish communities and the Jews of Egypt, passed away July 12, at the age of 88 in Brooklyn, New York.
An Interview With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Alex Storozynski
The hottest event at the 18th Maccabiah Games currently being held in Israel could be the anticipated encounter between the American and Israeli men's basketball squads during the playoffs next week, a prospect that Bruce Pearl - the University of Tennessee and Maccabi USA coach - is actually counting on.
Not widely appreciated during his lifetime, composer Gustav Mahler famously predicted, "My time will yet come." And it did. Aaron Blumenfeld, a 77-year-old composer from the San Francisco Bay Area, hopes a similar future is in store for him - and the sooner, the better.
"When I first started," said Beverly Marcus, "I couldn't sleep the night before because I'd be so nervous, wondering what I'd do and how it would go. And then I wouldn't sleep the night after a class, either, because I was so excited. It really gives me a high."
I had recently had the opportunity to sit down with Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld, author of the new book, The Art of Kavana (Devora Publishing, July 2009) and discuss what it means to truly focus on yiddishkeit.
Tzipi Hotovely, 30, is the youngest member of Knesset and a rising star in the Likud party. She grew up in Rechovot and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bar Ilan University, where she served as editor of the Law Review.
The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent named him one of the top dozen "Jewish activists of the century." The New York Times called him "a relatively rare voice from the outset in the American Jewish community against the Oslo peace accords." The Wall Street Journal praised him as "wise, brave, and unflinchingly honest."
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, longtime spiritual leader of Chicago's Modern Orthodox Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, comments about his famous congregant, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; Jewish rights to settle in Israel; plans to build in the Negev; Orthodoxy and pluralism; and political talk from the pulpit.
In one of his thousands of aphorism-filled columns for The Jewish Press, Dr. Morris Mandel wrote, "Counting time is not as important as making time count."