In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
I just want to recount a hurtful incident that occurred recently. I went to a supermarket in Boro Park for my Pesach shopping along with three Argentinean Jewish friends. They were wearing jeans but were appropriately covered. As we entered the store, a middle-aged man with a beard went up to the three women and in Spanish asked, “Are you Jewish?” When they replied that they were, he said, again in Spanish, “Well, if you are Jews then dress like Jews.”
If you are reading this, sir, just know you caused an incredible desecration of God’s name and nearly drove away three women looking to buy their only kosher for Pesach food for their homes. Are you happy now?
I watched the news last week with horror. Not because of the alleged mishandling of Mr. Arthur Schick by the police, but because of the inexcusable reaction by members of the Boro Park community. What a chillul Hashem! For Jews to behave in such a way… I almost have no words to describe how inappropriate this was.
Furthermore, I heard on the news the next day that many in Boro Park are upset about the “ongoing ticket blitz.” Well, guess what? You’re actually not allowed to talk on the cell phone or double-park (or triple-park, for that matter). So, yes, the police are going to give tickets. You live in New York, you’ve got to follow the laws. Speak to almost anyone from “out of town” and they will tell you that they hate driving in Boro Park. It seems that the mantra there is “bishvili nivra ha’olam.”
Why give people reason to judge us harshly? We are b’nai Hashem – let’s start acting like it.
While I was disturbed to hear the allegations that two policemen from the 66th precinct were unnecessarily rough on an elderly Jewish man when he was pulled over for driving while using his cell phone, what was even more disturbing was the behavior of teenage yeshiva students who took to the streets, setting off bonfires and burning a police car.
While I don’t expect them to be learning all day now that yeshiva is out for “bein hazmanim,” they should at least have the common sense to behave respectfully and not make a chillul Hashem. There is so much emphasis in our yeshivas on being careful with every single mitzvah we do on Peasch – on removing every crumb of chometz. Maybe a bit more emphasis should be placed on the spiritual chometz within.
Whatever happened to “Derech eretz kodma latorah”? (Maybe if it were mentioned somewhere that derech eretz is an important minhag it would have more credence.)
The Haggadah presciently admonishes us that “in every generation there are those who rise up to destroy us.” Today, we are plagued by genocidal Iranian leaders and Arab terrorists. Is it not therefore incumbent upon the Israeli government to cease the mad exodus from biblical lands?
Stop the craven concessions – dayenu, it would be enough for us.
Stop the immoral expulsion of Jewish pioneers – dayenu, it would be enough for us.
Stop the territorial withdrawals – dayenu, it would be enough for us.
Let us hope that at this year’s seder Israelis will comprehend and subsequently actualize the ultimate tenet of Passover – the miraculous return of the Jewish people to all sectors of the Promised Land.
In recognizing the meaning of such momentous events, Israelis will wisely pass over Quartet road-map enslavement for national freedom and “a new light will shine upon Zion.”
Next year may we celebrate the Festival of Freedom in an undivided Land of Israel and its indivisible eternal capital, Jerusalem.
I am deeply troubled by Moshe Feiglin’s declaration that Arabs, to whom he ascribes Ishmaelite ancestry, are, like Ishmael, “wild men” who “live by their sword – by robbery” (column, “Terror Is Not the Enemy,” March 31).
I am disturbed on several levels. First of these is the supposition that today’s Arabs descend from Ishmael. This blanket assessment fails to account for the commingling of peoples over the centuries. Some Arabs probably descend from Ishmael, but they descend as well from other ancestors. Even within one Arab country, such as Egypt, the sources of descent vary widely among the citizens. Taking into account the vastness of the Arab world, its ancestral sources are certainly many and varied. (Some Arabs may even descend from Jews!)
Second, Feiglin assumes that because Ishmael had a particular trait, all his descendants share, and are primarily governed by, this trait. Even if we grant this assumption, should we likewise grant that a person cannot overcome his innate tendencies? If that is true, then the person cannot be faulted for his malevolent acts, whereas they stem from a trait over which he has no control.
Moreover, the Talmud teaches us that Ishmael, toward the end of his life, repented and died a righteous man. If Ishmael, the “wild man” himself, was able to win his inner struggle, then certainly his descendants have the ability to do so.
Most disturbing is Feiglin’s willingness to tar an entire group of people with a negative brush. Jews have suffered greatly from just this sort of prejudice. We must be equally wary about casting other groups in a broad, negative light.
According to news reports, Degel HaTorah spiritual leader Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv instructed MKs Avraham Ravitz and Moshe Gafne to recommend to President Katsav that he ask Ehud Olmert and his Kadima Party to form Israel’s new government.
Since an Olmert-led government would likely hand over much of the Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria to Israel’s genocidal enemies, one has to respectfully ask whether Rabbi Elyashiv is concerned with Hamas’s stated goal of destroying Israel. Degel HaTorah cannot feign ignorance. Hamas has openly and brazenly stated that the destruction of Israel is its ultimate goal.
It is clear that Degel HaTorah’s political maneuvering is dictated mainly by its interest in fattening the coffers of its religious institutions. That this political/religious movement calls itself “flag of the Torah” is beyond obscene. How can it be that a Torah-abiding party would have a hand in policies aimed at disassembling the heart of Eretz Yisrael – policies that will lead to great shedding of Jewish blood once Hamas gains hold of Judea and Samaria?
The word “disgraceful” does not even begin to describe Degel HaTorah’s treacherous behavior.
Coping With Simchas
Re Ziona Greenwald’s article “Reasons to Celebrate” (op-ed, March 31):
Agreed, the need for attending simchas or, Heaven forbid, levayos, has been established. When may one may leave such functions and what are the host’s responsibilities to the sensitivities of his guests?
At weddings, the time devoted to being mesameyach choson vekalah seems indeterminate, subject to the enthusiasm of friends. Other types of simchas are often un-programmed and become a drag. Aside from the halachic issues involved with bentching, the fact is that after four hours, many people have just had it. This creates a dilemma those who made the effort to share in the simcha but now must either suffer the embarrassment of leaving early or sneak out.
At levayos, kavod hameis has come to be associated with the number of eulogizers and the length of their eulogies. This presents an unfair situation to those who have taken time off from work or other responsibilities and as such are embarrassed at having to leave “early.” Further, such people are unable to accomplish the mitzvah of levayas hameis properly.
Not starting on time is another serious factor in the equation.
When are “Reasons to Celebrate” over?
Shas and United Torah Judaism will also join the coalition in part to provide desperately needed funds for the poor, yeshivas, etc. Will the leading rabbis and politicians insist that the homosexual parade in Yerushalayim and the international week-long homosexual extravaganza scheduled for this August be canceled?
For almost three decades, the Agudas Harabonim – Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada – has followed the lead of its revered late president, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, who vigorously and actively opposed the homosexual agenda, its social goals and legislative initiatives. Rabbi Feinstein declared it a sacred obligation for all Jews to do everything in their power to oppose pro-homosexual legislation.
It is clear to members of Agudas Harabonim that Rav Feinstein would have insisted that a strong ironclad stipulation be included in the coalition agreement to prevent any type of pro-homosexual parade in Yerushalayim or any other part of Eretz Yisrael.
Agudas Harabonim urges the political parties and their leadership to prioritize this issue of the sanctity of our People and Land. This is an issue of vital concern to worldwide Jewry.
We know the Torah warns us not to permit the maaseh kenani practices of the Canaanites – which our rabbis interpret as homosexuality – to reoccur in the Holy Land, Our question to the rabbis: Aren’t these verses applicable to the situation in Israel today – specifically the push there for homosexual benefits, adoption rights and, yes, homosexual marriage? What signal does it send to the rest of the world if the haredi parties do not fight to the last shekel to prevent this ongoing and ever-burgeoning scandal and blasphemy?
We respectfully yet firmly and urgently request that the assistants to the Torah leaders alert them to the ramifications of this issue and let them know that the anxious eyes of millions of Jews and billions of Christians and Muslims are monitoring this situation.
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The Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam.
Palestinian youths from Hebron, though, who met with Israelis near Bethlehem to share their problems and insights have been forced to issue a statement distancing themselves from the meeting.
Benghazi isn’t likely to keep Hillary out of the Democratic field in 2016, but after 2008, she is justifiably paranoid.
Many of my fellow college students are quick to voice their acceptance of their LGBT friends, but they turn up their noses and frown slightly when they speak of a Hasid.
The growing revelations that the Obama State Department watered down public statements on the attack in order to cleanse them of any mention of al Qaeda and terrorism is a travesty.
We must confront Islamist groups with what Prime Minister David Cameron referred to as “muscular liberalism.”
Al-Qaradawi’s visit and statements also serve as a reminder that the Israeli-Arab conflict is centered, more than ever, around religion.
Everyone who reads newspapers should know at least one thing. Threats to annihilate Israel have always been unremarkable. Almost never, it seems, have Israel’s existential enemies sought any reason for concealment.
Mark Treyger, a candidate for city council in New York City’s 47th council district, met recently with the editorial board of The Jewish Press at the newspaper’s Boro Park office.
Israel’s government did not want to liberate Jerusalem. Or to be more specific, the Labor and National Religious Party ministers did not want to liberate Jerusalem. “Who needs that whole Vatican?” Defense Minister Moshe Dayan explained at the time.
Last Friday, the Western Wall underwent an unwelcome transformation from sacred site to media circus as the group known as the Women of the Wall sought to hold a decidedly non-traditional prayer service.
Two recent revelations have raised serious questions about the kind of government President Obama is running.
Readers of my monthly Baseball Insider column may have noticed its absence last week (the column appears in the second issue of every month). The reason for that is I have something more serious and personal to share with you, something that didn’t seem appropriate for a baseball column.
Let’s think what OUR interest is, and act according to it.
This past Friday, I went shopping at a local supermarket and noticed a piece of paper on the floor with what looked like Hebrew lettering. On closer examination, I was shocked to see that this small pamphlet with some form off advertising contained the full text of “Krias Shma al Hamitta,” (the Shma Israel recited [...]
Dear Editor, I read with interest Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu’s February 24, 2013 article entitled, Women of the Wall Rabbi Calls Knesset Achashverosh. In 2003, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision that allows Women of the Wall to pray at the Kotel once a month on Rosh Hodesh. That is why Women of the Wall only [...]
Today is my brother’s second yartzheit and a Torah was dedicated in his memory.
I know that some people in heterosexual families see themselves as underdog victims harassed by threatening gays.
In Praise Of Marc Shapiro (I) I thoroughly enjoyed Elliot Resnick’s interview with Professor Marc Shapiro (“Things Once Taken For Granted Are Now Considered Unacceptable,” April 27). It’s a real credit to The Jewish Press that the article ran at all, which is a sad commentary on the state of Orthodoxy today and the fearful, [...]
Correct Distinctions Kenneth Levin’s April 20 front-page essay (“The Empty Rage of Jewish ‘Progressives‘“) makes precisely the correct distinctions between Alvin Rosenfeld’s monograph and the responses of his detractors. If they don’t want to be lumped together with self-styled progressives who delegitimize Israel, they should watch the company they keep. Richard Sherwin(Via E-Mail) No Debate Lately there [...]
Independence Day The celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut is a declaration that the Nazis failed to obliterate four millennia of Jewish life. But while we’ve earned the right to rejoice, let there be no illusions. Once again, the very nations that stood idly by while millions of innocent Jews were slaughtered are jeopardizing Israel’s survival. The [...]
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