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Posted on: January 10th, 2007

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Saddam Hussein grew up barefoot in a mud hut in the town of Takrit, north of Baghdad on the Tigris River. He never met his father. His mother, Subha Tulfah, was deeply disturbed, suicidal and homicidal. She repeatedly tried to kill the child in her womb. According to one, probably apocryphal, account, she jumped in front of a bus and screamed: “I am giving birth to the devil!” Some witnesses recalled the pregnant woman banging a door against her extended belly.

 

Posted on: January 3rd, 2007

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Gerald Ford, who passed away last week at age 93, was considered a solid friend of Israel throughout his long Congressional career.

 

Posted on: January 3rd, 2007

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Ten years ago I was newly married, newly immigrated to Israel, and newly enrolled as a Masters student at an Israeli University. In most of my classes I was the only Orthodox student, and at least once a semester every pro-fessor could be counted on to make a derogatory comment or two about Jews like me. We were hypocritical, primi-tive, etc.

 

Posted on: December 27th, 2006

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“Kotzo Shel Yod” (“The Point on Top of the Yod”), the 1887 poem by Judah Leib Gordon, includes a de-scription of the cruel harassment by rabbis of an un-fortunate agunah (literally, a “chained woman,” whose husband deserts her or disappears without divorcing her, thus preventing her from remarrying).

 

Posted on: December 27th, 2006

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Did you hear the one about Nelson Mandela, the pope, Mother Teresa and the Jew? Turns out they are the only non-Americans ever to have received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congres-sional Medal of Honor. The Jew? None other than our own icon of freedom, Natan Sharansky, the former refusenik and prisoner of conscience who earlier this month received his Medal of Freedom at the White House.

 

Posted on: December 27th, 2006

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The domestic and international debate about the Palestinians has become thoroughly detached from reality. On the one hand there are the friendlies. These include the Olmert government, the Israeli media, the Bush administration and some European governments. The friendlies say that the “moderate” Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah terror organization commander Mahmoud Abbas is the key to peace. Everything must be done they say, to strengthen Abbas against the Hamas terror organization, which they oppose.

 

Posted on: December 27th, 2006

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They number in the millions and wield increasing power and influence across the United States. From year to year their voice grows stronger and more resolute, as their role in shaping policy, and the future of American society continues to expand.

 

Posted on: December 27th, 2006

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A proposal for changing the laws of taharat hamishpachah (family purity) was recently raised in the Israeli newspaper HaTzofeh, based on the observation that adherence to these laws may be responsible for many couples experiencing difficulty conceiving. Healthcare professionals have named this phenomenon “Orthodox Infertility.”

 

Posted on: December 27th, 2006

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I grew up during the 1970's, universally acknowledged as a truly horrendous decade.

 

Posted on: December 20th, 2006

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Two years ago I was in Baltimore on business and happened to pass by the public menorah in front of Johns Hopkins University just as the first light was being lit.

 

Posted on: December 20th, 2006

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Many in the Jewish community have been comparing NK cult members to the kapos who collaborated with the concentration camp officers and other Nazis during World War II.

 

Posted on: December 20th, 2006

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“Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts,” the ISG report declares. America cannot “achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

 

Posted on: December 20th, 2006

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The report issued by the Iraq Study Group, headed by former secretary of state James Baker and former congressman Lee Hamilton, urges President Bush to adopt policies that amount to ignoring 13 years of Pal-estinian terrorism, incitement to hatred and murder of Israelis by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and failed concessionary Israeli policies, while at the same time calling for even more Israeli concessions to the Hamas/ PA regime.

 

Posted on: December 20th, 2006

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The failure of the noble American effort in Iraq marks the death of modern political idealism.

 

Posted on: December 20th, 2006

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If Neturei Karta (NK) did not exist, anti-Semites, Islamist terrorists, and neo-Nazis would have to invent it.

 

Posted on: December 13th, 2006

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Diversity in Judaism is common in our history and liturgy. One can visit many synagogues and observe that the order of davening and the text of siddur vary from shul to shul. When I'm in Israel I often attend the services in a Sephardi shul where the prayers and the sequence of taking the Torah from the ark and replacing it are vastly different from what I'm accustomed to.

 

Posted on: December 13th, 2006

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Doctor Leonard Samson, better known as "Doc Samson," strides down the corridor and into the classroom, massive muscles rippling beneath his skin-tight red costume. He sports a long mane of hair, just like his biblical namesake (except the real Samson's hair wasn't green, presumably).

 

Posted on: December 13th, 2006

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At the restaurant farewell dinner, Professor Dov Zlotnick asked the dozen or so students of his forty-year-running Saturday afternoon Talmud shiur to continue their learning despite his approaching retirement to Jerusalem.

 

Posted on: December 13th, 2006

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In late November, mobs in Paris once again shouted "Death to the Jew" - the very chant that came to characterize the Dreyfus case. The Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team had won its match with the Paris Saint-Germain team. An angry mob surrounded a French Jew named Yanniv Hazout and yelled "kill the Jew," "dirty Jew," "dirty Negro," with many raising their arms in Nazi salutes. A black French policeman rushed to Hazout's defense. The crowd threatened to kill them both. The officer fired his gun and killed one demonstrator and wounded another.

 

Posted on: December 13th, 2006

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The whole world seemed to be celebrating the composer Steve Reich's 70th birthday in October (October 3, to be precise). The New York Times ranked him "among the greatest composers of the century." The New Yorke rsaid he was"the most original musical thinker of our time." The Village Voice declared him "America's greatest living composer." The Guardian (London) summed it all up by stating, "There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history, and Steve Reich is one of them."

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