In February, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled the Tal Law discriminatory and unconstitutional in a vote of six to three. The law, which provides exemptions for young men studying in yeshiva full time, has been the subject of much criticism and controversy.
The world famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith said it best: “There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.”
Since Oslo we have had some Israeli governments emulate Neville Chamberlain’s foolish position. While the current government has not done so, there certainly is vast room for improvement in the presentation of Israel’s case to the world.
How do we rectify the sin of the spies? By doing the exact opposite of what they did. We need to love Israel with all our hearts, and to take every measure that is antithetical to rejecting it. Because the original sin was committed through slanderous speech and scare tactics, we can repair the damage by focusing on positive, empowering speech for Israel.
Notice the amazing historical confluence of the ingathering with the communications revolution: just as the Jewish people were set to start off on the adventure of building a state in the Middle East, so too did the technology to communicate and broadcast globally explode - from the wire, to the radio, to the TV, to the internet, to the iPhone - there are no boundaries to the exchange of information.
On January 31, my family’s world was turned upside down. I received a phone call from my mother early in the morning. “Go to Baltimore, your sister is sick. Daddy and I are flying up today [from Florida]. Her organs are shutting down. It’s bad.”
Tonight I installed an Internet filter. I have always disliked filters as they slow down my computer and have been an annoyance. But the asifa at Citi Field focused my attention and an extra safeguard is worth infinitely more than the discomfort it engenders.
Most discussions of the recent gathering at Citi Field have focused on the logistics of the event and the topic – the dangers of the Internet. With such a focus, however, we may very well be missing something of great importance. What struck my attention was the name of the organization staging the event: Ichud HaKehillos Letohar HaMachaneh, or the Union of the Communities for the Purity of the Camp.
The Bible introduces us to many fascinating and inspiring personalities, righteous men and women whose example of piety continue to guide and uplift us to this very day. There are some, however, to whom we can relate in an especially powerful way and whom we can truly strive to emulate.
The Middle East is becoming quieter. No, the swords are not turning into plowshares, it’s not that kind of quiet. Instead, it is the sound of truth that’s slowly being silenced. And it’s happening not only because the PA grows stronger, but also because the West grows weaker.
Pastor Hagee, I once heard you say at a fundraiser in Jerusalem: “Don’t tell me you love me, show me you love me.” Now I say that very phrase back to you - Don’t tell me you love me, show me you love me by harnessing the power of CUFI and Christian Zionists to defend Jerusalem from bad US policy.
Let's face it: Netanyahu took the National-Zionist MKs' lunch money and then dumped them upside down in a trash can. They lost because they played naively and poorly. It was 'amateur hour' out there.
By bus Lidice is a 35-minute ride from Prague. It is a ten-minute walk from the Lidice bus stop through the well-kept gardens to the main building and entrance of the Lidice Memorial Museum. In the season of bloom the gardens display thousands of roses. There is little that suggests the vast human tragedy that transpired there in the course of one night seventy years ago.
Our sages teach us that when we have left this life and face the Court on High, we will be called upon to answer for our lives. Among the questions we will be asked is, “Did you throughout your lifetime eagerly await and anticipate the geulah, the ultimate redemption?”
In a recent speech, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that Israel consider unilaterally disengaging from Judea and Samaria. "If it is impossible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians,” he said, “we should consider an interim arrangement, or even a unilateral disengagement.”
A poll conducted by the liberal Workmen’s Circle and published last week should reassure liberals that their views still predominate in the Jewish community, but it provided little comfort to those hoping President Obama can come anywhere near his 2008 share of the Jewish vote.
Only a heartless person, bereft of morality, lacking any understanding of the concept of the rule of law, and driven by an intolerable urge for destruction can determine that the Ulpana Hill homes must be destroyed. This is an unacceptable outrage in the Jewish state which must show a minimal degree of morality, justice and respect for the law.
Last month we saw something historic in Israeli politics – the largest unity government ever formed. Unlike most unity governments, this one was born neither from a sense of national emergency nor from an era of national euphoria, where political differences fade. Instead, this coalition was induced by the threat of the ballot box and is a result of Israeli politicians’ strategic dedication to either keeping their seats or scoring the slot above them in the next coalition jig.
The Third Jewish Commonwealth has accomplished remarkable growth and productivity in its first six decades, and inspires the world with its resourcefulness. Yet as a young country, Israel has much room for improvement. Here are the Top 12 most pressing issues facing the reborn nation today:
Since becoming the first ordained rabbi in Jamaica in thirty-three years, I have been working tirelessly with my community to build a Jewish future on this tropical island. Every Jewish community wants to survive and indeed thrive, but there is a particular importance to the preservation and development of the world's small, history-rich Jewish communities.
By the time he was 26, Jan Karski had been imprisoned by the Soviets, tortured by the Gestapo, and nearly drowned while escaping from a hospital in German-occupied Slovakia.
Religious Jews have been getting more than their usual share of negative press lately. The papers have been full of allegations of sexual abuse...
The forthcoming debate over an updated Tal Law – the parameters for service by haredim in the Israel Defense Forces – is liable to become heated and nasty. Mutual accusations will be hurled, with one group asserting that mandatory military service is part of an ill-disguised war against Torah and the other side seeking an equal sharing of the defense burdens that fall on most other Israelis.
The past is never dead. It’s not even past. – William Faulkner We Jews are a people of memories. Our past defines who we are. The past infuses our religious lives with context, purpose and meaning. How could we be if not for knowing how we were?
We know that genuine halachically viable solutions to the agunah problem are hard to come by and might not even be within our grasp. But we also know the agunah problem can be functionally solved in practice, even if not in theory, and the solution is clear and obvious.