Recently, while doing research for a news article I was writing for The Jewish Press, I found myself watching a YouTube clip concerning Jewish homosexuals. About two minutes into the clip, my heart suddenly dropped. There speaking on my computer screen was a young man I had once known as a sweet frum boy. Today - as I discovered from the YouTube video - he is an open homosexual.
A massive fly-in of pro-Palestinian activists into Ben Gurion Airport is the most recent anti-Israel provocation to be announced. It is yet another ostensibly non-violent act by some of Israel's enemies for which the Israeli authorities will have to find an adequate answer.
I have witnessed a revolution. On a recent lecture tour that took me to Australia and South Africa, I hardly found a major mainstream synagogue without a Chabad rabbi. Shuls that once swore they would not invite in Chabad are now attracting large numbers of new members under the helm of young and charismatic Chabad rabbis. Many of them are the biggest shuls in their respective countries.
There is an urgency in the two Torah commandments whose obligation is constant and ever-present: to learn Torah and to repent. The Torah is clear about this urgency in the Shema: "These words, which I command you this day, make them as a sign upon your heart and between your eyes "
Having walked through the Valley of Death, I feel I can understand Shavuos better. My wife and I just returned from Auschwitz and other tragic sites in Poland. We were never there before and I had thought we never would be, but an opportunity arose and we took it. What does this have to do with Shavuos? Everything.
The enthusiastic response Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received when he addressed Congress on May 24 came from both sides of the aisle. Democrats and Republicans both took part in the numerous standing ovations.
Berachah - blessing - says the Gemara, is found only in things that remain unwatched and out of sight. Hasbara - the way Israel explains itself to the world - might be in better shape taking a cue from that Gemara.
The New York Times got it right. In an editorial published on Thursday May 19, the Times castigated the Vatican for issuing "flimsy guidelines" for combating the sexual abuse of children by the clerical hierarchy.
On Shavuot we celebrate God giving us the Torah, represented by the Ten Commandments. We will explore them here through a broad lens, showing how they apply to our daily lives. We will focus on the First Commandment, the foundation, and the seven commandments phrased in the negative, which tell us what not to do, discussing both sides: the negative (avoiding what God hates) and the hidden side, the positive (doing what He loves).
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally left the U.S. after a week of exhausting, and surprising, diplomatic highs and lows, a number of unsettling questions were left in his wake.
President Obama's speech at AIPAC straddled the line of a Jackie Masonstandup routine. It turns out that when the president said last Thursday that Israel should return to its '67 borders, it wasn't exactly what he meant. Who said I was referring to 1967? I meant 1867. I didn't mean CE, I meant BCE. And why did you assume I was talking about Israel's border? I was talking about French Guyana's borders.
Dear Mr. Brisbane, Your newspaper recently published an op-ed written by Mahmoud Abbas, the unelected president of the Palestinian Authority.
Animals are advancing in the Netherlands and Jews are regressing. There are many examples of this. A large building project was halted recently because it was the habitat of a protected owl. However, the habitat of the head of the Dutch Rabbinical Seminary, Rabbi Raf Evers - easily recognizable as a Jew by his clothing - is not protected. Due to aggressive behavior the rabbi has encountered - mainly from Muslims - he no longer uses public transportation and ventures out of his home as infrequently as possible.
When President Obama spoke last week of the opportunities presented by the Arab Spring, he got a lot right. His calling out of the Arab states was long overdue and dead on. But he got some big things wrong.
It is a compelling story: a thirteen-year-old boy, whose family was forced from home as wartime refugees, still yearning more than six decades later to return.
In reaction to the Palestinian Authority-Hamas unity deal signed in Cairo, Israel decided to turn off the spigot. It halted the transfer to the PA of over $100 million in customs and tax revenues.
I wish I could take you all on a visit to my country and show you what Europe has become. It has changed beyond recognition as a result of mass immigration. And not just any mass immigration, but mass immigration driven by Islam.
High praise and gratitude are due Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the NYPD's intelligence Division for their extraordinary work in again uncovering and preventing a plot by Muslim fanatics to unleash terror against religious targets.
It often seems that it's always open season on teachers, that they are available for target practice in the form of harsh criticism or verbal and written abuse from current parents, former parents, current students, former students, administrators, lay leaders and, in the case of public education, public officials and the media.
The death of Osama bin Laden has some symbolic value, particularly for theUnited States. A great power exercises influence not just through its military and economic assets, but through its prestige. A power that can be relied on to punish its enemies, no matter how long it takes, and reward its friends will be respected, and that respect will figure into the calculations of other nations as they pursue their interests.
It's inevitable that the joy and national unity over the killing of that monster bin Laden would cool. Already we're debating the journalistic and political ramifications. President Obama told CBS he wouldn't "spike the football" by releasing photos proving Osama is dead.
Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which controls Gaza, have formally signed a unity agreement.
An old Jew, stripped to his ill-fitting pajama bottoms, his ribs pronounced in his emaciated frame, is being mocked as he is kicked and prodded through a double line of soldiers.
It's a basic principle. When rejecting the proposed solution to a clear problem, give an alternative. On May 3, Agudath Israel of America issued a statement critical of the soon-to-debut Magen Tzedek certification under Conservative auspices. Magen Tzedek's seal certifies adherence to high standards regarding labor, treatment of animals, safety, environmental concerns and corporate integrity in the products that bear its seal. The statement's basic point is valid; its failure to concede the problem and to offer an alternative solution is not.
The day after last week's announcement of a Fatah-Hamas rapprochement in Cairo, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas said he would keep pursuing peace talks with Israel. Almost concurrently, top Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said Hamas would stick to its stance of neither recognizing nor negotiating with Israel, but "if Fatah wants to negotiate with Israel over trivialities, they can."