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Posted on: January 5th, 2011

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Back in 2003 I wrote an op-ed for The Jewish Press titled "You Just Might Be an Assimilated Jewish Liberal," based standup comic Jeff Foxworthy's "You just might be a redneck" routine. It's time to revisit that theme, focusing on Israeli leftists rather than American liberals.

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Posted on: January 5th, 2011

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Mordecai Bienstock's Dec. 24 front-page essay - "Death of the Blue-Hat Jew?" - was an interesting, important, and for the most part accurate assessment of what is happening today in Jewish America.

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Posted on: January 5th, 2011

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I have always fashioned myself a wordsmith. No longer. Dr. Ivan Mauer was Naomi Mauer's husband and Mrs. Irene Klass's son-in-law, and both Irene and Dr. Ivan died virtually simultaneously. And I must confess: Ivan was not only my good friend and our family doctor, but also a congregant who respected me and loved me - and consistently squabbled with me. Yet I could not find a single word in the entire thesaurus that would suit him.

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Posted on: December 30th, 2010

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The recent episode of "The People's Court" featuring an Orthodox couple suing a laundry service for washing and ruining the woman's wig has once again put Torah Jews in a negative light. In addition to the show's regular viewers, countless others have seen a video of the trial and decision on the Internet.

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Posted on: December 30th, 2010

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'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except, of course, Henry Kissinger's publicists and strategists who decided that the slowest news day of the year was the perfect time for him to apologize, sort of, for telling Richard Nixon in 1973 that "if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern."

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Posted on: December 30th, 2010

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When I entered college, many of my classmates viewed me as an anomaly. I was a (mostly) observant Jew, and I was firmly entrenched in the school's creative arts community. As my religious friends prepared for careers in law or accounting, they were continuously astonished by my immersion in English literature - a course of study they considered a thoroughly impractical and esoteric subject.

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Posted on: December 30th, 2010

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Have you noticed? Some journalists, commentators and academics have a peculiar habit. When they wish to refer to the Israeli government, they do so by employing the term "Tel Aviv."

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Posted on: December 30th, 2010

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Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat recently expressed concern that Israel will launch a new large-scale attack on Gaza, following escalated rocket attacks on Israeli civilian areas.

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Posted on: December 22nd, 2010

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The tapes from conversations recorded in the Oval Office during the presidency of Richard Nixon have provided historians with a treasure trove of material giving insight into the character of one of the most reviled figures in American political history.

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Posted on: December 22nd, 2010

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Israel is a Jewish country - but can it continue to be so when Judaism threatens to destroy the state? The unfair longstanding attacks on Israel's legitimacy are a permanent stain on the international community. For over 60 years, Israel has valiantly grown under hostile conditions while fighting lies and half-truths in the international arena. Israel suffers doubly, however, when its very essence, its Jewish character, supports its opponents' narrative.

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Posted on: December 15th, 2010

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In recent days, one of the most important domestic controversies in Israel has revolved around rabbinic opinions. The media are representing this as a great debate over "racism." In reality, it is a great debate over freedom of speech and the rights of Israelis to express opinions disliked by its increasingly anti-democratic Left.

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Posted on: December 15th, 2010

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In our day, when news events do not always portray the Jewish community in the most favorable light, it is imperative that we have role models we can emulate. The recent passing of a famous legal scholar brings to mind two individuals who personify this description.

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Posted on: December 15th, 2010

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When the shrill sound of the telephone ringing shattered the silence in our home at 5:30 in the morning on Monday, October 18, I got out of bed and answered the call with great trepidation and a sense of dread. I realized that if someone was calling our house that early in the morning, it was in all likelihood not good news. The voice on the other end of the line belonged to my father-in-law, who, in a trembling voice, told me my sister-in-law had passed away suddenly. I then had to turn to my wife and gently tell her that her sister was gone.

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Posted on: December 15th, 2010

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The WikiLeaks revelations, if it is not sacrilegious to suggest, were a godsend to the Jewish state. They demolished the mantra of Israel's critics, President Obama conspicuous among them, who have incessantly proclaimed that the cornerstone of peace in the Middle East is a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Posted on: December 8th, 2010

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An old saying has it that "liberalism is always being surprised." That is the only possible explanation of Jewish expressions of "surprise" and "shock" that Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu in late October urged the South African Opera troupe to cancel its engagement to perform "Porgy and Bess" in Israel.

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Posted on: December 8th, 2010

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Anyone wanting to walk in the shoes of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff was in luck, as thousands of belongings from his New York penthouse, including pairs of designer shoes, recently went on the auction block, and often sold for far more than the pre-bid estimates.

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Posted on: December 8th, 2010

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For the past several years I have been involved with the modern-day miracle of the return of Jews to their ancient heritage following 500 years of exile. The people I refer to are known in Hebrew as anusim, a more positive term than the one often used - Marranos.

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Posted on: December 8th, 2010

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Congress has never seen a better friend of the observant Jewish community than Stephen Solarz, who died of esophageal cancer on the 22nd of Kislev. Yonoson Rosenblum's recently published biography of Rabbi Moshe Sherer describes Solarz as an "invaluable ally" for many Agudath Israel projects and there are 20 references to Solarz in the book's index.

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Posted on: December 8th, 2010

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This is the story of two Hungarian Jews and their diametrically opposed responses to the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust. The reactions and their consequences for Israel and the Jewish people to this day bear examination.

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Posted on: December 1st, 2010

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Nearly two decades into the 20th century, Jews were suffering the horrors of pogroms, mass expulsions, starvation and disease in Eastern Europe while Jewish soldiers in various armies were enduring the carnage of the battlefield. Amid the horrors, however, a glimmer of hope appeared.

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