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.
Tens of thousands of Jews filled Citi Field in Queens on Sunday and heard from haredi Orthodox leaders that the Internet should be avoided in the home at all costs and used sparingly at work, and then only with a filter blocking content that could be damaging spiritually.
There are few societies where the contradiction between Holocaust distortion and Holocaust commemoration is as pronounced as it is in the Netherlands. This phenomenon came to the fore earlier this month on National Memorial Day, May 4, designated to commemorate the many victims of the German occupier. One hundred thousand Dutch Jews – more than 70 percent of the country’s pre-war community – were by far the largest group of victims.
Last year’s Arab Spring is quickly becoming an Islamic Spring, with dire consequences for Israel. Israel, already surrounded by enemies, now faces a newly empowered Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the west and a wave of new protests and opposition tactics in Jordan to the east. To the north, Iran’s regional proxy, Syria – along with its allies in Hizbullah – continues to suppress its people, contributing to destabilization just across the Golan Heights.
Imagine if the NAACP had responded with skepticism to the passage of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and urged African Americans to exercise their civil rights cautiously under this law. Title VI was landmark legislation when it was passed in 1964 to remedy racial and ethnic discrimination in programs receiving federal funding.
It's called the Viper. It is a computer virus. Open it once and it propagates and grows in every other file that is opened. And last month it struck Iran. That's the third computer virus to hit Iran in the past eighteen months. But this one, the Viper, is different from the others.
We’ve been hearing a lot from Jewish Democrats and the administration itself that Barack Obama is the best friend Israel has ever had or, as in Joe Biden’s fractured fairy tale version of history, “has done more for Israel’s security than any president since Harry Truman” – a president who actually did nothing for Israel’s security.
The victory of the Jewish idea is celebrated on Lag B'Omer. It fits neatly between Israeli Independence Day and Yom Yerushalayim. These three days are all driven by the same spirit: the liberation of Jewish peoplehood, the return to the land, and the reemergence of authentic Jewish culture.
I recently was challenged by an academic who claimed to be dumbfounded that I rejected as absurd his use of the term “Apartheid Wall” to refer to Israel’s security barrier fence.
What a difference a year makes. Last year I praised President Obama for not wanting to “spike the football” by releasing gruesome death photos of Osama bin Laden. But this year, forget spiking the football – the president is doing an end-zone dance.
The Koby Mandell Act created the Office of Justice of Victims for Overseas Terrorism in the Department of Justice, to ensure that all American citizens, irrespective of where they were killed or maimed, would get the justice under American law they deserve. I naively thought that the 54 American citizens who had been killed by Palestinian terrorists and the 83 who had been wounded would finally get a crack at the American justice they so richly deserved.
As moviegoers over the weekend flocked to see Marvel’s new superhero ensemble, they would understandably associate the idea of avengers with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Black Widow.
I have long felt the holiest Jews are members of the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces. At countless rallies I’ve called out from the heart, “Blessed is the nation that has as its army the Israel Defense Forces.”
For anyone with historical memory the expulsion of Jews – by the Romans, English, French, Spaniards, Nazis, and Muslims – instantly evokes tragic episodes in Jewish history. Now the state of Israel expels Jews from their homes. Something is amiss in Zion.
It’s beautiful how much emphasis there is on Shabbat and holiday celebration in the Orthodox community. However, celebration of the values of health and exercise is sorely lacking. Parents often don’t stress health and exercise for their children, and day schools fall short when it comes to creating rigorous health programs.
Benzion Netanyahu – historian, one-time political activist and father of Israel's prime minister – died Monday in Jerusalem at 102. An accomplished scholar and the patriarch of one of Israel's most important political families, he also played a surprising and little-known role in American political history.
For me, Israel is personal. I was born as Israel’s War of Independence raged, just weeks after the state’s miraculous birth. As I lay in the hospital room with my mother, the windows shattered with the relentless attacks of those who sought, once again, to destroy us – this time not on their bloodstained soil but on our own sacred land. Once again, by God’s hand, we prevailed. The few against the many. The weak against the so-called strong.
It was a few days before Passover when I first heard the horrific cackling. “What,” I asked family members, is that? It sounded just like the longtime leftist agitator Shulamit Aloni. But it wasn’t.
Many supporters of Israel are bedeviled by a glaring contradiction in Israeli political life. How can it be that, regardless of which party wins an election, leftist policies are invariably implemented?
The recent shooting of four police officers in the normally tranquil Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn (bringing the total to eight cops shot so far this year) has confirmed a dangerous double standard that threatens the safety of police officers and all New Yorkers throughout New York. It must be confronted.