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A Compendium of Recent Iranian Foreign Policy Proposals

Yigal Palmor of the Israeli Foreign Ministry sent me a compilation of recent Iranian 'foreign policy proposals'. Useful to have them all in one place. I don't know about you, but to me, they just don't sound reasonable.

Whose SImcha Is It Really?

The focus of a wedding and its source of simcha changes as one ages.

The Center of Jewish Culture is Already in Israel

The center of Jewish culture — spiritual, scientific, entrepreneurial, artistic — is today, as it should be, Israel. This was not the case in 1948 or 1967, but it is true now, and I can only expect it to become more true as time goes by.

Moral Behavior and Jewish Rights

Israel can theoretically negotiate a compromise with the Arabs in which it gives up land for an end to belligerency. There is a flavor of extortion here, but nevertheless Israel has a position from which to negotiate. But if Israel begins negotiating from the position that it is occupying someone else’s land, then the only thing there is to negotiate is the timetable for withdrawal.

Tears For Shavel

Recently, my wife Clary and I traveled to Lithuania to experience what remains of one of Judaism’s most magnificent centers of learning. My journey, organized by Zvi Lapian of Israel and led by the eminent historian and distinguished scholar Dr. Shnayer Leiman, took me to what was once the world’s center of Torah learning.

And The Gold Medal For Lying Goes To…

If there were an Olympics for lying, the winner of this year's gold medal for prevarication would be Egypt’s president, Mohammed Morsi. Of course heads of state lie, but rarely do they display it with such chutzpah. The recent sleight-of-hand involving a president-to-president exchange would shock even cynics.

Candid Camera, Egyptian Style

I never watched “Candid Camera” when I was a kid. We only watched The Wonderful World of Disney” and “Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.” My parents enforced strict TV rules. But as an adult, when I can watch whatever I please, I really enjoy those old shows and have made up for lost time when it comes to shows like “Candid Camera.”

The Future Of Young Israelis

When Israelis say, “I worry about my grandchildren’s future,” it has a radically different dimension than similar concerns expressed in many other countries.

Eternal Love Story

Parents know each child is different. Similarly, each month is different; each has a different “personality” and a different function. What is the nature of the month of Elul?

Obama, Not Israel, ‘Outrageously Cynical’

Right now the Obama administration is being very, very careful about saying what it thinks about Israel, not wanting to upset the electoral applecart. But the New York Times isn’t afraid to let it all hang out, as it did in today’s editorial on Israel and Iran. The Times is important because its positions are so closely correlated with those of the administration. At least on foreign affairs, the Times is Obama’s Pravda.

My Interview with Marvin Hamlisch

As the lights dimmed on Broadway for 60 seconds last night in memory of Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who died on Monday, I took a moment to reflect on the moment in 1976 when I interviewed Hamlisch.

The Greatest Misconception

Focusing on the relations between Israel and the Palestinians turns the conflict inside out. In fact it is driven by the absolute rejection of a Jewish state in the Middle East by all the Muslim nations in the region, which dates back to the beginning of Zionism, before the founding of the state of Israel, before the development of specifically Palestinian nationalism, and long before the 1967 war.

Time to Let Go of the Two-State Idea

“Israel’s moral standing” is not necessarily enhanced by failing to stand up for its legal rights and by, in effect, selling out the Jewish people.

A Radical Proposal for the Organizers of the Siyum HaShas

With all the well-earned accolades and fanfare that surrounded last week’s monumental Siyum HaShas, one would expect to find numerous direct references in the Torah mandating the study of Torah. It therefore comes as a great surprise that there is not one direct statement in the Torah commanding its study.

An ‘Ordinary’ Encounter With The Divine

It was not a necessary part of our busy itinerary. It was not even a noble errand. But the craving for a tasty lunch led our group to experience a moment never to be forgotten.

Zionism 2.0

As a child in the 1970s and ‘80s in the United States, I used to define Zionism in blunt, simple terms. If you wore a white shirt with blue pants on Yom Ha’atzmaut, you were behaving like a Zionist. If you had pictures hanging in your home with Israel themes, such as the famous June 1967 photo of the three soldiers standing by the Western Wall or the one of Begin, Carter and Sadat shaking hands at Camp David, that made you a Zionist.

Jew Vs. Jew

The Beis HaMikdash was destroyed due to sinas chinam, baseless hatred. With the Three Weeks and Tisha B’Av now behind us, have we learned anything from this national tragedy, or is history repeating itself?

Joseph’s Tomb Attack A Harbinger Of What Palestinian State Will Bring

Sunday's attack on Jewish worshippers at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus needs to be understood as something more significant than just another unfortunate instance of violence between Jews and Arabs. It is nothing less than a warning of what will happen once Palestinians achieve full sovereignty, as the Obama administration appears to be demanding, over all of the West Bank.

The Olympics Obsession With Body Glorification and Might-Makes-Right

There is nothing wrong with competition and testing the limits of the body, when it is coupled with mutual respect and ethical sportsmanship.

When Will Israel Attack Iran?

All of Israel’s wars involve the US as a silent ally or silent not-so-much-ally. The question of “what will the US allow Israel to do?” is almost as important as “what is Israel capable of doing?” And the timing of any action with regard to the upcoming election is very relevant to US behavior.

A Paradoxical Relationship

Let’s explain what is usually considered a major paradox: the US provides billions in military aid to Israel, enabling it to keep its enemies at bay. But at the same time its diplomats claim that they don’t know what the capital is, and the major thrust of US policy since 1973 has been to force Israel to withdraw to indefensible boundaries, despite the obvious damage to its security.

I Am Haredi

I am haredi. I was born in Brooklyn, went to mainstream haredi elementary and high schools, spent two years in Mir Yerushalayim and attended kollel at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, New Jersey. I wear a black hat on Shabbos and dark pants and a white shirt much of the week. My yarmulke is large, black and velvet, and being a frum and inspired Jew is my most basic self-definition, on par with being human and male.

Overhauling Orthodox Education To Make Better Jews

I am in shock. A friend of mine was visiting the United States and his ride to the airport for his return flight to Israel fell through. At the last minute he needed to find a ride to a terminal that was 50 minutes away in order to catch a bus to New York City where he would then take a shuttle to the airport.

Fifty Years After Eichmann Execution, Israel Thrives

Half a century ago in May, Israel hanged Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann for overseeing Germany’s extermination of six million European Jews, fully one-third of the world's prewar Jewish population. The murder of the six million staggers the mind. Such a vast breadth of our people, each of them with his own individual dreams, loves and aspirations, exterminated.

Sheldon Adelson’s Umbrella

Sheldon Adelson is again under attack in the media. This time the billionaire is being criticized for his effort to target Jewish voters in swing states including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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