This week we read in the parshah about a tzaddik who changed the world forever. Yes, one man can change the world. What kind of man? A man who understands so strongly that God is real that he is not afraid of anyone or anything. He is not afraid to proclaim God’s Name and talk about His greatness. As King David says (Psalm 116), “How can I repay God for all His kindness to me? I will raise the cup of salvations and invoke the Name of God. My vows to God I will pay in the presence…of His entire people….”
The death of polymath Amos Kenan and recent Canaanite archeological finds at Beit Shemesh remind us once again of the obscure movement known as Canaanism, founded by a handful of right-wing Hebrew resistance fighters who decades later would become fountainheads of radical post-Zionism.
Recent Palestinian riots in Jerusalem’s Old City, combined with Palestinian claims that Israel is trying to “Judaize” Jerusalem, are part of a coordinated effort to deny Israel its long-held claim to the city as its eternal and undivided capital.
The loyalty of most American Jews to the Democratic Party and its current leader, President Barack Obama, is not in question. Yet while the ideology of the majority of their members and contributors is no secret, most major Jewish organizations, not to mention synagogues, attempt to stay out of partisan controversies, even while often espousing liberal causes.
I watched in horror, shock and disgust along with much of America as the likes of Libyan President Muammar Khaddafi and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad descended on New York to spread their anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American vitriol throughout the halls of the UN and on our news talk shows.
When Columbia University granted tenure to Associate Professor Joseph Massad, the school turned its back on the Jewish community.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent passionate address to the United Nations was very powerful and long overdue. Netanyahu’s words came the day after Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s most recent senseless anti-Semitic rant, in which he once again dusted off the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to accuse the Jews of holding the international community within its nefarious clutches, while also recalling the infamous 1975 UN resolution equating Zionism with racism.
Last week, in return for a video – not the freedom of a kidnap victim, but a video of a kidnap victim – Israel freed 20 Palestinian prisoners. This has to stop.
St. Louis University is the latest institution of higher learning to demonstrate that free speech on campuses begins and ends according to how well that speech conforms to existing political orthodoxies.
One of four Courage in Journalism awards to be presented later this month by Christiane Amanpour and Irshad Manjie, among others, will go to the Israeli journalist Amira Hass, whose unremitting critique of Israel serves as a veritable blood libel against the Jewish people.
Ask the average Jew on the street and he’ll tell you: Israel needs America in order to survive. Indeed, this view is so entrenched in the Jewish community that few dare question it. Just as a baby needs his mother and an injured person needs his crutches, it seems obvious to many that Israel needs America.
Since creating EndTheMadness seven years ago I have received all manner of correspondence, and it should come as no surprise that for every gratifying e-mail I receive there are plenty more that are disturbing in one way or another. But what if I asked you to guess which e-mails disturb me the most, even momentarily shaking my optimism that there really is hope for our society?
On January 20, President Obama’s longtime friend and adviser David Axelrod appeared at the Jewish Community Inaugural Reception and told the crowd he was there to do “a little kvelling.”
We call it “Simchas Torah.” It is the culmination of our entire holiday cycle. Pesach and Shavuos, then Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkos all lead up to one enormous day of simcha. Why do we associate simcha with Torah? And why is it the culmination of everything?
One of the most remarkable and poignant things about the World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust survivors and their families in Jerusalem in 1981 was a wall plastered with notes from survivors and their children looking for lost family members and friends.
There is more than a bit of gallows humor in the following Torah thought, which I’ve heard attributed to several gedolim over the years: Question: Why is it that our children do not ask “Four Questions” on Sukkos? After all, things are far from ordinary – arguably even more so than on Pesach – when we sit down to our first Yom Tov meal outdoors in the sukkah.
On the anniversary of the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001, we remembered the lives lost of friends, family and neighbors. We also renewed our resolve to rebuild, to bring to justice those responsible, and to challenge extremism wherever it exists.
The role of a public intellectual in a democracy is not one that is easily understood or described. In our contemporary media culture, where celebrity is measured solely by notoriety rather than the force of a person’s ideas, it is difficult to imagine how someone like Irving Kristol can be properly appreciated.
There he goes again. Jimmy Carter, former Jim Crow man, has accused millions of his fellow Americans of engaging in the type of racial politics that marked his political career for years, even up to the eve of the 1980 presidential election, which he has never apologized for or acknowledged.
Richard Goldstone – the primary author of a one-sided United Nations attack on Israeli actions during the Gaza war – has now become a full-fledged member of the international bash-Israel chorus. His name will forever be linked in infamy with such distorters of history and truth as Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and Jimmy Carter.
The huge “9/12” protest in Washington was the latest expression of discontent over President Obama’s leftward policy thrust. The discord is evident from the Tea Party movement to the chaotic town halls on health care reform.
In the fall of 1988, I began a new chapter in my life. It had been almost a year since I delivered my bar mitzvah speech in my family’s warm suburban synagogue and just a few months after I’d completed eighth grade at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland – the Jewish day school I had attended since pre-kindergarten.
The UN’s Goldstone Commission report on the Israeli army’s behavior in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead is a mockery of history.
Amid the media firestorm over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's annual propaganda turn on the world stage addressing the UN General Assembly, let’s not lose sight of the need to get tougher on Iran.
If J Street, the new left-wing Israel lobby, wants to be taken seriously by mainstream American Jewry, I suggest it immediately stop the patronizing argument that all those who disagree with the organization are ossified Jewish knuckle-draggers who see an anti-Semite behind every corner.