"What a depressing book!" is a common response to reading Sefer Kohelet. It seems at first glance that Shlomo HaMelech, the wisest of all men, is telling us there is no purpose to all of man's efforts, whether intellectual, material or social.
The use of double standards against Israel has permeated large parts of the world's mainstream. One finds it at the United Nations, among governments, in major media, academic institutions, NGOs, liberal churches and trade unions.
I read Nicholas D. Kristof's New York Times column of October 6 with its headline "Is Israel Its Own Worst Enemy?" and concluded on finishing it that it is Kristof who is truly an enemy of Israel.
In May 1967 Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook spoke to his former Mercaz HaRav students at their annual Independence Day reunion in Jerusalem. Usually a festive day of celebration, this year was different. Rabbi Kook sorrowfully recalled his feeling of despair nineteen years earlier, when the State of Israel was born: "I was torn to pieces. I could not celebrate." Suddenly he cried out: "They have divided my land. Where is our Hebron? Have we forgotten it? And where is our Shechem? And our Jericho - will we forget them?"
Will the Jewish vote, normally overwhelmingly Democratic, be up for grabs in 2012? That question became a subject of intense debate when a Republican was elected recently to the House of Representatives from New York's 9th Congressional District for the first time in 90 years.
In June, Israel's police commissioner, Yochanon Danino, announced the dissolution of Sa'ar, a unit that specializes in cases dealing with the exploitation of foreign workers and refugees along with other issues related to migration and human trafficking.
Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the Jewish year and it is also the strangest - because it seems to negate all that makes us human.
The Jewish debt to the Turks goes back centuries, to when the Ottomans took in thousands of Jewish refugees after the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions of 1492 and 1497. Moreover, when Israel was shunned for decades by nearly every Muslim country, it was Turkey that was Israel's military ally and commercial trading partner.
If Palestinian leaders indoctrinate their people to pursue genocide and TheNew York Times doesn't report it, is the indoctrination nevertheless of consequence?
During the High Holidays we increase the number of our prayers. We acknowledge God's kingship, beseech Him to forgive us and ask Him to grant us a new year filled with blessings. How do we make these prayers sincere and effective?
A fisherman once lived near the banks of a river. One evening, exhausted from his labors, he straggled home dreaming of what his life would be like if he were suddenly rich. Suddenly, his foot brushed against a leather pouch filled with small stones that lay on the path. Falling back into his reverie, he picked up the pouch and absent-mindedly began throwing the pebbles into the water.
Much of the world is getting ready to recognize a Palestinian state. The U.S. says it will veto any such measure in the Security Council. Other countries are going ahead with plans to vote for "Palestine" in the General Assembly - to grant "Palestine" embassy space, formal recognition, etc.
I've read suggestions by newspaper columnists and observers that events have overtaken Israel, that Israel is "isolating itself" in the Middle East. That view is wrong, and always has been wrong. Israel is not isolating itself - Israel is leading in the Middle East. Israel does not stand alone - Israel stands above as the one true beacon of freedom and opportunity in the Middle East.
According to the Talmud (Sanhedrin 97), Mashiach will arrive before the Jewish year 6000. This means the full range of spectacular prophecies and supernatural events associated with the End of Days must occur within the next 228 years.
President Roosevelt's response to the Holocaust is a serious issue that merits careful consideration of the historical facts. Listing FDR's Jewish acquaintances, or the number of Jews hired by his administration, tells us very little about his response to the Nazi genocide. A meaningful discussion of the issues needs to move beyond arguments along the lines of "some of his best friends were Jewish." And name-calling likewise does little to enhance understanding of the issues.
Dr. Rafael Medoff's articles contain half-truths, distortions and reflect out-and-out hatred for FDR ("Could Europe's Jews Have Been Rescued?" front page essay, Sept. 9; "While Six Million Lived," front page essay, Sept. 16).
One of the most bizarre controversies concerning freedom of the press and freedom of speech has been afflicting Israel in recent days. The basic question is whether there exists some sort of natural right to advocate the mass murder of Jews.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman thinks Republicans are knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. In the not-too-distant future he sees a Republican half-wit winning the presidency and dragging America back to the Stone Age.
Commemorating a national tragedy requires integrity. Memorial Day is not observed with proclamations of pacifism, nor should it be. December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, is properly remembered as the day that will "live in infamy," not as a plea for international sensitivity.
When I moved onto the block not too many years ago, neighbors welcomed me. One brought over a cake, another came to visit Friday night, everyone was friendly and smiled, said hello on the street and chatted amiably when the kids would play outside.