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Society’s Proud Parasites

Growing up, I was taught the value of self-reliance. Dire straits may force a person to ask for financial assistance from his family, friends or community, but ordinarily, a self-respecting individual should not accept charity. "Better that one's Shabbos meals resemble one's weekday meals than to rely on others for help," the Talmud quotes Rabbi Akiva as saying (Shabbos 118a).

Obama And Israel: The Trust Is Gone

I consider the Obama administration's recent actions against the Israeli government to be outrageous and a breach of trust.

Unmasking Perpetrators: But They Seem Really Nice

They're usually especially friendly and charming. They often do plenty of public acts of chesed. This is done in order to look good and gain respectability and positions of authority - and unquestioned access to potential victims. And the fact is, they can do really nice things because they may actually be kind and intelligent people in some ways. But not in other ways.

Heeding The Cry Of The Unborn

Let's face it: it's unusual and even somewhat bizarre nowadays to encounter a family with more than two children. It is almost as if a war is launched against the unborn after a "red line" of two or three children has been reached.

When Great Men Fall

Soap opera-like debacles have stunned, stupefied, and dismayed our community. We have witnessed a prime minister, governors, and men of stature plummet to the depths of scandal and ignominy. Especially disconcerting and the epitome of paradox is when revered men, charged to exemplify God's Word, purportedly disgrace His Word instead. Why do great men fall?

Contemporary Plagues: Learning From Our Past

Very soon we will sit around the Seder table and tell the story of the Exodus. We have arrived at Z'man Cheiruseinu, the Season of our Freedom. The Children of Israel are about to leave Mitzraim. What a story. But it's not a story. It's reality.

U.S.-Israel Cooperation Pays Huge Dividends

Late last year in Oslo, a team of three American, British and Israeli scientists received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work that was done at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. This isn't a case of geographic happenstance, but rather a symbol of the remarkable success we've seen from the bilateral scientific collaboration programs that exist between the United States and Israel.

Kowtowing To Enemies While Mistreating Friends

The Obama administration reaches out to some of the world's worst regimes in the name of its engagement policy.

How Much Longer Will Obama’s Jewish Supporters Stick With Him?

Last summer, Alan Dershowitz wrote "Has Obama Turned on Israel?" in The Wall Street Journal, a defense of Barack Obama's policy toward Israel and, by extension, the numerous Jewish Democrats who had supported the president's election and stuck by him despite a rocky first few months in office.

Alexander Haig: A True And Faithful Friend

Last month, Israel lost a very close friend in Alexander Haig. During his confirmation hearings in January 1981for the position of secretary of state, Haig reiterated his commitment to the existing U.S. policy of not dealing with the PLO or other Palestinians opposed to Israel's existence.

Women, Modern Orthodoxy And Communal Leadership

The latest round in the broader canvas of debates about the approach of Modern Orthodoxy to the role of women in communal life has focused on the issue of learned Orthodox women receiving some form of rabbinic ordination and serving as rabbis or clergy.

The Risk Of Traveling With An Undocumented Nanny On Pesach

Are you considering buying a ticket for your undocumented nanny or housekeeper to accompany your family for Pesach vacation? Traveling for Pesach means lots of confusion, cleaning, washing stacks of dishes, and laundry - especially if you plan on renting an apartment or condo in Florida. If you're tempted to fly your nanny or housekeeper to your Pesach destination, you should know that even domestic travel may buy her a one-way ticket back to her home country with potentially severe legal consequences to you as her employer.

Next Year In ? – An Open Letter to Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod

Dear Rahm and David, I'm writing this as I sit and watch, live via the Internet, the ceremony marking the rededication of the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem, in the area you would classify "east Jerusalem," or "disputed territory," or perhaps "occupied territory."

Where Were Our Leaders?

We gathered on Manhattan's Park Avenue, diagonally across from the Waldorf Astoria hotel, on a balmy evening last week to serve as a counter-protest against those who would defame and denigrate the IDF.

Homosexuality And Halacha: Five Critical Points

This short essay will develop five critical points for responding to the voices within the broader community that seek to accept and legitimize homosexual conduct, an activity that directly contradicts the dictates of halacha.

A Long Memory

When the next U.S. presidential race kicks off in earnest in a year or so, we will remember today. When the Jewish electorate will be inundated with speech after speech iterating and reiterating what great friends Barack Obama and the Democrats have been to Israel, we will remember today.

A Jewish Call For Employee Rights

Last May, our organization, Uri L'Tzedek, officially launched the Tav HaYosher - "ethical seal" - to certify kosher restaurants that uphold three basic employee rights: the right to fair time, the right to fair pay, and the right to a safe work environment.

Memories Of A Beautiful Jew

He was a beautiful Jew. Anyone - Jew or non-Jew, religious or secular, chassidic or yeshivish, man or woman - who encountered or exchanged words with Rabbi Chaskel Besser came away with a smile, feeling a little more pleasantly disposed about the topic at hand or the world at large.

A Jewish Call For Employee Rights

Last May, our organization, Uri L'Tzedek, officially launched the Tav HaYosher - "ethical seal" - to certify kosher restaurants that uphold three basic employee rights: the right to fair time, the right to fair pay, and the right to a safe work environment.

Quit Stomping On Moderation

Digital images of the profoundly disturbing computer-smashing ceremony conducted by Rabbi Aaron Feinhandler have been viewed by countless thousands of Jews worldwide over the past few weeks.

Pluralism Is Not One-Dimensional

"Pluralism" has a reassuring tone. "Live and let live," people tell each other, and many religious groups - including Orthodox Jews - have flourished in America as a result.

Jewish Heritage Under Siege

Purim zaniness came early to Israel this year. Speaking at a conference in Herzliya at the beginning of February, Prime Minister Netanyahu called for the rehabilitation of Jewish heritage sites in the Land of Israel.

Shul, Faith, And Lollipops: Childhood Memories of My Family’s Rabbi

After receiving a recent e-mail, I found myself awash in a sea of memories. In the course of corresponding with a friend, I realized that the fourth yahrzeit of my family's rabbi - Doniel Schur, z"l - was rapidly approaching (21 Adar/March 7, 2010).

Tony Judt And The Velvet Genocide

In the New York Review of Books back in 2003, Tony Judt published his view that the Jewish state should be deleted. This was the predicate of his proposal to reanimate the corpse of the one-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Steeped in academic authority and writing during the overlap of the second Intifada with Bush's invasion of Iraq, Judt argued that Israel was a harmful anachronism. He was not the first to express an abolitionist anti-Zionism, but his prestige and timing led him to become the celebrity spokesman for the internationalist case against Israel.

Contrary to statements by the White House, the natural growth of Gilo, a popular suburb on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is in no way a political statement or a land grab on the West Bank.

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