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Thoughts On Richard Goldstone, Samantha Power, And Israel

2 Nisan 5771 – April 6, 2011
The subject of Judge Richard Goldstone came up quite frequently during my recent lecture tour in South Africa - at a dinner in Johannesburg at the home of Chabad head Rabbi David Masinter, where acquaintances of the judge were in attendance; at Sea Point Synagogue, South Africa's largest, where I lectured and whose rabbi, Dovid Weinberg, had officiated at Goldstone's grandson's bar mitzvah; at my speech for Chabad of Cape Town and later in Pretoria.

Who’s ‘Idiotic’ On Israel – Palin Or Obama?

25 Adar II 5771 – March 30, 2011
Sarah Palin is a magnet for criticism and sometimes she deserves it. But not always. Her statements while in Israel last week and about her visit afterward generated the usual scorn that anything she says produces.

The Unlikely Origin Of Beit HaRav Kook

An article by Dvora Waysman in the March 18 issue of The Jewish Press referred to the home of the first chief rabbi of...

What Drives Celebrity Anti-Semitism?

In a span of several weeks, a motley group of celebrities ranging from the composer of "Zorba the Greek" to a British fashion designer to an American television actor - as well as the Australian founder of WikiLeaks - have all manifested Judeophobia. What is this global celebrity outburst targeting Jews all about?

Religious Zionist Outreach Takes Israel By Storm

Something different is happening in Israel. It's been going on for a few years already. Now it's just about everywhere: The presence of Dati Leumi kiruv movements. Israelis are used to seeing Chabad of course, and some attend lectures by Arachim and Aish HaTorah. But this is new. For the first time, you can find Jewish outreach stands manned by individuals wearing kippot serugot at shopping malls, bus stations and major intersections throughout the country.

What Happened To Faith?

As an Orthodox rabbi living and working on Manhattan's Upper West Side, I'm thrilled to see so many single men and women actively involved in Torah and mitzvot. This is also the case in Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, and wherever else singles are found. Whereas in the not so distant past the observance level of many Orthodox singles dropped the longer they remained single, today there are more scrupulously observant single men and women than ever before.

Poland Must Return Nazi-Confiscated Properties

18 Adar II 5771 – March 23, 2011
My childhood was full of magical, well-known tales about characters like Tevye the Milkman, as well as tales of love and joy and everyday life in the shtetls of Poland, told with warmth and wit by my grandparents.

Grievance Politics Barks, King Hearings Move On

The hearings convened by Representative Pete King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, to examine the recruitment of American Muslims as jihadist terrorists revealed all the pathologies of multicultural grievance politics that for decades now have compromised our response to Islamic jihad.

Israel’s Silent Revolution

As revolution sweeps across the Middle East at a dizzying pace, cries for freedom, equality and an improved standard of living ring out, touching millions around the world and bringing hope to millions more. Finally, their voices are being heard. Progress is being made.

Abuse And The Brain

We may not want to accept it, but abuse occurs everywhere, even in our own communities. The effects of abuse are devastating and long lasting - not only on those individuals who are abused but on their families as well. Even one act of abuse against a person, regardless of age, can have a significantly negative impact that may last a lifetime.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

We just celebrated Purim, which has always stood out in my mind as unique among the Jewish holidays. Unique for the giddy exuberance it brings, the gastronomic indulgence, the focus on unity and community, the retelling of arguably the most dramatic tale of Divine salvation in Jewish history - but most of all for the strong, spirited heroine at its center.

Think Amalek

11 Adar II 5771 – March 16, 2011
Someone asked me what we should have in mind on Purim. I would answer with one word: Amalek. You want simcha? You want geulah? Think Amalek!

Purim And The Blessing Of Unity

Klal Yisrael. All of Israel. One people. One community. One.

Itamar: A Painful And Powerful Wake-Up Call

Early this past Shabbat morning we heard from military sources that a family had been brutally slaughtered in Itamar, a settlement near Shechem. Since my niece lives there with six children, we were extremely worried even though we realized there were many families that fit the description.

Itamar: Time For A New Paradigm

The atrocity in Itamar, in which two parents and three young children were brutally murdered by believers in the "religion of peace," has shocked and dismayed all civilized people. Blame is always ascribed to the perpetrators, whose inhumanity and animalistic instincts know no bounds. But it is foolhardy to ignore the effects of Prime Minister Netanyahu's policies that have facilitated both terror and the further deterioration of Israel's strategic position.

Our Children Are Not Hefker

One week ago on my website I announced my intention to attend the next court appearance of a man who was arrested last year and is now standing trial on 10 felony charges of child abuse.

Return Libya To Its Rightful Rulers!

3 Adar II 5771 – March 9, 2011
The world is wringing its hands over the fate of Libya. Being a helpful sort of guy, and what with Purim fast approaching, I know just the proper solution.

Revolutions And Reverberations

Weeks of turbulent Arab uprisings throughout the Middle East have dislodged dictators and inspired tens of thousands of young Muslims to dream of freedom. Swarming through streets and squares, they have demanded the end of autocratic rule.

Whitewashing The Muslim Brotherhood

After spending two years condemning Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks as impediments to peace, President Obama congratulated Egyptian demonstrators - reportedly members of the Muslim Brotherhood - for setting up checkpoints and conducting body searches.

Recognizing Shame On International Agunah Day

It began in the United States with the Yiddish newspaper the Forward in the first half of the 20th century. The galeriye fun farshvundene mener (gallery of vanished husbands) appeared regularly, listing names and photos of men who had disappeared leaving their wives as agunot, chained to a Jewish marriage. The Jewish Press followed in the latter decades of the century, launching its own weekly seiruv list.

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