Upon hearing the reading of the Torah describing the purchase of the Cave of Machpela by our forefather Abraham, we were reminded again of the basic significance and substance of the destiny of the Jewish people, namely that our nation and our land are bonded by strong spiritual cords that can never be severed.
Ever hear of Gershom Mendes Seixas? Well, he might just be the forgotten hero of Thanksgiving.
Israel is, again, locked on the horns of a dilemma. Having been indicted by the "world community" (in the guise of the Goldstone report) for alleged war crimes in its conduct of last winter's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, it faces unenviable and unacceptable choices.
In this week’s parshah our father Abraham leaves this world. His son Isaac is left to carry on his legacy. But who really is Yitzchok Avinu? Do you feel you know him? What is the meaning of his life?
A friend of mine likes to say the High Holiday season is for pulpit rabbis what the tax season is for accountants. Well, my “tax season” was a bit busier than usual this year. Just days before Rosh Hashanah, I was privileged to be part of the Orthodox Union’s Leadership Mission to Washington, which took place September 14-15.
In the fall of 1993, I had the wonderful experience of interviewing Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Both a controversial personality and a dynamic presence, Reb Shlomo never lost his unqualified love for his fellow Jew, though he was well aware the feeling was not always reciprocal.
Anger – no, fury – was my first reaction to news of the rampage at Fort Hood last week. Thirteen dead and thirty wounded is tragic enough. But how could the alleged murderer, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, have gone undetected on an American military base for so long?
The narrow streets were dark and filled with sounds. Figures moved behind blackened windows in the overbearing buildings. Finger on the trigger, senses focused on my surroundings, I ensured my fellow Jews the right to pray at the grave of one of our revered figures.
The espionage charges leveled against American scientist Stewart David Nozette raise more questions than they answer – and those questions should deeply trouble, if not outrage, the American Jewish community.
Recently, the Romanian government unveiled a long overdue memorial to the 300,000 Romanian Jews and Roma who perished in World War II at the hands of their own government and the Nazis. Unfortunately, the U.S. State Department, whose wartime diplomats doomed tens of thousands of the Romanian Jews commemorated by the memorial, has yet to acknowledge its own role in the Romanian Holocaust.
On November 9, 1938, a massive nationwide anti-Jewish pogrom took place during peacetime across the entire territory of the Third Reich. The pretext for this explosion of violence against German Jews was the shooting in Paris two days earlier of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old Polish-Jewish refugee.
The U.S. Supreme Court now gives lawyers a head start on the preparation of briefs and fills up the court’s schedule of oral arguments as early as possible. Even before it formally convened the first Monday in October, the court announced which cases it would hear of those on which petitions for review gathered over the summer while the court was in recess.
Anti-Zionists say the Jewish claim to Israel is illegitimate because, before 1948, it had been nearly 1,900 years since Jews exercised sovereignty there - and it is absurd to argue that any group still has rights to land they last governed such a long time ago.
During the 2008 presidential campaign Barack Obama vowed he would be a different kind of leader who would move America beyond the “smallness of our politics.” That inspired promise was not an insignificant part of why he was elected last November.
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.