Judaism is meticulous about the manner in which it celebrates Festivals. We eat matzah on Pesach because it recalls the suddenness of the Exodus that happened so quickly there was no time for the dough to rise. On Sukkot, we leave our homes and establish residence in a sukkah to remember, "In sukkot did I house the children of Israel when I took them out of Egypt."
Recent polls show that Americans, American Jews and Israelis all disapprove of President Obama's policies toward Israel. One reason for the disapproval that emerges in these polls is that the Obama administration pressures and criticizes Israel, while giving Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority a free pass.
After eight wonderful years living in Jerusalem, my wife and I recently picked up the keys to our new house in a community located within the Gush Etzion "settlement" bloc.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters: There is nothing more pitiful than a condemned man asking his executioner for the sword so that he may do his work for him.
There are times when it becomes truly difficult to explain the obtuseness of Israelis. And, for a change, I do not mean leftist Israelis, who by and large are simply beyond cure.
I would like to be dan lekaf zechut – give the benefit of the doubt – to the Tennessee woman who, wishing to “return” her seven-year-old adopted son to the country of his birth, put the boy on a plane by himself and sent him back to Russia.
I went to a sentencing several weeks ago - my first ever. The man being sentenced, William Hill, was convicted by a jury of brutally beating Jacob Gerstle, an 81-year-old member of my community in Washington Heights, in 2006.
After months of uncharacteristic silence, New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, finally voiced his concerns - and it could not have come at a more crucial time for American-Israeli relations.
I attended my first tea party on tax day, April 15, outside the steps of the James A. Farley Post Office in Manhattan. There I was, on 8th Avenue and 31st Street, smack dab between the uber-liberal West Side to the north of me and Greenwich Village to the south. And I was surrounded by signs that read, "Free markets, not free loaders", "Redistribute my work ethic, not my savings," and "Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them."
Had Judge Richard Goldstone only issued a distorted litany of accusations against the Jewish state - dayenu. Had the British government only issued an arrest warrant against Kadima leader and former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni - dayenu.
There they go again. Palestinian Media Watch reports that the official Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, announced Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan for an upcoming fencing tournament for youth named after terror chieftain Abu Jihad.
We are seeing the "world coalition" forming and we can well imagine what the next steps will be. Perhaps the only comfort in this difficult world is that all the events we are witnessing have been predicted by our prophets. What else gives one the strength to endure what would otherwise be unendurable?
Elie Wiesel and Ronald Lauder recently criticized the Obama administration in separately placed newspaper advertisements. Instead of listening to Wiesel and Lauder's concerns, Haaretz reported, administration officials expressed "harsh criticism" over their ads.
Of the many intellectual perversions currently taking root on college campuses, perhaps none is more contradictory to what should be one of higher education's core values than the suppression of free speech.
The silence continues to be deafening with no Democrat in Congress to my knowledge crying out against President Obama for continuing to try to diminish America's closeness to Israel.
We've heard from many Israelis who feel demoralized and abandoned due to the lack of any strong and meaningful statements or vigorous public demonstrations sponsored by major Jewish organizations in support of Israel's position on Jerusalem.
In February, Yachad/the National Jewish Council for Disabilities, an agency of the Orthodox Union, presented NAIM -- North American Inclusion Month - as a national initiative to develop sensitivity and knowledge of what it means to live with disabilities and to educate communities on how they can do their part to make sure all Jews are properly included in all aspects of Jewish life.
Last month, I took a quick, five-day trip to the Unites States to visit my grandfather at the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital, an assisted living facility in North Miami Beach where he is (hopefully) recovering from several strokes. While I was pleasantly surprised by the generosity shown to my grandfather by complete strangers (staff members and volunteers) and the extreme emotions exhibited by our family's usually unflappable patriarch, I was simply stunned by my own feelings toward the "Old Country."
The American Jewish Committee's annual survey of Jewish public opinion has been released and the numbers do not lie. Down from the stratospheric 78 percent of Jews who voted for him in 2008, President Obama currently enjoys a 57 percent approval rating in the larger Jewish community.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a forum of Jewish leaders that "sometimes friends need to tell each other the hard truth." I'd like, on behalf of my people, to return the courtesy with the following words directed to President Obama.
President Obama's nastiness toward Prime Minister Netanyahu would be alarming even it were merely a matter of style to impress the Muslim world. But Obama's motivation is much more substantive. He seeks to impose a solution - whether it leads to peace or it doesn't - that will return Israel essentially to the 1949-1967 armistice lines, including a loss of Jewish sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Let's remember the facts here. Jerusalem is hardly some far-off outpost. It is the capital of a sovereign nation that happens to be our strongest ally in the Middle East and perhaps the world. And this housing decision was months in the works as part of a transparent process that is followed by dozens and dozens of building proposals each year. Think of it as a decision by a local zoning board. This was hardly war and peace.
It was even before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir that the Israeli Left, led by the Haaretz newspaper, chanted in unison what has become one of its fundamental political axioms: political violence is a congenital inclination of the Israeli Right and is committed exclusively by right-wingers.
For American taxpayers, the devil is in the details of the new health care law. But for the Jewish people and the State of Israel the devil is in the comparison between Barack Obama's steamrollering of health care legislation and his developing Middle East policy.
While it's not too early for Republicans to start feeling optimistic, they need to realize this kind of resurgent mood isn't unlike the ebullience of markets bouncing off a bottom. As market pundits like to say, even a dead cat will bounce when it's tossed from a great height. After having fallen so low in public esteem during the last days of the Bush administration, it only makes sense Republicans' spirits would surge at an impending reversal of fortune.