Now the pain intensifies. On the Seventeenth of Tammuz the Temple walls were breached and the unthinkable began to unfold in the Holy City of Jerusalem. This was the countdown to the unbearable events of Tisha B’Av.
Many years ago in Moscow, when we were ordinary loyal Soviet Jews – which meant we were deprived of our freedom and our identity and were powerless and helpless – we discovered there was a state of Israel, a state that fights for its right to exist and also for our dignity, a state that was waiting for us.
There is an important “take-away” lesson to be learned from the case of a frum storeowner in Queens who pleaded guilty in Criminal Court to molesting a young boy several years ago – namely, that the legal system works.
In an age plagued by narcissism, it is no wonder that “selfishness” has become a derogatory word. Too many leading figures have burned us with their greed and self-centeredness. The Bernie Madoffs of the world have compelled many of us to place more of a stress on altruism, philanthropy, and a rededication to the welfare of the world and its inhabitants.
As a congregational rabbi, I often see people in hospitals and other health care facilities. While each building may look different, the actual differences are rather minute. It was my privilege recently to visit a hospital that is a definite exception to that rule.
Adopted in 1945, the UN Charter (Article 80) states: "… nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."
Thirty-three years ago this week in Entebbe, Uganda, it took Israeli commandos mere minutes to conduct one of the greatest and most daring rescue missions in modern history.
Dear Senator Menendez, As a politically conservative Jew with a strong attachment to Israel, I commend you, a liberal non-Jewish Democrat, for your strong public stance in favor of the Jewish state. Your recent speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, widely circulated on YouTube, directly contradicts the sentiments of our president vis-à-vis Israel as expressed in his June 4 Cairo speech and in other contexts.
In January 2001, as President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak begged Yasir Arafat to take a break from killing Jews to accept the Old City of Jerusalem, hundreds of thousands of Israelis rallied in Jerusalem to oppose the city’s division. Simultaneously, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein's Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun hosted an event in solidarity.
We have arrived at a very serious moment in the year. We have climbed the ladder through the events of Purim, Passover, Sefira and Shavuos; now the summer begins. With God’s help we will continue to climb upward toward higher levels of sanctity, but the summer is difficult for Klal Yisrael.
Journalist Aaron Klein’s important new book, The Late Great State of Israel: How Enemies Within and Without Threaten the Jewish Nation’s Survival, illuminates, infuriates, saddens, and cries out to both heaven and humanity.
"Mark my words," Vice President Joe Biden told donors a few months before the election. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama…. We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's going to need help … to stand with him. Because it's not going to be apparent initially; it's not going to be apparent that we're right."
When President Obama met with 15 representatives of American Jewish organizations on July 13, he told them, Haaretz reported, that he wanted to help Israel achieve peace but that if they were to benefit from his well-intentioned counsel, Israelis must “engage in serious self-reflection.”
On the eve of President Obama's meeting with American Jewish leaders last week, a prominent Jewish journalist urged the White House to take the unusual step of providing a transcript of the conversation.
Did you hear the speech President Obama delivered in Cairo week before last? I don’t mean just the words but the sound, the tone, the delivery – the way he actually articulated his sentences, the cadences, the pauses and the breaks for applause.
For decades, the bedrock of the relationship between the United States and Israel has been an unbreakable bond built on trust and a mutual respect for the ideals and practices of democracy. Surrounded by enemies on all sides, Israel has always known it could rely on its powerful ally to support and stand with it in times of need. Similarly, in dealing with a region characterized by strife and turmoil, the U.S. has always known it could rely on its sole democratic ally in the Middle East.
President Obama would have better reflected American values in Cairo recently had he spoken with blunt honesty regarding recent Middle East history. Here’s the speech he might have delivered:
A news item appeared a few weeks ago detailing the refusal of an Austrian hotel owner to rent a summer apartment to Jews. The owner of the Haus Sonnenhof apartment hotel in the village of Serfaus in the Austrian Tyrol reportedly told a Viennese Jewish family the facility was no longer accepting Jewish guests. This is shocking and distressing, but according to my close relative who moved to Zurich 25 years ago, it is hardly newsworthy. As a matter of fact, it's almost routine in Switzerland.
The Israeli media and the Israeli Left (but I repeat myself) have been hysterical in recent weeks over a proposed bill that would make it illegal to hold anti-Israel "mourning" events on Israel's Independence Day, events that would declare Israel's very existence a "nakba" (or catastrophe in Arabic).
President Obama spoke with his usual charm, polish and eloquence in Cairo on June 4. But the speech was, like so many of his utterances since taking office, tarnished by a desire to be all things to all people.
The planets are not typically aligned. The Modern/Centrist Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America is for Markey, as is the haredi Igud HaRabbonim (Rabbinical Alliance of America). Meanwhile, the equally haredi Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah are against Markey.
When discussing the current economic woes as they relate to Jewish education, it is important to note that there are two distinct crises, and that each of them requires its own strategy for solution.
Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria in the Six-Day War of 1967.
President Obama’s long-awaited speech in Cairo on U.S.-Muslim relations met expectations. It was passionately read and delivered (except for one stumble: calling a “hijab” a “hajib,” an understandable error), touched all the rhetorical bases and – typical Obama – actually said much less than it read.
President Obama's long-awaited speech in Cairo on U.S.-Muslim relations met expectations. It was passionately read and delivered (except for one stumble: calling a "hijab" a "hajib," an understandable error), touched all the rhetorical bases and - typical Obama - actually said much less than it read.