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Posted on: April 1st, 2009

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Although he was gravely ill for years and could no longer fulfill his leadership responsibilities, Rabbi Elya Svei, zt”l, continued to influence many of us who are involved in Torah education, whether as principals or teachers or lay leaders.

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Posted on: April 1st, 2009

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During a recent visit to several university campuses in the U.S., I discovered that there is more sympathy for Hamas there than there is in Ramallah. Listening to some students and professors on these campuses, for a moment I thought I was sitting opposite a Hamas spokesman or a would-be-suicide bomber.

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Posted on: April 1st, 2009

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A recent poll from CBS News found that the tightening economy is forcing people to make some tough choices. Alarmingly, these kinds of decisions are spilling over into an area where they don't belong -- health care. More than one in three Americans is delaying care. Around 30 percent are skipping screenings, tests, and other treatments. And 27 percent aren't filling their prescriptions.

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Posted on: March 25th, 2009

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Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights we prayed for redemption but our exile continued. On this night our prayers may be answered.

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Posted on: March 25th, 2009

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Over the years, some of my wildest critics seem to have assumed I am Jewish. At the same time, some of my closest friends wish I were.

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Posted on: March 25th, 2009

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Commenting on the role the sovereign nation-state plays in the western world compared with the Islamic world, the late Samuel P. Huntington, in his classic study The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of World Order, wrote: “The structure of political loyalty among Arabs and among Muslims generally has been the opposite of that in the modern West. For the latter the nation state has been the apex of political loyalty.”

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Posted on: March 25th, 2009

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Once again, Israeli leftists, with assistance from the media, are composing songs, lighting candles and organizing dances around a new golden calf. This time it is the demand to do “everything possible” to bring home the captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

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Posted on: March 25th, 2009

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Who would ever have believed that Jews would be in such danger again? That Israel and Zionism would become such dirty words in the world, despised by western intellectuals and Islamist mobs alike?

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Posted on: March 18th, 2009

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Ah, the sights, sounds and smells of spring. Fathers roasting succulent hot dogs on a flaming grill; children frolicking carefree on the lawn, playing with their little friends; bees buzzing excitedly over their newest source of sweet, golden nectar; ducks quacking incessantly, splashing in a pond; white, puffy, cumulous clouds sailing through the clear blue skies like an armada of misty ships going out to sea.

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Posted on: March 18th, 2009

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As New York’s U.S. senator from 2001 to 2009, Hillary Rodham Clinton was a reliable and vocal supporter of Israel. She was especially strong on Jerusalem, stating in a September 2007 position paper, “I believe that Israel’s right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, must never be questioned.”

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Posted on: March 18th, 2009

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So there it was, “perfect proof” of what John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were saying about the Israeli lobby: the pressure mounted and Charles Freeman, the designated chairman of the National Intelligence Council, decided to withdraw his name from consideration.

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Posted on: March 18th, 2009

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Last week Charles Freeman, nominated as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, was forced to withdraw from consideration because of his previous bile-ridden statements about Israel, his support for the Tiananmen Square crackdown, and his having been a leading apologist for Saudi Arabia (which is hardly surprising considering he was on the Saudis' payroll).

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Posted on: March 11th, 2009

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“We won,” Prime Minister Olmert declared after the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza six weeks ago. Hamas was “surprised and badly beaten,” he boasted. And many Israelis believed him.

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Posted on: March 11th, 2009

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We are bombarded by constant distraction. This, I believe, is a tactic of our yetzer hora, the evil inclination, which tries to take us away from a clear view of reality by assailing our minds with a constant fine spray of distraction from every angle, much of it in the guise of “im-portant things to deal with.”

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Posted on: March 11th, 2009

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In the wake of the Gaza war and with the global economy in a tailspin, disturbing events have been occurring in Britain – events that do not bode well either for the future of British Jewry or for the future of British democracy.

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Posted on: March 11th, 2009

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Nearly thirty years ago, this country underwent a paradigm shift when Ronald Reagan swept into the presidency, defeating Jimmy Carter after a single term. Along with Carter, Reagan displaced an entire way of thinking that had informed our politics since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Reagan was a transformative president.

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Posted on: March 11th, 2009

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The stories of Moshe Rabbeinu and Esther HaMalkah are very similar. Both lived in luxurious conditions while their people were suffering. Moshe was raised in the house of King Pharaoh; Esther was the queen of King Achashveirosh. But each felt so connected to their brothers and sisters that they risked their lives to protect and save them, even though they themselves were neither suffering nor in danger.

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Posted on: March 11th, 2009

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I’m prompted to rephrase the second half of the old adage, “From Moses to Moses there was none like Moses” – referring to Moses of the Bible and Moses Maimonides – to read, “From Moses to Moses there was none like our Moses.”

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Posted on: March 11th, 2009

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Bernard Madoff almost stole the future. He stole the financial future of many decent, philanthropic individuals. He stole the future of some organizations that have been forced to shut their doors. He stole the future of bright, eager students dependent on financial aid from universities whose financial future Madoff also stole.

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Posted on: March 4th, 2009

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In reading Parshat Zachor (Deut. 25:17-19) we fulfill the commandment to remember what the nation of Amalek did to us. The sages instituted its reading just before Purim in order to link this mitzvah to the feast day on which we celebrate the blotting out of Haman, who was of Amalekite genealogy.

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