If you think the shidduch crisis can lead to heartache when we deal with our children, try going through it yourself. As someone newly involved in this scene, I can share that it is a sad one – comprised of scores of formerly married people mixed with never-been-married singles all trying unsuccessfully to connect.
Jews have been marking the 80th anniversary of the Hebron massacre that began on August 23, 1929. It is one of the most horrible pogroms in all of history. With a new American administration seeking to portray Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as obstacles to peace, one wonders what would happen – what would be the reaction – were such an attack to be perpetrated against the Jews of Hebron today.
On July 2 the UK Orthodox Jewish community was hit with a legal bombshell that has the potential, at its most extreme, to make organized Orthodox Jewish life in Britain all but impossible.
On a hot August morning in 1944, the Jews imprisoned in the Nazi slave labor camp known as Hasag Pelcery, less than fifty miles from Auschwitz, suddenly heard a roaring sound in the sky above.
A rising chorus of discontent shows Middle America’s deep suspicion of President Obama’s health care reform proposal. In a burst of passion-envy, MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews recently asked, “Where … are the people who want health care, the poor people out there…the union people? Where are they? I haven’t seen one placard, let alone one protest demonstration, for health care.”
I was most privileged on July 13 to be invited along with 16 other Jewish leaders to meet with President Obama at the White House. Much has been written about this historic meeting; it's hard to believe there have been so many commentaries on a one-hour session.
Elul is here, the month of teshuvah, of repentance. I had the privilege recently of visiting the gadol Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch in Yerushalayim. He said the following: “What is in the newspapers is of no importance, and what is of importance is not in the newspapers. We have nothing to fear from the president of Iran; God watches over His children. The only matter of importance, the only thing that affects us, is the relationship between the Ribbono Shel Olam and the children of Israel.”
While most American Christians, especially evangelicals, support Israel, there has for some time now been a trend among European churches and their liberal counterparts in the U.S. such as the World Council of Churches, to criticize Israel, pass divestment motions and support Palestinian extremism.
We were in Jerusalem on our annual visit to Israel when ugly street demonstrations erupted in the wake of charges that a haredi mother had nearly starved her child to death. Those demonstrations, which turned into full-blown riots, constitute a brand new chapter in the annals of chillul Hashem.
After running into a dead-end in its efforts to jump-start Middle East peace talks, the Obama administration has signaled that it has evaluated the situation and understands that all is not well. But instead of a course correction, senior administration officials have decided what they need to do is deploy their most effective weapon – the rhetorical brilliance of the president himself – on a recalcitrant state of Israel.
When radio host Don Imus crudely insulted the young African-American ladies on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, then-Senator Barack Obama called for Imus to be fired.
The recent arrests of several New Jersey rabbis, coming on the heels of a variety of other scandals in Jewish life that also resulted in prominent arrests, have led many to conclude that Orthodoxy is in crisis and its entire worldview under siege and perhaps unsustainable.
When Barack Obama was elected president, many around the world saw it as the culmination of decades of successful efforts by the American civil rights movement. How ironic, then, that the Obama administration has been conducting a campaign against Jews who wish to live in certain Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Walk into any shul in almost any neighborhood on Shabbos and you can be forgiven for thinking you have mistakenly stepped into a nursery. The same goes for almost any Jewish wedding hall, where it takes as much skill to navigate the obstacle course of baby strollers as it does to look good on the dance floor.
Do we ever learn from our past? We have just lived through the saddest time of the Jewish year, when our collective thoughts turned to the destruction of our Holy Temple, and the root causes for that destruction.
Two of my four children live in places defined as “settlements” and are therefore characterized by most of the secular press as “obstacles to peace.” But if the journalists who use such terminology ever spent time there, among those idealistic and brave Jews, they might have to rethink their definition.
Larry Franklin, the third man in the sordid AIPAC affair, is not an entirely sympathetic figure. Although a person of sincerity and religious devotion, he agreed to testify against former AIPAC officials Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman in the trumped-up case forged by the FBI.
Last week, when Jews around the world recited the traditional Tisha B'Av lamentations focusing on the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, a number of communities added a lamentation referring to a much more recent tragedy – the failure of the Allies to bomb the Auschwitz death camp in 1944.
“What did we learn?” is the question posed at the end of “The Accomplices,” Bernard Weinraub’s play about the mission to America of Peter Bergson, who, in 1940, was sent by Vladimir Jabotinsky to rouse the Roosevelt administration to save the Jews of Europe.
Pope Benedict XVI recently called on the Catholic community to promote human rights and bring an end to poverty. The pope’s directive, laden with biblical charges and humanistic principles, spurns deregulation and freedom from taxes and instead focuses on addressing the root causes of poverty and ensuring universal access to basic human needs such as clean water, sustenance, health, education and employment.