And yet the slurs continue. On December 31, Paramount Vantage released “Defiance,” which tells the story of Tuvia, Asael, and Zus Bielski, three Jewish brothers from a tiny village in Nazi-occupied Belarus. They formed a guerrilla unit in the dense woods, created a makeshift village from ghetto escapees and, in the end, saved some 1,200 Jews from Hitler. The Bielski brothers have long deserved to be mentioned with Oskar Schindler and the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Yesterday I made an extraordinary and moving shiva visit at the home of the Netanel family, whose son Yonatan was killed last week in Gaza. Unfortunately, he and two other soldiers died when an Israeli tank mistakenly opened fire on a house captured by Israeli soldiers. His father, Rabbi Amos Netanel, was a student at our yeshiva in Kiryat Arba for several years.
Since claiming the presidency, Barack Obama has been universally praised by foreign leaders as a breath of fresh air for American diplomacy. On Dec. 27, however, world leaders' jubilant anticipation of his inauguration took a back seat as Israel began its current operation in Gaza and questions arose as to how the incoming president would respond to the conflict.
We are at war. We are all at war, not just our brothers and sisters in Gaza and southern and northern Israel. We are surrounded. The Children of Israel are surrounded, both inside and outside the Land of Israel.
After nearly three weeks it is clear that Israel's military operation in Gaza is a just and necessary undertaking. The operation followed the termination of a so-called cease-fire that was in any case frequently violated by Hamas.
The ongoing war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization brings front and center the nature of this conflict: Palestinian unwillingness to accept the permanent presence of a Jewish state in the Middle East.
We need a Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of God’s name, so big it will be a giant burst of light in this dark world. And we are going to get it.
No sooner had Israel launched its offensive against Hamas than the moral arbiters of acceptable behavior were condemning the Jewish state for its perceived abuses in executing its national self-defense.
Like many others, I spent a lot of time this past week agonizing about Israel’s public-relations battles and image problems. And I remain extremely worried.
The jets bombed the daylights out of them. The ground forces invaded. At long last the murderous suicide-bombing terrorists were being suppressed in a military campaign.
How many times have you heard it said that the American system of government stems from Judeo-Christian principles? The truth is that the United States Constitution is almost entirely rooted in the Judaic tradition. The government envisioned in the Constitution is structured on a foundation laid more than three millennia ago.
In passing Resolution 1850 on December 19, 2008, the United Nations Security Council solemnly noted that “lasting peace can only be based on an enduring commitment to mutual recognition, freedom from violence, incitement and terror and the two-State solution….”
Rav Pam, zt”l, said the best antidote to divorce is a good marriage. Unfortunately, there is no denying that divorce has become considerably more of a problem than historically was the case in our communities. Thankfully, the phenomenon is receiving some much-needed attention.
Lights are burning in the menorah, and within their pure flame one can see the vision of a new world. I would venture to say we are on the threshold of a tremendous burst of light.
The heinous and cruel murders in Mumbai were merely the latest in a long line of such crimes against Jews perpetrated by Islamo-Nazis and abetted by their leftist supporters on the pretext of opposition to Israel – as if that were a legitimate reason to commit war crimes and racist mass murder.
As the story goes, a young reporter came to interview Thomas Edison about his attempts to invent the light bulb and asked him, “Mr. Edison, why do you persevere with this endeavor, after failing seven hundred times to make it work?”
The core of the Arab-Israeli problem is Israel’s “territorial addiction.” So declares a December 3 Haaretz article by one Alex Sinclair. As to the solution, Sinclair does not quite echo Haaretz’s former executive editor David Landau, who urged Condoleezza Rice a year ago to “rape” Israel. Rather, he advocates a friendly but forceful stand by President-elect Obama to break Israel of its addiction – promoting, in the jargon of addiction treatment (although Sinclair doesn’t use the term), less violent-sounding “tough love” instead of rape.
I can remember sitting next to my father in shul, an antsy child waiting none-too-patiently for the announcements that would herald the end of the service. I knew they would come, I just didn’t know if they would include it – the holy grail of shul attendance
It was the 26th annual dinner for Bet El and the main ballroom was crowded with dignitaries, honorees, politicians, cantors, musicians, and a vast number of supporters. My dear friends Rickie and Dr. Morris Platt were the gracious hosts at our table. On the dais sat the beating heart of Bet El, Yaakov Katz – “Katzele” – tall, vivacious and white bearded.
Five years ago at this time, something remarkable happened, which has been conveniently forgotten: On December 13, 2003, one of history’s worst dictators, Saddam Hussein, was captured by U.S. troops.
It’s all too common nowadays for people to defend the widespread method of shidduchim by pointing to the biblical story of Eliezer finding a wife for Yitzchak. Apparently the Torah mandates this method as proper, and therefore there is little else to discuss beyond perhaps fine-tuning the way singles are set up by shadchanim and further shielding them from outside influences and one another.
We live in an age of miracles and wonder. Does that sound like a ridiculous statement – to characterize the age of the Internet, gene therapy and biological science as an age of miracles? For many people, it does sound ridiculous. To their ears, I might as well be a visitor from medieval times, here to turn science on its head and usher in a decidedly less enlightened worldview.
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush watched Monday night as the grandsons of Harry Truman and David Ben-Gurion lit a menorah on the State Floor of the White House.
I lived in Mumbai for six months last year and would go to the Beit Chabad with friends for a Shabbat meal about every second week. Over the course of six months we got to know the rabbi and his wife quite well.
Eliezer, Avraham’s servant, was a great man. Head of his master’s household, he was entrusted to find a wife for our father Yitzchak. He was the man who asked God for guidance and his prayer was immediately answered as Rivkah appeared and offered water to him and to his camels. He was treated like a potentate in the house of Besuel. And yet, the Torah repeatedly refers to him as a “slave.”