Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a temper tantrum at the Davos forum on world economics.
There is no rain in Israel. The weather is sunny and warm.That is bad news.
Everyone knows the story. Moshiach finally arrives and goes from shul to shul telling the Jews it’s time to go home to Eretz Yisrael. But wherever Moshiach goes he is rejected because of his dress, his yarmulke, his hat or his accent. Eventually, in frustration, he simply leaves.
Do you “get shul?” Do we as a community of people praying in shul for thousands of years actually get what it is, or what it is supposed to be? A year or two ago I would have answered one way. Now, having served as director of the Pepa and Rabbi Joseph Karasick Department of Synagogue Services at the Orthodox Union for almost a year and a half, my answer has changed.
The guns are now stilled. Criticism and debate, suggestion and advice, censure and fault-finding are being unleashed – as befits a Jewish society to which analysis and self-search are as natural as sunrise and sunset are to the realm of nature.
Israel was at war, and though I live across the ocean, I felt like I was on high alert. Strangely enough, I was actually grateful to have experienced this feeling during the crisis.
Five years ago, George W. Bush finished the last good year of his presidency. Things were looking up. The Democratic front-runners seeking their party’s presidential nomination lauded the historic accomplishments in Iraq, particularly Saddam Hussein’s capture.
Over the past few weeks Jews have been in the news and made headlines around the world, creating immeasurable reverberations. The impact of three particular Jews has been tremendous – but the difference in that impact has been at least as important as the impact itself.
Throughout his presidency, George W. Bush was a stalwart friend of the Jewish people. His support for Israel was as rock solid as his opposition to anti-Semitism, levels of which have been rising alarmingly around the world in recent years.
We are all familiar with the general impact the weak economy has had on our lives or on the lives of those around us. What we may not appreciate is the way it has affected personal relationships, within our own community and throughout the world.
Dear Dr. H:You write about how Judaism is devoted to the pursuit of peace. You bring assorted citations from the Bible and Psalms about how nice peace can be. You emphasize that Judaism grants peace priority over competing goals. You find biblical quote after biblical quote about how good peace is.
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.