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.”
Islamo-Nazis came to Mumbai, and besides attacking major hotels, centers of commerce, and tourist attractions, they went Jew-hunting.
The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival recently rejected Robin Garbose’s masterful “A Light for Greytowers” – the first feature-length musical film marketed “by women, for women” in accordance with halacha (Jewish law) – on the basis of gender discrimination.
Natan Sharansky is a modern-day Jewish hero, no doubt about that. Every Jew should know of his imprisonment by the Soviet Union for his human rights and Zionist activism. Years ago my father gave me a copy of Sharansky’s autobiography, Fear No Evil, to use for a sixth-grade book report.
American Jewry – certainly when compared to earlier generations – has become indifferent to the fate of Israel as well as its own. No doubt, poor and uninspiring leadership in both Israel and the United States is a major contributing factor, but it goes further.
It doesn’t take very much to lose a neshamah. The young woman was witty, charming, frum, and a Harvard Law School graduate. She was also black, and lived in an Orthodox neighborhood. One Purim, she was treated in a neighborhood shul to the sight of a young mother with a few children in tow. As her Purim get-up, the mother had chosen to adorn herself and her kids with blackface and thick lips. The connection to Purim was not clear.
Ehud Olmert, facing criminal prosecution for corruption, is using his final days in office to subvert Israeli security and impose his own policy notions on the country - notions rejected by the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens.
I am still severely shocked in the aftermath of the heinous massacre that took place in Mumbai last week. Despicable Muslim terrorists carried out a well-planned, deadly assault on civilian targets, killing hundreds of innocent people.
All terrorism is monstrous, but the murder in India of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg stands out for its unspeakable infamy.
I cannot recall in my lifetime a man elevated to the presidency who was abandoned by his father as a small child.
It is hard to imagine a scene as joyous and religiously charged as Machpela on the Friday night of Parshat Chayei Sarah. Every year, many thousands of Jews from all over Israel, and hundreds more from Europe and America, flock to the tomb of our patriarchs, which Abraham purchased for Sarah’s burial nearly 4,000 years ago.
Barack Obama spent his first week after being elected president planning the next four years. And even though the Oval Office is occupied by someone else until January, the pundits were already predicting the next administration’s trouble spots.
At first glance, it’s not surprising that I voted for Barack Obama for president this election. I’m a New Yorker and a Jew, and so any pollster would have predicted my choice.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus believed that reality is ever in flux. “You cannot step into the same river twice,” he taught, emphasizing that the only constant is change.
Liberal Jews have invented the myth that Judaism is a synonym for the pursuit of "social justice."