Have you ever wondered why the incidence of iggun, women or men unable to remarry due to the refusal of a spouse to give or receive a get (Jewish divorce document) is dramatically lower in some Orthodox communities than in others?
The world now knows that for nearly 20 years, Senator Barack Obama has attended Chicago’s Trinity United Church and that his pastor was Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In his March 18 speech on race, Obama criticized some of Wright’s statements but also essentially excused and rationalized his sermons on the basis that many African-Americans growing up in past decades experienced prejudice, discrimination, lack of economic opportunity, etc.
The irony doesn’t get any better than this. Barack Obama is supported by multitudes of Americans so eager to demonstrate their “liberal” benevolence that they gave him their votes on faith, before they had any substantial knowledge of who the man really is. Enter into the picture the images of Obama’s beloved minister of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, spewing his hateful venom to his delirious mass of followers.
The British government’s ban on Moshe Feiglin from entering the UK is symptomatic of a deep and institutional prejudice against Israel. Feiglin, a Jewish Press columnist, is best known for running second to Benjamin Netanyahu in the last Likud leadership primary.
Eliot Spitzer personified success. He had it all: health, family, wealth, career, fame – everything a person can ever dream of and hope for. Then it all unraveled. A man at the zenith of life plummeted to the nadir of existence.
One of the many lessons the Purim story teaches us is how fast and far the powerful can fall. It is a fate even more fitting when they fall over a stumbling block placed in front of them by their own hand. Haman hanged from the very gallows he had prepared for Mordechai.
ITEM: The Jerusalem Post (March 10) vividly recounted the heroism of Capt. David Shapira, a former student at Mercaz HaRav, who, hearing gunfire at the yeshiva during the recent terrorist atrocity, grabbed his weapon, left his nearby home, and ran to the rescue of Jewish children:
Many conservatives, not to mention Clinton supporters, were smiling wide last month during the Democratic debate in Ohio when MSNBC’s Tim Russert asked Barack Obama about being praised by Louis Farrakhan.
The shock of the horrifying terror attack that took place at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva last Thursday will not wear off easily. Eight of our nation’s finest religious boys murdered in cold blood, some with holy books in their hands, by a resident of a nearby Arab village with free access to all parts of Jerusalem.
History – the remembrance and recording of the past – in the Muslim Arab world differs from history in the Western world. The Western world records past events and calls them history. The Muslim Arab world recalls myths, hopes, conspiracies and events and calls that history. In the Arab world history and memory merge into a psycho-cultural universe that informs and motivates and plots the future.
Turning on the news Thursday night, I expected to hear the wretched daily tally of Kassam/Grad rockets shot from Gaza to into Sderot or Ashkelon; instead, breaking news streamed across the screen about a terror attack taking place that very moment at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav.
Orthodox Jews are not a majority of the American Jewish population. It follows, therefore, that major communal institutions that claim to represent the views of American Jewry in the public square frequently do not voice the views and values of those committed to Torah-informed Judaism.
There is a sign hanging in my office that should be standard in the office of every rabbi, communal leader, worker for Klal Yisrael or activist of any sort.
Recently, after a particularly harrowing weekend in Sderot, Rabbi Avi Berman, director of OU Israel, told me, “That’s it; enough! I know we have invested so much in Sderot, we have raised funds, sent teams, and currently work more in Sderot than we do any other city in Israel, but still I can’t have us sitting here in Jerusalem while they are in so much pain. So that’s it, we are all going down to Sderot, in two days.”
I was actually starting to believe I was the lucky charm of Sderot. Over the past eight months I had been to Sderot on business nearly every other week, and each time I traveled down from Jerusalem, things were quiet. No Kassam rockets, no “red color” warnings, no Israelis fleeing for their lives.
Most people probably agree, these days, that the military invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Whatever you thought at the time (and I was among those who believed it was worth the effort in light of Saddam’s actions and the realization of our vulnerability after 9/11), the evidence since has been pretty clear.
Sen. Barack Obama decided recently to stop letting others speak for him when it came to his position on Israel. Given the range of views imputed to or associated with him by a wide variety of sources, it wasn’t a moment too soon.
Back in the fall of 2005 I wrote, in an Internet article responding to one of the early rounds of rocket attacks on Sderot from Gaza following Israel's "disengagement" from the area:
On July 9, 1755, Colonel George Washington was traveling with General Edward Braddock’s army toward Fort Duquesne when they were ambushed by Indians and French hiding in the woods. In the ensuing massacre, hundreds of British soldiers, including Braddock, were killed or seriously wounded. Perched on their horses, officers were perfect targets. One after another, they were hit. Bullets ripped through Washington’s coat, knocked his hat off, and killed two of the horses he rode.
If the baseball season doesn’t end with a ticker-tape parade for your team, you feel, for the first few days, as if you were driving a speeding car that has gone off the road and is now on its back, wheels spinning. It takes a while for the wheels to stop spinning, for the adrenaline in your system to get back to a normal level.
As a college student, I have become jaded to the endless cycle of unofficial “weeks.” We have Kick the Smoking Habit Week, Free Love Week, Save the Oceans Week – a week for every cause under the sun, with concerts, sit-ins, and creative protests for and against everything imaginable.
“We will work to promote equality and diversity.” Many a policy document in public and private sector organizations across the Western world contains similar phrases. The social changes over the last forty years that have placed equality and diversity at the heart of policy at both macro and micro levels have been driven by to a large extent by the influence of ideas emanating from the feminist and anti-racist movements, and from post-modernist thinkers such as Michel Foucault.
Withdrawals, expulsions, and peace agreements are the golden calves of our generation. They hold a mystical sway over the people, regardless of their context, purpose, or arrangement.
In 1263, the great Spanish scholar Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, better known as Nachmanides, was summoned to Barcelona by King James I of Aragon to engage in a rather stressful form of interfaith dialogue with representatives of the Dominican and Franciscan religious orders.
Every year Forbes magazine publishes a list of the highest paid individuals in the world. This year Forbes informed us that the actor Johnny Depp made $92 million while Nicole Kidman was Hollywood’s highest paid actress, commanding an estimated $16 million per movie.