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An Atrocity Too Far

28 Kislev 5769 – December 24, 2008
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.

Chanukah And Thomas Edison

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?”

‘Territorial Addiction’ And Academic Debasement

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.

Kiddush: A Timeless Classic

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

Rabbi Lau’s Challenge To Jews

21 Kislev 5769 – December 17, 2008
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.

Capture Of Saddam Marked Start Of Bush’s Downfall

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.

Eliezer And The Shidduch System

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.

Miracles And Dreidels: What a Modest Little Spinning Top Can Teach Us about God...

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.

A President More Zionist Than Many Israelis

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.

Remembering Gavriel And Rivkah Holtzberg

14 Kislev 5769 – December 10, 2008
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.

Light In The Darkness

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.”

Jew-Hunting In Mumbai

Islamo-Nazis came to Mumbai, and besides attacking major hotels, centers of commerce, and tourist attractions, they went Jew-hunting.

The Film Director And The Hellenists

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.

In Defending Jewish Identity, Sharansky Falls Short

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.

Know Thine Enemy

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.

On Racism, Its Costs And Its Causes

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.

Olmert’s Closing Act

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.

Israeli Weakness And The Chabad House Massacre

7 Kislev 5769 – December 3, 2008
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.

Love The Victims, Loathe Their Killers

All terrorism is monstrous, but the murder in India of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg stands out for its unspeakable infamy.

Turn Friday Night Into Family Night

28 Heshvan 5769 – November 26, 2008
I cannot recall in my lifetime a man elevated to the presidency who was abandoned by his father as a small child.

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