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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Posted on: March 28th, 2007

InDepthOp-Eds

Repeat anything often enough, regardless of accuracy, and eventually it becomes engraved in people’s minds as the truth: “Lizzie Borden took an ax” and butchered her parents; Mama Cass choked to death on a ham sandwich; Israel launched a war on Lebanon in 2006.

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Posted on: March 28th, 2007

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Once again we find ourselves celebrating the yom tov of Pesach – the same holiday we celebrated last year at this time, and next year we’ll be doing the same. Traditionally, Pesach commemorates the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt – a pivotal point in our becoming a people: we gained our freedom – physically, and very soon after, spiritually. We refer to the holiday as the time of our freedom – z’man chairusenu – and the Pesach seder, with all its obligations and practices, thoroughly stresses the message of freedom and God’s redemption of the Jewish people throughout the ages.

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Posted on: March 21st, 2007

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Group solidarity is one trait that has earned Jews both plaudits and criticism. But according to a spokesman for a national Jewish organization, it’s long past time to stop the group-think. M.J. Rosenberg, the director of the Israel Policy Forum’s Washington Policy Center wrote on the eve of the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington to register his disgust at the rituals of pandering politicians who seek to win Jewish votes. While he affirms that we should care deeply about Israel, he is down on those who seek Jewish votes by carrying on about their views on the issue.

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Posted on: March 21st, 2007

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The story of the Roosevelt administration’s response to the Holocaust has been chronicled in books and on film. Now, for the first time, it is coming to the stage. “The Accomplices,” an off-Broadway play written by former New York Times correspondent Bernard Weinraub and directed by Ian Morgan, will be performed by The New Group with preview performances starting March 20. After meeting earlier this month with the author and cast for more than two hours, I have no doubt this is one play that will not be soon forgotten.

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Posted on: March 21st, 2007

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We often hear about moderate Arab leaders. Do they exist? Let’s examine the record. PA president and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is one of those touted as a moderate. Yet Abbas co-founded the terrorist Fatah with Yasir Arafat, served as Arafat’s deputy for 40 years and wrote a Ph.D. thesis and book denying the Holocaust. He has refused to implement Palestinian commitments under signed agreements with Israel and also the 2003 road-map peace plan to fight and arrest terrorists, confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it.

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Posted on: March 21st, 2007

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I recently read a truly fascinating study. It wasn’t a new study, but nonetheless it affected me. A team from England’s Newcastle University monitored how much money people would put in a canteen “honesty box” when buying a drink. Over the course of 10 weeks, a poster listing hot drink prices was placed at eye-level above the honesty box. Each week, the poster featured an image of either flowers or a pair of eyes looking directly at the person taking the items.

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Posted on: March 21st, 2007

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There are great teachers whose impact is limited to their students. Greater still are those whose students initiate students of their own. The greatest teachers, however, influence not only the direct line descending from them, but an entire climate of thinking. All of us are their talmidim.

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Posted on: March 14th, 2007

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Shortly after she became chief archivist at the American Jewish Committee in 2001, Charlotte Bonelli came to believe the material she was discovering should be shared with the world. “I would pull a box a box off a shelf, open it up, and find inside, for instance, World War II-era pro-democracy comics or scripts of radio broadcasts featuring stars such as James Cagney, William Holden, and Helen Hayes urging unity on the home front,” says Bonelli.

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Posted on: March 14th, 2007

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The New York Times’s Steven Erlanger had a lengthy feature in the paper’s March 12 edition about Palestinian youth, the “lost generation of Palestine: its most radical, most accepting of violence and most despairing.” Quoting a dozen Palestinians, the article, entitled “Years of Strife and Lost Hope Scar Young Palestinian Lives” tells a story of disillusioned youngsters “stymied” by “stateless[ness]”, an economy that is “shutting down,” “Israeli checkpoints, barriers and closures” and interaction with “armed” Israelis – “soldiers and settlers.”

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Posted on: March 14th, 2007

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Professor Rivka Carmi, the new president of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University, actually views overseas Jewish donors to BGU as the real threat to academic freedom at her school. She says so in the Hebrew quarterly Academia (number 17, winter 2006-7), which is published by the Committee of University Heads, a sort of lobby group on behalf of the universities.

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Posted on: March 7th, 2007

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March 4 marked the 20th anniversary of the unprecedented life sentence meted out to Jonathan Pollard. It’s an appropriate time to take stock of the response of the American Jewish community and the government of Israel to his arrest, sentencing and continued incarceration.

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Posted on: March 7th, 2007

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In case you missed it, college campuses in the United States, Canada and Britain recently hosted an “Israeli Apartheid Week,” during which prominent scholars and artists all got together to agree about the State of Israel’s beastliness.

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Posted on: March 7th, 2007

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The first reference to Mount Sinai in the Torah occurs when our teacher Moses witnessed a strange phenomenon there. As he was shepherding his sheep he glanced up at the mountain and saw a thorn bush that was burning without being consumed by the fire.

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Posted on: March 7th, 2007

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The Righteous of France, the nearly 3,000 individuals who risked their lives to save Jews from mass deportation during the Nazi occupation, were honored by the French nation at a ceremony on January 18. The tribute at the Pantheon in central Paris was led by French President Jacques Chirac, who unveiled a plaque commemorating these heroes of the French Resistance.

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Posted on: March 7th, 2007

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A few years ago at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, we held a Friday night dinner for Beginners, a monthly activity that usually draws about 150 people. On that particular night there were 250 people who packed our Heyman Auditorium. The reason was that Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis joined us for dinner.

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Posted on: February 28th, 2007

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Every day I receive e-mails from people communicating their personal problems.

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Posted on: February 28th, 2007

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By now just about everyone in the Jewish world has heard about the blood libel affair that has emerged from Bar Ilan University in Israel.

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Posted on: February 28th, 2007

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The Torah tells us, in Parshat Ki Teitzei, Devarim 25:17, that we should “wipe out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And yet it immediately concludes with the statement “you should not forget.” In order not to forget, each year before Purim we have a special reading of the Torah reminding us of what Amalek did to us in the wilderness as we were fleeing Egypt. Twice a year in the weekly Torah cycle we are reminded of Amalek. On Purim we read Megillat Esther, which chronicles the evil deeds of Haman, a direct descendent of Amalek. Children in yeshivas regularly learn in Tanach about the wars of Amalek with the Israelite kings, which occurred centuries after the Hebrews’ initial encounter with the Amalekites.

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Posted on: February 28th, 2007

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The most esteemed of all the king’s men, dressed in royal robes, his head crowned in jewels, was mounted on the white stallion. Zeresh could never have imagined the rubbish destined for disposal on the disgraceful Jew hauling the royal carriage would land on her own wicked spouse, Haman.

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Posted on: February 28th, 2007

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It was the last time my sisters and I were to see the number A-9103 tattooed on my mother’s arm. On December 12, 2006, Lenka Leah Moskovicova was laid to her eternal rest in the old Jewish cemetery in my hometown of Kosice, Slovakia, next to my father, Avrum.

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