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.
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.
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.
A good move, may it yield results: Thirty-five members of the Knesset recently signed a letter to IDF Central Command, asking that Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (called Nablus by the Arabs) be opened again to visits by Jews, with steps taken to provide security.
Sometimes, the most daring thing a scholar or an organization can do is mention the obvious. That is a lesson that Indiana University’s Professor Alvin H. Rosenfeld and the American Jewish Committee have recently learned to their sorrow.
The drive to live, the instinctive need that all people have to continue living, is irrational, writes the Torah giant Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. A believing Jew, for whom life after death is a certainty, should not logically fear death. Is not an eternity basking in the Divine radiance preferable to living in this temporal and secular existence?
Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism have become two sides of the same coin. How shall we react? Deborah Lipstadt, who famously succeeded in her case against Holocaust denier David Irving, set the tone by stating “We can do what we do best, we can educate.”
Since my son, Ariel Avrech, z”l, died, much of my waking and sleeping life – I dream of him often – is taken up with assembling images of him. Ariel was niftar almost four years ago, but I have experienced what I’ve come to call “post-traumatic loss syndrome.” These are stages of mourning, but they are more complex and baffling than the standard ones put forth in the research I’ve read.
It pains me to tell you this, but Ehud Olmert has actually done something right.
When questioned by non-Jews or the unaffiliated about the role of women in Orthodox life, I have sometimes found it helpful to explain how the Torah approach diverges from a seminal principle of American jurisprudence.
It’s no secret to those who know me that I have a great appreciation for chazzanut. I have written many articles about the wonderful cantorial concerts I’ve attended sponsored by Cantors World, an organization dedicated to bringing back the great role of the chazzan in Jewish life. But as enjoyable as those events are, it’s almost impossible to equal the amazing experience of the annual Shabbat Chazzanut.
I have been hooked on movies from the moment I saw “Fantasia” and “The Red Shoes” at the Windsor Movie Theatre in Boro Park when I was six or seven years old. Movie-going, like book-reading, became permanent habits and I eventually turned to foreign films in the same way that I turned to classical theatre, music, poetry, and literature: in order to understand the human condition. A little bit of dazzle and drama were fine too.
I. We are neo-Nazis who strive for the complete destruction of Israel and of the Jewish people. We think this destruction can be...
It was one of those American Jewish dust-ups that play out along predictable lines and concluded with a predictable outcome. The left outrages the right, and the right responds in knee-jerk fashion by calling for banning the left from something that most people had never heard of. In the end, the left emerges with its right to speak triumphantly undiminished while the right skulks away muttering. Seen that movie already? So have we all. Ad nauseam.
On January 29, the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat was shaken by the explosion of a Palestinian suicide bomber that killed three Israeli civilians and wounded several others.
Governments around the world seem to believe the solution to the Arab war against Israel is to create a sovereign Palestinian Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza alongside Israel. The idea is completely flawed and mistaken. Under current conditions, a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state, bringing more war and terrorism. After all, sovereignty does not make a population and its leaders peaceful. Iran, North Korea and Syria are all sovereign states – are they peaceful and lovely?
Last week I delivered a sermon based on the Torah portion of the week and which compared Moses, the great Jewish redeemer, with Abraham Lincoln, the martyred American emancipator.
Prof. Amnon Rubinstein is an interesting guy.
Former presidents hold a place like no other politicians in a democracy. Regardless of their politics, they are honored for their service. And their choice of activities after their presidencies immediately raises the profile of the debate and calls us to arms for good causes.
The throngs of tourists passing Big Ben are unaware of the tunnel beneath their feet, which connects the parliamentary committee rooms in Portcullis House to the British House of Commons. When the division bells ring, members of parliament sprint along the passage to cast their votes in the chamber. It was in one of those committee rooms last Thursday evening that a group of MPs met with foreign lawmakers to discuss boycott, divestment and the indictment of a sovereign nation with the arrest of its officials for breach of international law.
Dr. Steven Fries was just 55. He was my pediatrician, personal doctor, adviser and friend for fifteen years.
Just when it looked like Ehud Olmert could not mess things up any worse than he already had, it was reported that he and his mates had been secretly negotiating a deal with Syria.
For all the talk in recent years about problems with the way shidduchim are happening or not happening, not nearly enough attention has been given to the disordered state of shadchanus.
Tenuous reports of renewed Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations have begun circulating. Before concrete proposals are put forward, however, certain conditions must precede serious talks.
Reading Rabbi Saul Berman’s moving front-page essay (“Martin Luther King and the Exodus Narrative”) in last week’s Jewish Press struck an emotional chord. Particularly since earlier in the week I’d attended an “Evening of Solidarity in Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” which took place at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in association with Reverend Roger Hambrick and the Green Pastures Baptist Church.