At the restaurant farewell dinner, Professor Dov Zlotnick asked the dozen or so students of his forty-year-running Saturday afternoon Talmud shiur to continue their learning despite his approaching retirement to Jerusalem.
In late November, mobs in Paris once again shouted "Death to the Jew" - the very chant that came to characterize the Dreyfus case. The Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team had won its match with the Paris Saint-Germain team. An angry mob surrounded a French Jew named Yanniv Hazout and yelled "kill the Jew," "dirty Jew," "dirty Negro," with many raising their arms in Nazi salutes. A black French policeman rushed to Hazout's defense. The crowd threatened to kill them both. The officer fired his gun and killed one demonstrator and wounded another.
The whole world seemed to be celebrating the composer Steve Reich's 70th birthday in October (October 3, to be precise). The New York Times ranked him "among the greatest composers of the century." The New Yorke rsaid he was"the most original musical thinker of our time." The Village Voice declared him "America's greatest living composer." The Guardian (London) summed it all up by stating, "There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history, and Steve Reich is one of them."
A fascinating question of history is what might have happened had Neville Chamberlain not resigned in May 1940 but continued on as British prime minister, with Winston Churchill never taking command.
With the Republican defeat in the congressional midterm elections and the widespread perception that America is losing in Iraq, the notion that the Bush foreign-policy doctrine is now officially dead has moved from theory to fact.
Fascinating, isn't it, to watch professors Stephen Walt (Harvard) and John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) attain near rock-star status by resurrecting the tired and discredited canard that U.S. foreign policy is dictated by a devious, dangerous and disloyal cabal known as the pro-Israel lobby - sort of a Protocols of the Middle-Agers of Zion.
One of the most important aspects of choosing a college is its campus life and sense of community. In order to do well academically, it is important to have a healthy and wholesome social life as well. There are a number of ways to get a sense of whether or not a college is right for you.
So three racists walk into a bar. Unfortunately, there's no punchline. What Michael Richards said about blacks at a Los Angeles comedy club was racist. His career should be over.
Nearly 40 years have passed since Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria were liberated from the occupying Jordanians by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). That's the same number of years the Jewish people wandered in the desert before they were allowed to enter the Promised Land.
All we need to do to solve the Agunah problem for the next generations is to ensure the widespread use of the "halachic prenuptial agreement," right? Wrong.
It was a Simchas Torah to remember in the Detroit area. In an explosion of simcha, while we were engaged in hakafos, fans downtown were celebrating a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent our hometown Tigers to the World Series.
Last week another nail was driven into the coffin of President Bush's vision of a free and democratic Middle East. The Syrians aren't even trying to hide their involvement in the assassination of Lebanon's Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel.
There are few places in Israel more serene and relaxing than the spa hotel atop Mount Carmel. As I sit here on the terrace taking in the spectacular view toward Haifa bay, the silence is shattered by the thunderclap of F16s echoing through the mountainside. When this disturbance recurs hourly, some find it slightly unnerving. To me it is so very reassuring.
Just a month after being diagnosed with cancer, and now practically confined to a bed as a method of pain control, I couldn't sleep, so I picked up the Maharal's Drush Na'eh l'Shabbos T'shuvah, which I had been hoping to read prior to Yom Kippur.
My zaidy a pilgrim? It may, at first glance, seem like a crazy statement, but it's true. In fact, all of our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were pilgrims.
The leopard isn't the largest of the big cats. It's not feared as a king of beasts. It's not the fastest, like the cheetah. Rather, the leopard is persistent. A solitary hunter, its sharp vision enables it to see what others can't. It dwells alone, stalking its prey in the darkness, able to kill animals much larger than itself. It often hauls its prey up a tree, to protect it from jackals and other scavengers.
Last week, on a wet and windy night in Manhattan, hundreds flocked into the beautiful main sanctuary of Kehillat Jeshurun to hear Nobel-laureate economist and Israeli citizen Robert (Yisrael) Aumann preach the word.
"Making the Desert Bloom" is one of the axioms of David Ben-Gurion's remarkable legacy - one that has fired the imagination of Israeli farmers, international donors and the Zionist movement for more than half a century.
For almost three decades I have represented women in the rabbinical courts of Israel. While divorce is almost always an unpleasant business, many couples find a way to dissolve their marriage with a minimum of acrimony and vindictiveness. The hundreds of women whose divorces I have handled, however, were victims of greedy, abusive husbands who refused to free their wives, demanding exorbitant financial and other payments. In a system based on justice and fairness, such men would have been exposed and rejected.
Agudath Israel of America will be holding its annual convention next week. Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, an executive vice president of Agudah, has been quoted as saying:
After three years of nearly non-stop effort - years spent speaking to rabbis, getting Knesset members to motivate their colleagues, reaching out to Muslim clergy, to the pope, and ultimately to the heretofore uninformed masses of haredim and datiyim - the cholent I cooked up together with a handful of activists such as Jerusalem Councilwoman Mina Fenton, activist Efrayim Holtzberg, and Dr. Daisy Stern finally came to a boil.
But even though it might be easier to keep pretending that it doesn't exist, it's time once again to face the truth about a not-inconsiderable segment of American Jewry: More than a few of us are religious bigots.
Last week my eldest daughter called me from Israel, where she is studying for a year in seminary, crying and terribly distraught. A girl she was friendly with from another seminary had died of anorexia. She was seventeen years old.
One moderate Muslim voice, a brave Bangladeshi journalist, has withstood years of unfair persecution in Dhaka for supporting Israel. He's been jailed and beaten, and as he now prepares to stand trial for his life, it's time for the world community to act.
"I don't want to learn and that's it! I go to yeshiva all week and I need a break!" Your son storms off and slams the door. All you had done was innocently ask him to learn on Shabbos afternoon. Your son, however, felt like a parolee asked to go back into solitary confinement. This is, to say the least, a painful experience for both father and son.