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Chanukah: A Time For Superheroes

22 Kislev 5767 – December 13, 2006
Doctor Leonard Samson, better known as "Doc Samson," strides down the corridor and into the classroom, massive muscles rippling beneath his skin-tight red costume. He sports a long mane of hair, just like his biblical namesake (except the real Samson's hair wasn't green, presumably).

An Unforgettable Forty-Year Shabbos Journey

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.

Manifesto For Survival

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.

Steve Reich: World Class Composer, World Class Jew – A Personal Reminiscence

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."

The Rocket Blitz

15 Kislev 5767 – December 6, 2006
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.

Recycled Trash Makes Poor Policy

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.

Recent Events Give Lie To Walt/Mearsheimer Thesis

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.

Choosing The Right College: Tips For Jewish Students And Parents

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.

They Have A Scheme: Kramer Meets Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton

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.

The New Israel: Annexing Liberated Judea And Samaria

8 Kislev 5767 – November 29, 2006
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.

Beyond The Pre-Nup: Training Orthodox Attorneys to Practice in Rabbinic Courts

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.

The World Series That Wasn’t – Post-Season Musings Of A Veteran Baseball Scribe

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.

The Gemayel Warning

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.

Who Defends Israel?

1 Kislev 5767 – November 22, 2006
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.

Adam, King David, And The Gift Of Giving

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 Was A Pilgrim

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.

Leopard Or Lamb?

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.

‘It Is In Our Hands’ : The Aumann Doctrine, Unvarnished And Profound

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.

Combating Desertification: Israel’s Ecological Triumph

24 Heshvan 5767 – November 15, 2006
"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.

Dismayed But Undeterred

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.

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