If one wants to be a bit closer to heaven, he should come to the combined minyan of a Hebrew school and synagogue. There he’ll find the voices of children echoing with the mourners’ Kaddish and ringing with the prayers of those devoted few who begin their morning by attending services, regardless of rain or snow.
Due to term limits, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stands to be out of office come January 1, 2010, a thought he may not relish. Hence, while he continues to deny it, his aides keep sending out trial balloons alluding to an independent run at the presidency.
“We should have bombed it.” With those five words, President Bush helped shatter one of the most enduring myths of the Holocaust – the notion that U.S. forces were unable to reach and destroy Auschwitz.
For a long time now, Israel’s reputation has taken a real beating among American liberals and leftists. Many American Jewish (liberal) organizations have either agreed with the criticism or have been afraid to challenge such groups with whom they agree on other important issues.
Every January, in an annual rite, nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. About half of those will pledge eternal servitude to their new diet plans. Sometimes the diets work – in the short run. We drop a size or two, look younger, more svelte and bask in insincere gratuitous compliments from colleagues and friends. But two-thirds of Americans who lose weight gain it back within a year. Over 90 percent gain it back within five years.
Saul Bellow once observed that a great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. President Bush’s ill-advised trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank this week to promote a “two-state solution” would seem to underscore the wisdom of Bellow’s insight.
Having spent earlier sabbaticals here in Israel, I knew the subject of aliyah loomed as a background issue but hardly expected the untold ways it would recast itself.
Every New Year, Americans everywhere honestly and sincerely make their resolutions. And before January turns into February the vast majority of those resolutions have been broken. People in Crawford, Texas are no exception. George Bush is no exception.
Whenever people ask me to explain Jewish anti-Semitism, Jewish anti-Zionism, or Israeli anti-Zionism, I pause and then try to discuss these questions calmly and dispassionately.
Events have a way of clarifying even the muddiest political puzzles. As Americans prepared to pick the finalists for the presidential contest, the chaos in Pakistan served as a reminder of a simple truth about electing our chief executive.
In Divrei Yaakov, the recently published collection of divrei Torah on Sefer Shemot by Rabbi Jack Tauber, zt”l, there is a discussion of the role played by the Egyptian people in enslaving the Jews. According to Rabbi Tauber, and as other commentators have also noted, Pharaoh did not force the Egyptians but convinced them, saying, “Behold the Children of Israel are greater than us ... and will become our enemies” (1:9).
It began as just another exercise in political academic wackiness at Hebrew University.
On the eve of the brief caucus and primary season that will probably determine the two major-party presidential nominations by mid-February at the latest, most members of Congress are playing their cards close to their vests. The reason is there’s a lot to be lost in backing the wrong horse.
The bombs detonated in cities throughout the world in recent years, killing and wounding large numbers of innocent civilians, should make it obvious that the perpetrators of such indiscriminate brutality cannot be thought of as “freedom fighters” or, to cite another popular term, “insurgents.” They are terrorists and must be treated accordingly. They definitely do not deserve the tolerance, compassion or legal rights generally accorded freedom fighters.
The election season is upon us. Once again, we are being called on to select the next leader of the free world.
“A democracy must fight terror with one hand tied behind its back.” So stated Aharon Barak, the former president of Israel’s Supreme Court at a forum I recently attended at the Shasha Center for Strategic Studies at the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University.
As evidence of what Professor Edward Alexander has called “the explosive power of boredom” in rousing the liberal professoriate to its ideological feet, Harvard’s own professor of Anthropology and of African and African American Studies, L. Roland Matory, called upon his academic peers once again in a November faculty meeting to foster “a civil dialogue in which people with a broad range of perspectives feel safe and are encouraged to express their reasoned and evidence-based ideas.”
"A democracy must fight terror with one hand tied behind its back." So stated Aharon Barak, the former president of Israel's Supreme Court...
I ate latkes under the watchful gaze of President Abraham Lincoln. I could have chosen sushi, or gravlax, or glatt kosher roast beef or even lamb chops, but latkes, for me, was the appropriate choice. The latkes were more than delicious – they were symbolic.
More than 140,000 people in the past month have clicked their way to a dramatic YouTube video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZihm6VlYjo) about a historic Jewish religious service led by a Brooklyn-born U.S. Army chaplain.