Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
We are fortunate to live in a society of relative tolerance, where most of us can walk down the street with the markers of our faith plain to see without fear of attack, verbal or otherwise. In other countries, even today, Jews are not so lucky. Why should we pretend to be living under duress, as if the Grand Inquisitor is breathing down our necks? Why should we yield the public ground to every other -ism, to all the other slices of the American pie?
I should note that in defending PDJs here, I do not mean to include public displays of personal piety – shuckeling on the subway or an airplane (except El Al, perhaps), swaggering down the street in a tallis. The latter make me uncomfortable, probably because they seem to serve no purpose other than to call attention to oneself.
If conducted in the right spirit and with proper decorum, PDJs have the potential to be a great kiddush Hashem. Jews of all stripes, even the unaffiliated, might find themselves inspired. Non-Jews who are positively inclined toward us might find themselves inspired also; at the very least, they will respect our right to convene publicly within the boundaries of the law. Those who are already hostile to us will continue to be so. Move the hachnasas sefer Torah indoors, cancel the Chol Hamoed carnival, and they will find something else to scorn, another reason to hate us.
Yes, we must conduct ourselves honorably – not to win over anti-Semites (a futile endeavor), but to bring glory to Hashem’s name and light into the world.
What about the risk of chillul Hashem by individuals behaving badly? For one thing, shuls and yeshivas should limit the flow of alcohol in their hallowed halls (which inevitably spills over into the street). This is important whether you like the idea of PDJs or not. Second, although even the most respected rabbi cannot control the conduct of an entire congregation, he can preemptively and repeatedly drive home a message of restraint, sanctity, and respect for one’s neighbors. Ultimately, we are each responsible for our own behavior as well as our children’s. Beyond that, I have no perfect answer.
May all Jews soon be reunited in Israel – where we can and should feel free to express our faith in complete openness, throng the plazas, let our voices ring from the hilltops, and not even think twice about PDJs.
Ziona Greenwald is a full-time mother in Manhattan. She has worked as an editor and a court attorney.
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France 2 and Enderlin must have their press accreditation revoked and be thrown out of Israel.
Slaughter is a routine, widespread practice among many Moslem families.
parently an affront to J Street’s worldview, the focus of which appears to be the creation of a Palestinian State, whether or not that will bring peace.
My mother, the eldest daughter of Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l, was niftar last month at the age of 92. She took her last breath in her home in Efrat, Israel, next door to the shul that was my father’s for 24 years before his passing in 2007.
It comes down to his being famous.
Following the Boston Marathon bombing, one crucial point will likely remain overlooked. The most loathsome aspect of this or any other terror bombing attack on civilians will always lie in the inexpressibility of physical pain. While all decent people will abhor the idea of bombs expressly directed at the innocent, whether here or in other countries, none will ever be able to process the very deepest horrors of what has been inflicted.
It’s only natural to see increasing evidence of Jerusalem’s glorious Jewish past being unearthed, quite literally, under modern Israeli sovereignty. The new archaeological finds are also very timely – as the Arab onslaught attempting to detach Jerusalem from its Jewish roots gains steam, the facts on the ground, or “under” the ground, show quite otherwise.
The Talmud (Berachot 26b) says, “tefillot avot tiknum” – “prayer was established by the avot.” The Talmud then uses the following verse (Bereshit 19:27) to prove how Avraham established prayer: “Vayaskem Avraham baboker el hamakom asher amad sham et pnei Hashem” – “And Avraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before God.”
Nearly 13 years ago, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak journeyed to Camp David to end the conflict with the Palestinians. With the approval of President Clinton, he offered Yasir Arafat an independent Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank, Gaza and in part of Jerusalem. Arafat said no.
The news that the Internal Revenue Service unfairly targeted conservative groups has brought renewed spotlight on a 2010 lawsuit filed by the pro-Israel group Z Street, which alleges it was also singled out by the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status.
In an editorial last week (“Circling the Wagons”) we noted the efforts by the administration and its supporters to dismiss allegations that the government’s spin on the Benghazi attack was designed to shield the president and that the IRS was improperly used to stifle opposition to Mr. Obama’s reelection.
As the controversies besetting the Obama administration continue to grow in number and intensity, the prospect that President Obama would seriously consider military action against Iran, should that country continue its drive to become a nuclear power, becomes more and more remote. So we welcome the current enhancement of sanctions against Iran on the federal and New York State levels.
To his parents’ friends, he was “Mrs. Greenberg’s disgrace,” but to sports fans he is one of the greatest – if not the greatest – Jewish baseball players of all time. Long before Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg excited Jewish sports fans with his prowess on the baseball diamond.
It is ten o’clock in the morning. I am at a local park with my daughter. A number of children are climbing and sliding, imbibing the fresh air. In their orbit are a smaller number of women, some milling around on foot, others sitting on the benches conversing and minding strollers. Trailing my own child, I play a silent game: Who is a Mommy? Which, if any, of these women (who range from lovingly attentive to disturbingly disengaged) are the children’s mothers, and which are babysitters?
We asked several experienced mechanchim for their insights on how to shepherd children from their first “Modeh Ani” to the understanding that Hashem alone holds the key to every aspect of their existence. Here are the key principles they shared.
When the disproportion of terrorist acts committed by Muslims – and the resulting hordes cheering the carnage on the Arab street – lead clear-minded observers to conclude that jihadism is the dominant strain in the Islamic world, we are accused of painting with an unfairly broad brush, discounting the silent (and invisible) majority of Muslims who oppose violence and crave peace.
Ever since a light bulb went off in Yasir Arafat’s head and the idea of a Palestinian people was born, Israel has become known to the world as an “occupier.”
Anthony Weiner is the latest in a long line of public figures caught by surprise at the unveiling of their own closet misdeeds. Weiner (and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the still-presumed-innocent Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and so many others before them) lived in a bubble of false security, created in part by their own hubris. Perhaps their biggest mistake, however, was believing their personal lives were somehow sacrosanct, impermeable, separate and apart from their public lives.
We just celebrated Purim, which has always stood out in my mind as unique among the Jewish holidays. Unique for the giddy exuberance it brings, the gastronomic indulgence, the focus on unity and community, the retelling of arguably the most dramatic tale of Divine salvation in Jewish history – but most of all for the strong, spirited heroine at its center.
Ever since I got my copy of Quick & Kosher, Jamie Geller’s first cookbook, I’ve been hoping for a sequel. And after meeting this adorable, down-to-earth powerhouse (and interviewing her for the Jewish Press) back in 2007-she was working on new recipes even as she was out promoting that debut volume-I was even more eager to see what else she would have in store. Three years in the making, Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes hits stores this month.
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