For thousands of years of Jewish history there wasn't a unique nomenclature classifying Torah-deviant Jews. Denominations like Conservative, Reform and Orthodox were non-existent. One was either more observant, less observant, or, in highly atypical cases, nonobservant.
Like millions of people around the world, I had followed the tragedy in Haiti since the earthquake jolted that country just over a month ago. But while the media portrayed a great deal of the devastation visited on this poorest of Western nations, it wasn't until I traveled to Haiti on a relief mission that I truly understood just how severe the crisis really was.
The following article appears exactly as it was written by Professor Beres 21 years ago. It is especially important to reconsider at this moment when U.S. President Barack Obama, still-embracing the so-called Road Map, pushes Israel to accept a Palestinian state via the five-part Mitchell Plan.
Senior American sources say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already surrendered almost everything: the Golan, almost all of Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, and even some areas inside Israel's 1967 border - in order to retain a few settlement blocs. And what has Netanyahu achieved for Israel in exchange for this far-reaching agreement-in-principle? Nothing. Not peace, and not even international recognition that Israel is a Jewish state.
If you listened carefully this past week, you could almost hear the sound of champagne glasses clinking together loudly in Damascus, as Syrian President Bashar Assad undoubtedly raised a toast to celebrate Washington's latest act of groveling before his autocratic government.
Aside for designating the birth and death of Moshe Rabbeinu, the seventh of Adar (February 21 this year) also marks the 17th yahrzeit of Chazkel Tydor, father of Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz, a professor of Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University and the author of seven books.
Israel's Im Tirtzu student organization bills itself as the "Second Zionist Revolution." Until a few weeks ago, that sounded like youthful bravado. But the group has raised eyebrows - and hackles - with its unprecedented grand slam in the Israeli media against the New Israel Fund.
The ideal drashah (sermon) combines science and art. There is the scientific component, where the darshan embodies deep and authentic Jewish scholarship: breadth of knowledge, methodology, and faithfulness to tradition. Equally significant are the artistic elements of the drashah: eloquence, presentation, and a penetrating understanding of one's intended audience.
Conspicuous for its absence in President Obama's State of the Union address was any mention of what is variously called the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Middle East peace process. Israeli analyst Yoram Ettinger suggests this "reflects a U.S. order of priorities and, possibly, a concern that mediation in the Arab-Israeli conflict does not advance - but undermines - Obama's domestic standing."
Another month, another round of recriminations in the Modern Orthodox community. Two months ago it was a breakaway rabbinic organization established, in part, to promote decentralized conversion standards. Last month it was a public forum on homosexuality in the Orthodox community.
The news that British MP George Galloway was the planned guest speaker at a February 1 Hamas fundraiser at Boston's Palestinian Cultural Center for Peace would, in a morally coherent world, be alarming for those in the West who wonder why elected officials should be gathering support for a group of jihadist thugs whose principal efforts are dedicated to the extirpation of Israel and the murder of Jews.
The following article appears exactly as it was written by Professor Beres 21 years ago. It is especially important to reconsider at this moment, when U.S. President Barack Obama, still-embracing the so-called Road Map, pushes Israel to accept a Palestinian state via the five-part Mitchell Plan.
It sounds like a contradiction in terms. An oxymoron. If only it were. Jewish anti-Semitism is a modern disease. The world is experiencing an explosion of it. Among the most malicious and venomous of all bigots, Jewish anti-Semites are at the forefront of just about every smear campaign against Israel and other Jews.
A vigorous advocate of aliyah, Yishai Fleisher uses his position as Internet radio personality and director of programming at Arutz Sheva's Israel National Radio to promote the merits of living in the land of Israel. On his popular show "Yishai and Friends," Fleisher deals with Israeli politics, history and tradition and has interviewed personalities ranging from Dutch politician and filmmaker Geert Wilders to actor Jon Voight.
Howard Zinn, a Marxist polemicist who masqueraded as a historian, died on January 27 at age 87. The Brooklyn-born Zinn was professor emeritus of political science at Boston University and the author of a number of books, but it was his A People’s History of the United States (1980) that more than anything else made him the darling of the media and Hollywood Left.
I was apprised of the fact that a renowned rav and posek in Flatbush dedicated his Shabbos morning drasha to the plight of a young lady who was recently dismissed from her Brooklyn Bais Yaakov. It seems she vexed the administration because she asked her teacher incisive questions about the nature of Gan Eden. Thankfully, due to the intervention of this prominent rav, she was reinstated to her school.
Summer 1946. His high school days over, my father, Mordechai Schwartz, was faced with a decision that would affect not only his life but the lives of generations to come.
As Super Bowl weekend approaches the signs at the local takeout stores in Modern Orthodox neighborhoods (and even some haredi ones as well, but I limit my discussion here to the former as that is my community) abound with signs advertising gigantic food package options with catchy names such as the "Linebacker" or the "Halftimer."