March 4 marked the 20th anniversary of the unprecedented life sentence meted out to Jonathan Pollard. It’s an appropriate time to take stock of the response of the American Jewish community and the government of Israel to his arrest, sentencing and continued incarceration.
In case you missed it, college campuses in the United States, Canada and Britain recently hosted an “Israeli Apartheid Week,” during which prominent scholars and artists all got together to agree about the State of Israel’s beastliness.
The Righteous of France, the nearly 3,000 individuals who risked their lives to save Jews from mass deportation during the Nazi occupation, were honored by the French nation at a ceremony on January 18. The tribute at the Pantheon in central Paris was led by French President Jacques Chirac, who unveiled a plaque commemorating these heroes of the French Resistance.
A few years ago at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, we held a Friday night dinner for Beginners, a monthly activity that usually draws about 150 people. On that particular night there were 250 people who packed our Heyman Auditorium. The reason was that Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis joined us for dinner.
Shimon Peres was in America this week hawking his new biography. Written by veteran Labor-friendly journalist Michael Bar-Zohar, who served as Peres’s campaign chairman during the 1981 Knesset elections, the book (imaginatively titled Shimon Peres: The Biography) strives to present its subject as a sadly misunderstood and underappreciated Israeli hero.
Several readers, at least one or two of them presumably not in the employ of the Democratic National Committee, took the Monitor to task for suggesting that Sen. Hillary Clinton was a pioneer in the art of elevating a scamp like Al Sharpton to the status of esteemed statesman.
Rachel Levmore is not a doctor. She is, in fact, a lawyer - of Halachah.
Now that Israel is again being pressured to follow a self-destructive "Road Map," a 23rd Arab state called Palestine is again in the process of being born. One serious but largely unforeseen effect of this grotesque birth (one in which only a gravedigger could wield the forceps) is greatly diminished "strategic depth" for Israel. Consequently there is a heightened probability of both conventional and unconventional war.
Restoration And Future Plans Of The Yeshiva
The Torah tells us, in Parshat Ki Teitzei, Devarim 25:17, that we should “wipe out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And yet it immediately concludes with the statement “you should not forget.” In order not to forget, each year before Purim we have a special reading of the Torah reminding us of what Amalek did to us in the wilderness as we were fleeing Egypt. Twice a year in the weekly Torah cycle we are reminded of Amalek. On Purim we read Megillat Esther, which chronicles the evil deeds of Haman, a direct descendent of Amalek. Children in yeshivas regularly learn in Tanach about the wars of Amalek with the Israelite kings, which occurred centuries after the Hebrews’ initial encounter with the Amalekites.
The most esteemed of all the king’s men, dressed in royal robes, his head crowned in jewels, was mounted on the white stallion. Zeresh could never have imagined the rubbish destined for disposal on the disgraceful Jew hauling the royal carriage would land on her own wicked spouse, Haman.
It was the last time my sisters and I were to see the number A-9103 tattooed on my mother’s arm. On December 12, 2006, Lenka Leah Moskovicova was laid to her eternal rest in the old Jewish cemetery in my hometown of Kosice, Slovakia, next to my father, Avrum.
Rearranging the bookshelves the other day, the Monitor came across a volume published in 1999 titled A Passion for Truth. The book is a collection of columns by the late Eric Breindel, whose death in 1998 at the shockingly young age of 42 deprived the nation of one of its most articulate conservative polemicists.
Following every suicide bombing in Iraq, one crucial point is always overlooked. This point is rooted in the confining space of each individual human body. It has to do with the general incommunicability of physical pain. No human language can ever really describe agony. In consequence, the monstrousness of terror-violence - never truly palpable - is generally reduced to an anesthetized inventory of "casualties."
Last week's column, mostly pictures, on the rededication of Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, could only partially describe the joyous event.