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A Tale of Two Beggars

20 Nisan 5769 – April 14, 2009
Once upon a time, somewhere in the steppes of Eastern Europe, in the Pale that contained many a Jewish village, there roamed two beggars. One of the hobos was a Jew, the other a gentile.

Ten Arguments Against Submitting To Hamas Extortion

In the wake of another upsurge in activity and publicity surrounding Gilad Shalit, it bears remembering that there are compelling reasons for the Israeli government to think twice before agreeing to release hundreds of terrorists for his safe and overdue return.

Remembering Michael Kelly

15 Nisan 5769 – April 8, 2009
The late Michael Kelly was a brilliant writer and editor (The New Republic, The Atlantic) who coincidentally happened to be an American patriot and a strong supporter of Israel – a combination not commonly found in the circles in which he traveled.

Sh’foch Chamatcha: Justice, Not Vengeance

14 Nisan 5769 – April 7, 2009
Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not and upon the kingdoms that call not upon Thy name; for they have consumed Jacob and laid waste his dwelling. Pour out Thy fury upon them, and may the kindling of Thine anger overtake them. Pursue them with anger and destroy them from under God’s skies.

An Unforgettable Passover

One particular Passover for young Chaim Merimzon must have seemed like a dream. Merimzon was one of thousands of Jewish children – Cantonists – who were victims of Tsar Nicholas’s zealous obsession with forcing them to accept baptism.

Oliphant Cartoon Part Of Darkening Anti-Israel Climate

Who can forget the Danish cartoon controversy ignited by an image of a wild-eyed Muhammad with a lighted dynamite stick protruding from his turban? Even those who decried the global overreaction – cynically exploited by Mideast demagogues whose stock-and-trade is defaming Christians and Jews – understood why decent Muslims of all stripes were offended.

The IDF’s War On Beards

An identifying mark of the Jew has been, and for many still is, his beard. The foundation for this is the commandment in the Torah: “You shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shall you mar the corners of your beard” (Leviticus 19:27).

Learning Pirkey Avot In Buchenwald

Passover is a festival of freedom, chag hageulah, when we remember our deliverance from slavery in Egypt. For my father, Chaskel Tydor, Passover was also a reminder of the slavery he experienced during his lifetime – of his five and a half years in the Nazi camps of Buchenwald and Auschwitz.

‘Are You Meshuga?’: Jewish Survival In A Crazy World (Part II)

Credo quia absurdum. "I believe because it is absurd." How, then, shall we Jews survive in such a distorted and meshugana world, both as individuals, and as the always-fragile Jewish State? In our collective form, shall we truly "Seek peace, and pursue it," when our enemies' brand of "sanity" lies relentlessly in genocide and war? Or should we just reluctantly resign ourselves to ceaseless conflict as the unavoidable expression of sanity in an undeniably insane world?

‘A Huge Zionist And A Very Proud Jew’

An Interview With Radio Talker Steve Malzberg

Children and the Essence of Pesach

The humble-natured sheep symbolic of Nissan (Aries), the first month of the year, recognizes the shepherd to be its guide, just as the Jewish people place their faith in their Shepherd, the Creator of the universe.

Israeli/Nazi Analogy Old Hat By Now

8 Nisan 5769 – April 1, 2009
It would be fair to say that the recent demonstrations in cities around the world during which Israel was likened to Nazi Germany, and Israeli soldiers to Nazi storm troopers, created a fair amount of angst among an appreciable number of Jews. But as this is hardly a new phenomenon, the surprise really lies in why so many Jews continue to be surprised.

Social Security: It’s Our Money

“People need money in their pockets to spend. That’ll get our economy going again.” -- David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Obama Drastic situations require drastic measures. Thus, to reach Axelrod’s necessary goal, we need to end Social Security as we know it.

Reflections On Rav Svei

Although he was gravely ill for years and could no longer fulfill his leadership responsibilities, Rabbi Elya Svei, zt”l, continued to influence many of us who are involved in Torah education, whether as principals or teachers or lay leaders.

The Real Agenda Of Pro-Palestinian Campus Activists

During a recent visit to several university campuses in the U.S., I discovered that there is more sympathy for Hamas there than there is in Ramallah. Listening to some students and professors on these campuses, for a moment I thought I was sitting opposite a Hamas spokesman or a would-be-suicide bomber.

The Best Of Both Worlds

A recent poll from CBS News found that the tightening economy is forcing people to make some tough choices. Alarmingly, these kinds of decisions are spilling over into an area where they don't belong -- health care. More than one in three Americans is delaying care. Around 30 percent are skipping screenings, tests, and other treatments. And 27 percent aren't filling their prescriptions.

One For The Books

He's not Jewish, he's not Lithuanian and he's not a librarian but Wyman Brent, an American from San Diego, is building a Jewish library in Vilna.

Po-Lin

Purim in Tarnow        On March 9, 2009, the first Purim celebrations in many years took place in Tarnow. The program included the reading of...

‘Are You Meshuga?’: Jewish Survival In A Crazy World (A Column in Two...

Credo quia absurdum. "I believe because it is absurd." Here is a brief story to suitably "set our stage." During World War I, a Jew loses his way along the Austro-Hungarian frontier. Wandering through the woods late at night, he is abruptly stopped in his tracks by the screaming challenge of a nervous border-guard: "Halt, or I'll shoot." The Jew blinks uncomfortably into the beam of the searchlight and retorts with obvious annoyance: "What's the matter with you? Are you meshuga? Can't you see that this is a flesh-and-blood human being?"

Rabbi Boteach: ‘Turn Friday Night Into Family Night’

Social conservatives constantly bemoan the erosion of traditional family life and morality. In their view, narcissism and materialism plague the American landscape.

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