The justification for the modern State of Israel is Jewish history – both glorious and grim – and there has long been a compact between the Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. Israeli Jews were on the front lines and Diaspora Jewry was a vital source of economic and political strength. The Jews of Israel bore the lion’s share of the pain, but also reaped the bulk of the benefits.
Of the writing of baseball books there is no end. Of the writing of good baseball books there is not nearly enough. For every The Glory of Their Times or Ball Four or The Boys of Summer or Baseball’s Great Experiment, there are hundreds and hundreds of instantly forgettable hack jobs, clip jobs and ghost jobs.
Certain Arab/Islamic critics of Israel often speak of some deeply sinister Jewish migrations to "Palestine" after World War I, neglecting to mention that (1) there has been a large and continuous Jewish presence in the land for over 3,000 years; and (2) there has been a continuing Jewish majority in Jerusalem.
The Monitor’s recent listing of worthwhile books on the media brought in a number of interesting responses, with many readers sharing their own favorites – several of which probably should have been included among the recommended titles and possibly will be in a future column on the subject.
Back in August 2007, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Prime Minister Olmert's "partner in peace," named a soccer tournament after Ziyad Da'as, a Fatah-Tanzim terrorist who had been eliminated by Israel exactly five years earlier. The Palestinian Da'as was responsible for the heroic January 2002 attack in which gunmen opened fire with an M-16 at a Bat Mitzvah in Hadera, murdering six and seriously wounding thirty. With equal courage, he had also planned the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli civilians in Tulkarem in 2001.
The owner of the bookstore took one look at the book I was purchasing and said, “Rabbi Slifkin has made quite the splash in our city.” He then asked, “What do you say about the dinosaurs?” – referring to Rabbi Slifkin’s Challenge of Creation (2006), which has a stunning photo of a dinosaur skeleton on the front cover of the book.
The next presidential election is still a long way off but it’s already beginning to intrude on America’s consciousness. We’ve already had a series of debates, with candidates from both parties going at one another in their respective forums, and the nightly news programs carry a steady tale of political potshots and hot shots.
Intermarriage is far and away the biggest test faced by Jews and Judaism. Irrespective of how one defines himself or is known to be Jewish, marrying within the faith lies at the core of our survival. Choose your pogrom or persecution down through our long history and the aim was the same – to eradicate Jews and Judaism. Saying no to intermarriage is our way of saying no to those who would destroy us.
"It is in the thick of a calamity," we learn from Albert Camus' The Plague, "that one gets hardened to the truth, in other words, to silence." Now that Iranian nuclearization is reaching the point of no return, noisy declarations from Tehran are apt to become less shrill. Reciprocally, in Jerusalem, an inaudible truth could soon yield to action.
I recently called a friend in Israel and we exchanged news about our families.
One must wonder: Is current U.S. policy on the "Road Map" merely the result of a foolish consistency, or is something much more sinister going on? After all, President Bush and Secretary of State Rice remain determined to birth a viable Palestinian state, one that would be part of an altogether mythical "two-state solution."
Recently, after I’d given back examinations in one of my classes, one student who received a failing grade laughed, showed the exam to students on each side, and laughed again. Former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant said, “I hate to lose worse than anyone … but if you lose with humility you can come back” a winner.
Though the late Yitzhak Rabin vowed there would never be recognition of, nor negotiation with, the PLO and that there would never be a Palestinian state, politicians from various Israeli political parties have succumbed to the international push for just such an entity – the very state Rabin said would bring about the ruin of the State of Israel.
1. From Senator Joseph Lieberman’s November 9 speech at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies:
“Mind your own business.” It’s one of the rules of public conduct that keep civilized society from imploding. Yes, even frum society. Although we as Torah Jews are more given to concern about each other, that doesn’t mean we enjoy attempts by others to pry into our personal lives, critique our choices, or offer unsolicited advice. Especially when it comes to parenting skills. What parent does not resent a meddler’s reproach about the terrible mistakes she is making with her child?