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Pro-Israel Voters Must Choose McCain

17 Tishri 5769 – October 15, 2008
As a patriotic Jewish American, I care deeply about Israel’s well-being and security as well as that of our own country.

The Howling Man

Most political observers in Israel feel it’s only a matter of time before Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu gets another turn at the premiership. Nine years after being voted out of office in a landslide defeat at the hands of Ehud Barak, Netanyahu routinely tops voter preference polls – a state of affairs surely owing more to the country’s dearth of leadership than to fond memories of his first term in office.

Crowds, Conventions and the Slow Death Of Individualism in America

My dear readers, let's look for a few moments behind the news. As we may readily learn from the philosophers, every sham can have a patina.

The Jewish Economy Triangle: Capitalism, Faith And Loving-Kindness

Like every other aspect of running a country, economics is a complex business.

Passing The Torch

In just a few weeks we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the day that, for many people, marks the beginning of the Shoah.

Putting the Oy Back into ‘Ahoy’

They did not sing "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Manischewitz," nor do they ever seem to appear in any of the Disney films about pirates in the Caribbean.

Ahmadinejad Wasn’t Too Impressed

10 Tishri 5769 – October 8, 2008
On the threat from Iran, there is some good news, some bad news and some even worse news. The good news: Both presidential candidates think the prospect of Iran going nuclear is a bad thing.

Hekhsher Tzedek Revisited

The innovative idea for kashrut certification called Hekhsher Tzedek is now making inroads in the Jewish world and gaining the attention of the secular press as well. In a nutshell, Hekhsher Tzedek calls for a supplemental certification of a food company beyond compliance with the laws of kashrut to include certification that it conducts its business ethically.

Taking Stock: Rosh Hashanah 5769

It seems that God is reshuffling all the decks for the New Year, 5769.

Leaving The Fold

I grew up in a Modern Orthodox Jewish community in Miami Beach. Nearly all of my childhood friends remain observant.

Palestinian Leader, Islamist Chief Discuss Temple Mount Takeover

JERUSALEM - Meeting with an Islamist leader here, the Palestinian Authority's chief negotiator last weekend discussed ways to solidify Islamic control over the Temple Mount and block Jews from purchasing real estate in areas surrounding the holy site, according to a source involved in the talks.

John McCain And The Rebbe Of The Warsaw Ghetto

3 Tishri 5769 – October 1, 2008
An interesting title perhaps – and maybe a bit misleading. But I believe there is an important parallel in the lives of the Republican presidential candidate and the martyred chassidic rebbe who perished in the Holocaust. Before I lay out my case, allow me to introduce to you Rabbi Klonymus Kalman Shapira, of blessed memory. It is really a moral responsibility to know the life of this saintly individual. (The biographical information below was adapted from Esther Farbstein’s Hidden in Thunder and Nechemia Polin’s The Holy Fire.)

There Is No Palestinian ‘Right of Return’

When President Bush hosted the Annapolis Conference in 2007, Israel, the Palestinians, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left hoping that some resolution to the decades-old conflict would reveal itself by the end of 2008. The likelihood of such an outcome by the end of Bush’s presidency seems to be steadily evaporating, as Israel’s prime minister exits office in disgrace and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, though softening his rhetoric, is still adamant that “Palestinian refugees must have the right to return to their homeland” (as he recently asserted in his meeting with Hosni Mubarak of Egypt) and that "Jerusalem and the right of return are inalienable Palestinian rights, too."

From Liberal Protestants, A Theology Of Silence

No Jewish voices were invited as the World Council of Churches (WCC) convened in Bern, Switzerland this month "an international ecumenical debate" to consider the theological issues related to the Holy Land and help it formulate positions regarding "the Promised Land, the Church and Israel, justice and peace."

Dealing With Abuse: A Proposal

Assemblyman Dov Hikind deserves credit for his attempt to deal with the issue of abuse in the Orthodox community – a community where people still refer to cancer as "yener machlah" (that disease); where mental illnesses (even those that are not genetic, such as postpartum depression) are rarely spoken of publicly; and where some parents are still afraid to have their sons and daughters tested and registered with Dor Yeshorim even though doing so might prevent a marriage resulting in children with genetic diseases.

Hillary Reopens Old Wounds

Back in late 1999 through the fall of 2000, when Hillary Clinton was first running for the U.S. Senate, this column had some uncomplimentary things to say about the then-first lady. From time to time since her election, readers have wondered whether the Monitor had any second thoughts, especially given Sen. Clinton’s generally solid foreign policy record.

Israel’s Latest Release Of Terrorists Hardly Cause For “Praise”

It is always difficult to believe that any thinking friend of Israel, let alone a prominent Israeli academic strategist, could find something positive in Israeli territorial surrenders and associated capitulations.

Driving The Likud Bus To A Jewish Destination

September 13 passed uneventfully in Israel. It was supposed to have been a national holiday: the anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Irena’s Vow – Honoring A Tzadekes

It is customary before the Yamim Noraim, the High Holy Days, to look back at the past and strive to do better the following year, through Teshuvah.

Hating Palin: Words Of Wisdom From Ronald Reagan

25 Elul 5768 – September 24, 2008
It has taken me a couple of weeks but I think I’ve finally gotten handle on why Sarah Palin’s bravado Republican convention speech was such a smash among conservatives: After nearly eight years of watching President Bush curl up in the fetal position each time he was savaged by the angry left, it was positively invigorating to see a conservative Republican finally fight back – and with wit and charm.

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