President Bush, writes Graydon Carter, paranoiac editor of Vanity Fair, the magazine that strives mightily to be taken seriously while championing celebrity narcissism and mindless titillation (“Nicole Kidman Bares All,” trills the cover of the current issue, thick as always with ads for perfume, lingerie and high-priced clothes and toys for high-income yuppies and those who aspire to be), “has taken away our civil liberties.”
Jewish tradition teaches that the city of Tzfat (Safed), located in the north of Israel in the beautiful Galilee region, is one of Israel’s four holy cities (the others are Jerusalem, Tiberias, and Hebron). Yet it is Tzfat that is praised for its exceptional spiritual presence.
Did you enjoy 5767? For Jews around the world, it was the usual assortment of bad – and even worse – news. Of course, not everything was awful. It was a year of recovery in Israel, as the aftermath of last year’s less than successful Second Lebanon War was followed by recriminations and political stalemate.
It wasn’t easy for me to come out with a public call to Israelis to oppose the evacuation of Jews from Hebron with passive, non-violent resistance. Hebron is Jerusalem, not Yamit.
The Passover Seder liturgy tells us that in every generation an enemy arises seeking to eradicate the Jewish people. In the last hundred years, those enemies included the Russian czar, Stalin, Hitler, Gamal Abdel Nasser and, more recently, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Here we go again. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Now it is Hebron, where a number of soldiers have correctly refused intrinsically wrongful orders to evict fellow Jews from their homes. Now it is Homesh, where authentic Jews labor industriously and heroically to remedy earlier IDF evictions.
Usually when disasters strike, there is no time to ask questions. With a rational approach, we spring into action and move forward with helping those in distress and repairing the damage. As mere mortals, we cannot understand why some hurricanes strike land while others veer away. Facing the uncertainty of climate change and random storms is part of the human condition, and so is picking up the pieces afterward.
On its face, it is the quintessential story of the success of American Jewish life: a public school where the teaching of Hebrew will be at the center of its core curriculum. But behind this facade, the founding of the Ben Gamla School in Broward County, Florida, has generated controversy and criticism.
Tehila Elbogen died in March, shortly after her sixteenth birthday and after a two-and-a-half year struggle against a rare and as yet incurable cancer. She lost the physical battle, winning the one that was spiritual and leaving a legacy that all of us who knew and admired her shall cherish until the end of our days.
This Rosh Hashanah, Israel stands on the threshold of its 60th anniversary. Still we are fighting for survival, and, despite the passage of time, face the threats of war and terror. Yet Israel stands strong. And the collective support of the Jewish people makes us even stronger.
In a virtuoso display of the pettiness that has come to define the New York Times editorial page under Andrew Rosenthal, the Sour Gray Lady sniped last weekend against the active participation of Rudy Giuliani in the city’s memorial event marking the sixth anniversary of 9/11.
Terrorism is not always what it seems. When it involves suicide bombing in Iraq or Israel, it often has little if anything to do with war or politics. Rather, its truest meanings are rooted in distinctly private expressions of fear, dissatisfaction, cowardice and loathing.
As an educator, I was always intrigued with the trip on which my high school students would embark in their junior or senior year. The “March of the Living” allows a student to experience in a small way the immense tragedy our people endured during the Holocaust.
“What kind of job is that for a Jewish boy?” These were the words that greeted a friend and mentor when he chose the profession of Jewish educator almost 50 years ago. Two basic assumptions stand behind such a question: (1) Jewish boys are destined for greatness; (2) Jewish education is certainly not the path to achieve that greatness.