One of the factors that hindered the proper early development of Judaism in America was a lack of qualified religious functionaries.
It was one of those American Jewish dust-ups that play out along predictable lines and concluded with a predictable outcome. The left outrages the right, and the right responds in knee-jerk fashion by calling for banning the left from something that most people had never heard of. In the end, the left emerges with its right to speak triumphantly undiminished while the right skulks away muttering. Seen that movie already? So have we all. Ad nauseam.
Governments around the world seem to believe the solution to the Arab war against Israel is to create a sovereign Palestinian Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza alongside Israel. The idea is completely flawed and mistaken. Under current conditions, a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state, bringing more war and terrorism. After all, sovereignty does not make a population and its leaders peaceful. Iran, North Korea and Syria are all sovereign states – are they peaceful and lovely?
There was just something so false in the universal acclaim for King Hussein on the occasion of his death eight years ago this week – false because most media accounts failed to offer a full reckoning of the Jordanian monarch’s life, with journalists whitewashing or ignoring its many inconvenient chapters and plentiful examples of ugly rhetoric.
Jews and justice can never be uttered in the same breath. So it is too for the Jewish State, always the individual Jew in macrocosm. Whether it wishes to acknowledge the existential danger or not, Israel's only hope for survival now lies in a well-reasoned and coherent nuclear strategy for dealing with nuclearizing enemies.
Last week I delivered a sermon based on the Torah portion of the week and which compared Moses, the great Jewish redeemer, with Abraham Lincoln, the martyred American emancipator.
Former presidents hold a place like no other politicians in a democracy. Regardless of their politics, they are honored for their service. And their choice of activities after their presidencies immediately raises the profile of the debate and calls us to arms for good causes.
The throngs of tourists passing Big Ben are unaware of the tunnel beneath their feet, which connects the parliamentary committee rooms in Portcullis House to the British House of Commons. When the division bells ring, members of parliament sprint along the passage to cast their votes in the chamber. It was in one of those committee rooms last Thursday evening that a group of MPs met with foreign lawmakers to discuss boycott, divestment and the indictment of a sovereign nation with the arrest of its officials for breach of international law.
Following the Iraq Study Group report, it seems clear that legally-binding non-proliferation expectations for Iran may soon be abandoned, and that Israel - once again - may be offered as a convenient sacrifice to civilization's irremediable enemies.