In the long run, history may take a kinder view of George W. Bush’s presidency than that of the majority of the American people who now see him as a failure. But anyone in Washington who thinks that he can boost his poll ratings or score a foreign-policy triumph on the heels of the Arab-Israeli conflict to divert attention away from Iraq is just dreaming.
In New York last Wednesday for an emergency fundraising dinner, Manhigut Yehudit leader Moshe Feiglin – one of three candidates running in the Likud party’s August 14 primaries – expressed tentative hope regarding his prospects. While he would consider anything above 20 or 25 percent a success, Feiglin said “we are in this race to win … and this miracle can really happen if we work hard.”
About The New York Times it has been possible for a number of years now to declare, comfortably and without risk of contradiction, that relying on the once-formidable newspaper as one’s sole, or even primary, source of information can be hazardous to one’s intellectual health.
Jorge Luis Borges sometimes happily identified himself as a sort of Jew. Although without any apparent basis in Halachah, he obviously felt himself a deeply kindred spirit: "Many a time I think of myself as a Jew," he is quoted in Willis Barnstone's Borges At Eighty: Conversations (1982), "but I wonder whether I have the right to think so. It may be wishful thinking."
Not long ago posters appeared in a number of synagogues in Brooklyn banning a recently published book that, according to the posters, contained misleading halachic rulings.
We have become so used to living in a world without the Beit HaMikdash that it would be unreasonable to expect anyone to be able to begin the "Three Weeks" with the observances of shiva.
The pope has generated a bit of controversy. First, he permitted congregations to go back to the old custom of praying in Latin. (More about that later.) Then he announced that only the Catholic Church qualifies as a real church. Protestants, as far as the pope is concerned, simply don’t make the grade!
Tom Segev is one of Israel’s more distasteful post-Zionists, which is saying a lot, considering their generally unappetizing nature. His newest book, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East, is as one-sided and tendentious a work as one would expect from Segev, a columnist for Haaretz whose stock-in-trade is books blaming Israel and Zionism for every conceivable ill in the Middle East.
Israel and the United States still think of counter-terrorism as a narrowly military and geopolitical task. What both fail to realize is that Arab/Islamic terrorism in general, and Palestinian terrorism in particular, are driven by religious notions of sacrifice. As these notions are common to both Fatah and Hamas, the developing Bush/Rice/Olmert plan to aid the former against the latter is misconceived. This plan will fail promptly and calamitously. Othman Abu Gharbiya, Deputy Chief of the National and Political Guidance Bureau of Fatah (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May9, 1998)
Three weeks ago, Rabbi Marc Angel, the retiring spiritual leader of Manhattan’s Congregation Shearith Israel, argued in these pages (“Conversion to Judaism: A Discussion of Standards,” op-ed, June 22) that: (1) there is a multiplicity of standards for conversion within halacha; and (2) the determination of what standards to apply is best left to the discretion of every individual rabbi.