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?
Why do the mainstream media keep tacking on the term “Israeli-Palestinian crisis” where it does not belong? This has become a mindless mantra meant to inflame, not inform – and, more important, to affirm the “goodness” and “fairness” of the journalists who espouse such rank propaganda.
The Monitor lately has been on the receiving end of a number of e-mails that either contain or link to a hit piece on Jonathan Pollard by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that appeared nearly nine years ago in The New Yorker (Jan. 18, 1999 issue). While the article is not accessible on The New Yorker’s website (the archives section of which is almost non-existent), it’s easily found on the Internet.
Some things never change. First and foremost, it seems, is the determination of American presidents to assist in the birth another enemy state called "Palestine." Notwithstanding this country's "War On Terror," the Bush administration continues on a conspicuously self-destructive path that will only make us more vulnerable to terrorism.
Q: Should Israel attend the upcoming Annapolis peace conference?
On the face of it, Iran ought not to be a source of much partisan strife. Few on even the far left or far right are going to say anything nice about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his mullah masters, or be willing to defend the Islamic republic’s support for terrorism throughout the Middle East, including its sponsorship of Hizbullah and alliance with Hamas.
When I publicly disclosed the beating I received on the #2 bus going to the Kotel last November, it was after consulting with daas Torah and lots of soul searching. I did not relish the black eye this would inevitably give haredi Jews, and I was uncomfortable associating my name with such a grievous event.
Once again, haredi Jews worldwide were shamed and disgraced by association due to the actions of a few violent criminals. Two weeks ago in Beit Shemesh, according to reports in Israeli papers, a group of five haredi young men assaulted a woman for refusing to move to the back of a bus whose front seats were reserved exclusively for men. A male soldier seated next to the woman was also assaulted.
If you want to test a conservative, put him in charge of New York City. If he can make it there (this is not your cue to sing), one suspects he can handle an assortment of infantile conservative activists. And we’ll soon see, because said infantile activists – not Hillary Clinton – appear to be Rudy Giuliani’s primary obstacle to the presidency.