web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘American Jew’

A Jewish Hero Grows Up in Brooklyn

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Let’s continue our Book Week tribute to Rabbi Meir Kahane with a look at a truly wonderful biography published last year, Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought written by his wife, Libby Kahane, who lives down the street from me in Jerusalem. The biography is Volume One of the never-dull story, covering the years 1932-1975. Presently, the Rebbetzin is working on Volume Two. I don’t want to give away my age, but for me the book is a combination of nostalgia and a saga of modern Jewish history, covering the Rabbi’s early years, his development into a passionate Jewish leader, willing to risk everything in his towering love for the Jewish People, the struggle for Soviet Jewry, the birth of the Jewish Defense League, the Kahane family’s aliyah, and Reb Meir’s first political battles in Israel. All in all, it’s an inspiring story of a true Jewish hero that every Jew should read.

Today, we will look at a passage about the Rabbi’s early days at The Jewish Press, which continued to publish his writings for thirty years until he was murdered by an Arab terrorist during a visit to New York.

Tomorrow, God willing, we will post a surprising section describing his youth that had a dramatic impact on me, teaching me that everyone has the potential and ability to build himself into a person of greatness, in whatever field of endeavor that he or she chooses to pursue.

From Chapter 8, Newspapers (1961-1963):

One year, Meir took the children to the annual “Salute to Israel” parade in Manhattan. The kids came home waving small Israeli flags Meir had bought them. The next morning, our light blue car had the word JEW painted on it in large black letters. After hours of scrubbing, I finally managed to remove all the black paint. I never felt the same about my neighbors again.

Since he had to drive through Flatbush for his editorial job at The Jewish Press, the location of the Mirrer Yeshiva was now more convenient than that of the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva. Every morning after his newspaper deliveries, Meir went to study at the Mirrer Yeshiva.

Meir drove a manual-shift Austin, which was handy for stop-and-go newspaper delivery, and I had a secondhand light blue Rambler for shopping and car pools. We lived modestly but comfortably on the income from Meir’s newspaper route, occasional private Hebrew lessons, and The Jewish Press.

Meir’s earliest writing in The Jewish Press reflected his preoccupation with Torah study. His first weekly column was “The Shiur of the Week.” Topics included the permissibility of delivering clothes to a laundry that would wash them on Shabbat, the lighting of Shabbat candles, and the blowing of the shofar on the High Holidays. He wrote “The Shiur of the Week” under the pen name Hamaor Hakatan (the small light), a play on the name Meir, which means giving light.

He began to write another column, “A Small Voice,” under his own name at about the same time. The first few columns had the title “A Still, Small Voice,” a phrase from I Kings 19, in which the prophet Elijah hears the word of God: “… but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice.” From 1960 to 1962, “A Small Voice” dealt with topics such as South African Jewry, religious laws in Israel, the Eichmann trial, the Bnei Israel Indian Jews, Christian missionary activity among poverty-stricken Israelis, and freedom of speech for Nazis in the U.S.

In “A Small Voice” of June 10, 1960, Meir attacked critics of David Ben-Gurion:

“No one can deny the tragedy inherent in the picture of a Jewish prime minister publicly contradicting the Bible… [But] among the voices of criticism raised were clearly heard those of the Scandal Mongers. They are the voice of those that are always ready to criticize the government of Israel…. Every sin and every transgression is shouted forth, while the good is always interred in silence….”

Meir then gave details of recent Israeli legislation that promoted adherence to Jewish law. For example, “The husband who defies the rabbinical court and refuses to grant a divorce to his wife will be jailed for contempt of court until he complies.” This legislation freed many women from being agunot, chained to their husbands, a situation all too common among Jews in the United States. “Certainly there is much that is wrong with Israel today…. But there is much that is right with Ben-Gurion and with Israel also, and I would be more impressed with the tears of the Scandal Mongers if they acknowledged this…. ”

Ha’aretz Independence Day Recipes Kosher in English, Traif Galore in Hebrew

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

If you’re an American Jew looking for an Independence Day recipe, Ha’aretz in English is a safe place for you. You’ll find there a discussion of the perfect hamburger, as befits the national holiday of outdoor barbecuing.

“There are as many versions of a good hamburger as there are stars in the sky, but all of them have one common denominator: beef with proper texture,” writes Limor Laniado Tiroche. “So, there are two things to watch out for – the type of beef and the way it is chopped.”

Really?

If Ms. Laniado Tiroche were to click over to her own paper’s Hebrew language website, she may discover an additional component, besides beef: goat cheese.

As if to be extremely specific about violating the commandment of “thou shalt not cook a kid in its own mother’s milk,” Hilla Kriv is pushing “Cheese filled kebabs for Independence Day.”

Away from the critical eyes of American readers, Ha’aretz sings the praise of little kebab patties: “They are small, juicy, and stuffed with goat cheese, which has melted and turned into a sauce rich in flavors.”

Yummy…

Is the New York Times Pro-Zionist?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Is the New York Times Pro-Zionist? Wow, that was a dumb question. Unless you are a student of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, I strongly doubt that you would need a second chance to guess the answer. The New York Times is a flagship of American journalism. It is published in the heart of one of the world’s largest Jewish population-centers outside of Israel, and it has been pointed out that it has had Jewish owners and some of its influential writers over the years have been Jewish. Even with these factors considered, we are left with the follow-up question: “So what?” If this paper is located in a world Jewish center and has Jewish owners and writers, does that make it a Jewish paper? Is the Jewish Press redundant to the New York Times? Sounds a little silly, doesn’t it?

Last week, the New York Times announced that they are commissioning a new Jerusalem Bureau Chief to replace Ethan Bronner, who has completed his four-year assignment in Israel. Ethan, like his replacement, is an American Jew. Throughout his time here, both Jews and Arabs have criticized his reporting for being more sympathetic to “the other side”. I myself have had issues with his portrayal of events here, and have even engaged him about the way in which he and foreign journalists generally report on issues in Judea and Samaria – with a pre-conceived bias not complimentary to the Jewish residents and our rights here. Although my interests are clear, I guess that the fact that both Arabs and Jews equally feel that he is not reporting as they would like is a sign that he has succeeded relatively well in holding on to neutral ground.

Guilt By Association?
Bronner came under heavy attack from anti-Israel propagandists a few years ago when his son enlisted in the IDF. They claimed that he could no longer present an even-handed report on the conflict when his own child was wearing the uniform of one side. I didn’t think that concern was well-founded then, and I remain convinced that following that thread to its logical conclusion would bring it to the ludicrous point where anyone with close relative involved in any type of activity is unfit to write about anything connected to that activity.

The New York Times’ newly-appointed Bureau Chief Judi Rodoren came under fire this week from pro-Israel bloggers who noticed that she sent a friendly tweet to a very obnoxious anti-Israel propagandist based in Chicago. Rodoren, also an American Jew, was put to the test on her questionable relationship with a hater of Israel. “Is she a Zionist?” was one question asked. Her response was that the only “ist” she would call herself is “journalist.” Well, that is really what is expected of her. She is not coming to Israel as a representative of American Jewry (whose support for their President Obama calls into question their support for Israel even more than Rodoren’s tweet with the Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah).

I would be glad to see American Jews in general be more supportive of Israel – but in regard to foreign journalists, Jewish or otherwise, I wish to see objective reporting. Tell the story like it is and let the readers decide for themselves. Don’t make us Jewish-Israeli-Zionists out to be monsters, and don’t make the Islamic Jihadi terrorists out to be peaceful human rights activists. There is a real story going on here in this beautiful and tiny country. It might very well be the most interesting story in the world. Journalists stationed here should open their eyes and report what they see without ugly accent colors painted by hate-mongers tweet blasting from Chicago or elsewhere.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/is-the-new-york-times-pro-zionist/2012/02/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: