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Why I Dread Purim

7 Adar 5772 – February 29, 2012
There certainly are many reasons to look forward to Purim. It is a time of feasting, joy, and merriment. We celebrate an important victory over our enemies, which was a precedent for many other such victories over the course of our history. We read one of the most moving stories in our entire tradition, and we have good fun while we’re doing it.

Rabbi Lord Sacks: The Hardship Of Freedom

23 Shevat 5772 – February 15, 2012
First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.

The Supernatural Miracle

10 Shevat 5772 – February 2, 2012
In September 2010, BBC, Reuters and other news agencies reported on a sensational scientific discovery. Researchers at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado showed through computer simulation how the division of the Red Sea might have taken place.

The Egyptian March Of Folly

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
There is a fascinating moment in the unfolding story of the plagues that should make us stop and take notice. Seven plagues have now struck Egypt.

No Politician Cares About Funding Private Schools

26 Tevet 5772 – January 20, 2012
There are two types of politicians we encounter when advocating to relieve our community’s tuition burden through the use of government funding: those who claim to be 100 percent behind us, and those who claim to be 100 percent against us. What’s interesting is that politicians in both categories do not seem to understand what “100 percent” means.

When History Was Born

The parshah of Va’eira begins with some fateful words. It would not be too much to say that they changed the course of history because they changed the way people thought about history. In fact, they gave birth to the very idea of history. Listen to the words:

Closeness And Distance

4 Tevet 5772 – December 29, 2011
What do porcupines do in winter? asked Schopenhauer. If they come too close to one another, they injure each other. If they stay too far apart, they freeze. Life, for porcupines, is a delicate balance between closeness and distance. It is hard to get it right and dangerous to get it wrong. And so it is for us.

School Excitement Vs. Parental Excitement

1 Tevet 5772 – December 26, 2011
It can’t be emphasized enough how important grassroots involvement is to political action. Serious unified support can impact the tuition crisis by making our community and its school choice allies an impenetrable voting bloc that must be listened to and that demands consistent results. How we get to “unified” is a challenge.

The Real Issue

26 Kislev 5772 – December 21, 2011
There has long been a massive debate in Anglo Jewry as to whether we should take a unified stance in our support for the State of Israel or openly air our differences. It’s mostly been a noisy and shrill debate, but it’s the wrong debate – as it is deflecting us from the real issue.

Conversation Is The Key To Understanding

20 Kislev 5772 – December 15, 2011
From Parshat Vayeishev to the end of Sefer Bereishit, we read the story of Joseph and his brothers. From the very beginning we are plunged into a drama of sibling rivalry that seems destined to end in tragedy.

Orthodox Rhodes Scholar Excelled In Classroom But Found Spiritual Enrichment In Orthodox Union Program

19 Kislev 5772 – December 14, 2011
In September 2008, Miriam Rosenbaum, a freshman from New York City, arrived at Princeton University to begin her four years of undergraduate education on the Ivy League campus.

Chanukah: Not Just A Children’s Holiday

It never used to bother me; that is, until recently. Somehow, over the years, Chanukah has come to be celebrated as a children’s holiday.

Being Held Accountable

12 Kislev 5772 – December 7, 2011
By any standards it was a shocking episode. Jacob had settled on the outskirts of the town of Shechem, ruled by Hamor. Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, goes out to see the town. Shechem, Hamor’s son, sees her, abducts and rapes her, and then falls in love with her and wants to marry her. He begs his father, “Get me this girl as my wife.”

Was Jacob Really An Ish Tam?

4 Kislev 5772 – November 30, 2011
What kind of man was Jacob? This is the question that cries out to us in episode after episode of his life.

An Honorable Failure

28 Heshvan 5772 – November 24, 2011
Even before they were born, Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb. They were destined, it seems, to be eternal adversaries. Not only were they different in character and appearance, they also held different places in their parents’ affections.

How Long To Grieve

20 Heshvan 5772 – November 17, 2011
Abraham, the Sages were convinced, was a greater religious hero than Noah. We hear this in the famous dispute among the Sages about the phrase that Noah was “perfect in his generations,” meaning relative to his generations:

The Art Of Gratitude

16 Heshvan 5772 – November 12, 2011
It is the hardest passage of all, one that seems to defy understanding. Abraham and Sarah have waited years for a child. G-d has promised them repeatedly that they would have many descendants, as many as the stars of the sky, the dust of the earth, the grains of sand on the seashore. They wait. No child comes.

Civility: What The Sages Had To Say

22 Shevat 5771 – January 26, 2011
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Tucson, "civility" is the word on everyone's lips. This is ironic when one considers that civility is nowhere to be found in anyone's actions. Each partisan faction is charging the other with hatred and violence.

Study Examines State Of Orthodox Marriage

5 Shevat 5770 – January 20, 2010
The state of marriage in the Orthodox community is hard to gauge, but the Orthodox Union, in alliance with the Aleinu Family Resource Center, took up the challenge last year by engineering an online survey taken by thousands of married observant Jews.

Title: Living from Convention to Convention: A History of NCSY, 1954-1980

9 Tammuz 5769 – July 1, 2009
Living from Convention to Convention: A History of NCSY, 1954-1980 by Zev Eleff charts the history of NCSY since its inception. These formative years allowed the national youth organization of the Orthodox Union to become what many say is now the largest force in bringing Jewish teens closer to their heritage and religion.

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