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The Making of a President and the Making of a Gadol

17 Heshvan 5773 – November 1, 2012
I must say that I was a little bit amused by the above video featured on Aish.com. In about 3 minutes Mrs. Lori Palatnik proudly explains the difference between how Americans choose their leaders and how Orthodox Jews chose their leaders. Choosing a President in this great country of ours is a democratic process, but it is heavily influenced by money and power; ads and sloganeering; and smearing the opponent. Politics at its worst one might say. Certainly the best man available for the job may not be elected, or even running.

Postcard from Israel: Sussita

15 Heshvan 5773 – October 30, 2012
Sussita – or Antiochia-Hippos, to call it by its Greek name – sits on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, towering 350 meters above Kibbutz Ein Gev. Founded around 200 BCE, during Roman times Sussita was one of the Decapolis – the ten cities. The city was predominantly Christian from the fourth century until its destruction in the massive earthquake of January 749, after which it was never resettled. It boasts many features, including impressive fortifications, several churches and pagan temples, a commercial area, bath houses, a beautiful odeon overlooking the lake and a port on the lake shore below. In 1951, an IDF outpost was established on the mountain which was until 1967 Israel’s easternmost point, merging with the Golan Heights.

Long Island Orthodox Woman a Volunteer Firefighter

13 Heshvan 5773 – October 29, 2012
Weiner was born and raised in New York, where very few Orthodox Jewish women volunteer as firefighters, she says.

Contemplating the Divine Together

8 Heshvan 5773 – October 24, 2012
We live on the first floor of a Netanya apartment building, which means that our living room panorama window overlooking the street below is...

Israel ‘Accused’ of Ensuring Gazan’s Had Proper Nutrition

8 Heshvan 5773 – October 23, 2012
The most interesting aspect of the Guardian/AP report on Oct. 17, ‘Israel used calorie count to limit Gaza food during the blockade,' in addition to the extremely misleading headline, is that there is little if anything in the story which demonstrates that Israel did anything improper whatsoever.

Romney’s Structural Handicaps and Third Debate Strategy

A full analysis of the foreign policy aspects of the third debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Remember that the idea that someone “won” the debate in terms of an outside observer’s standpoint or even based on a poll is misleading. The only important thing is whether either candidate swayed additional voters to his side.

Judea as ‘Cradle of Jewish Civilization’ in The Financial Times

6 Heshvan 5773 – October 21, 2012
A writer in the Financial Times said Judea and Samaria was the cradle of Jewish civilization, even as he lamented the slow death of the two-state solution.

A Canyon So Deep: Israel’s Red Canyon

The entire walk through the canyon lasts about an hour - you walk through it, sliding down in some locations, squeezing between rocks in others. Then, you have a choice - this way back to the parking lot; that way to go deeper into the canyon. The sun was setting and the colors were amazing; as the sun touched the mountains, the red stone deepened and the golden sons glistened. We turned back to the parking lot because I didn't want to be out there in the dark.

How To Have Guests And Still Enjoy Your Meal

3 Heshvan 5773 – October 18, 2012
I feel that I am a good authority to write on this topic, because although I love having guests, it completely stresses me out. Something happens to me when we have guests over; I feel this urge to have the table perfect, the food innovative, delicious and abundant and my children buffed and shiny. When things don’t turn out well, it’s not exactly pretty.

Er, No, Obama Didn’t Win the Debate

We’ve reached a watershed here, where we either live in our own heads affirming reality, regardless of spurious inputs from demagoguery or sentiment, or we give up on reality and let demagoguery and sentiment take over at the decision table. Did the president pull off a performance last night, in terms of sounding passionate and full of conviction? To some extent, yes. Does that mean he won the debate, or even achieved a draw with Romney? No.

Noach: Hashem Hates Thievery

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
In this pasuk, Hashem appears to Noach, telling him the world has turned to evil and He will now destroy all of life. Noach, his family, and the animals that remained pure will be the core of a new world. The reason for this destruction is stealing – “since the land is filled with robbery.”

Reflections on the Second Presidential Debate

Obama got away with saying that he had characterized the attack on the Benghazi consulate as a terrorist incident because the moderator confirmed his point; in fact he misrepresented the facts when he said "The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that … this was an act of terror."

Romney by Points, Obama Still Underpresent, Candy Crowley Not the Greatest Hall Monitor

I saw President Obama still finding it difficult to sound cool and calculated without his trusted teleprompter.

Sarah Silverman Took Us Down

1 Heshvan 5773 – October 16, 2012
Apparently nothing is more important in the world than Sarah Silverman and her uterus. As the entire world, and her father, have decided to...

IDF on High Alert Along Egyptian Border

29 Tishri 5773 – October 15, 2012
IDF on high alert along Egyptian border as reports of a new attack on the Egyptian military surface.

Training in Lebanon-Like Terrain

24 Tishri 5773 – October 10, 2012
These are future IDF commanders practice infantry maneuvers in thickets that resemble those found in Lebanon – lots of trees, plants and shrubbery. We took...

Prematurely Celebrating Romney’s Victory

23 Tishri 5773 – October 9, 2012
Despite Obama’s poor debate performance, Romney’s rising likability numbers and voters saying he would better handle the economy – and two more polls which give him a significant bump since the debate – there is reason to fear that voters will still not vote against the incumbent.

Romney Coming Back Slowly on Eve of First Debate

18 Tishri 5773 – October 3, 2012
In North Carolina, where President Obama was starting to open a lead over Republican presidential candidate Romney, the two are now tied according to recent polls, with each candidate's lead falling within the margin of error. Until the end of the summer, North Carolina was considered a red or red-leaning state, and the fact that Obama was pulling ahead there marked the lowest point for Romney.

MTA Sneaks In Free Speech Restrictions, Bypassing Court Ruling Favoring Anti-Jihad Ad

14 Tishri 5773 – September 30, 2012
These new regulations were announced on Thursday, just three days after the American Freedom Defense Initiative ads were put up with court approval.

Are Your Investment Decisions Rational?

12 Tishri 5773 – September 28, 2012
As a financial planner, I often ask new clients why a particular investment is included in their portfolio. One answer that I find somewhat worrying is: “I don’t really know how to explain it, but I just had a gut feeling that this stock was going to be a winner!”

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