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If a civic or political group, meeting publicly, is not willing to have its activities and statements recorded truthfully by critics, its purpose is suspect. There can be no good purpose for preventing third parties – i.e., the whole of society, whether friendly or critical – from seeing what is said and done at a public event sponsored by the Palestine Society.
The Talmud tells us that compassion is one of the three traits that distinguish the nation of Israel (the others are shame and kindness). The Torah abounds with commandments that exercise this quality, and Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that they are given for exactly that purpose.
For more than half a year, the Samaria Residents Committee has been struggling against Magen David Adom following its agreement with the Red Cross,...
To the modern mind, korbanos may seem foreign or hard to understand. Yet they were a key component of the service of Hashem. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that offerings served many purposes, including a primary purpose of expressing thanks to Hashem. Thus, following the book of Exodus comes the book dealing with sacrifices as an expression of thanks for the deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
The real question is "What is happiness?" We seem to be a very unhappy generation. Even when we say “This makes me happy”, “I am happy”, “I would be happy if you would do this”, “I will be happy to do that”, do we really mean happiness? Do we even know what happiness feels like?
One factor that is not taken into account in Washington, or at least in the White House, is how U.S. policies and actions are distorted, often on purpose, in the Arabic-speaking sphere. When someone says that Arabs or Muslims hate America because of its policies, the proper wording should be: because of what they think those policies are, regardless of what is actually happening.
“And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt” (41:45). This was one of the greatest tests he underwent in his career. Wearing the king’s ring (41:42), clothed in royal linen with a golden chain around his neck (ibid.), riding in the second royal chariot with runners before him (41:43), having full power over the land (41:44), having an Egyptian name and an Egyptian wife the daughter of a priest, he had every reason to disown his family which had so wronged him, and he could have without any effort become a full Egyptian in heart and soul.
In recent years, the attitude dubbed "orthopraxy", the notion that holds that fulfillments of halakha is sufficient on its own terms without serving, or being subordinate to, any higher purpose , has become fashionable in some circles. Most famously advocated by the late distinguished Israeli scientist Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Orthopraxy - which has become accepted practically if not avowedly by many Orthodox Jews, both in the US and Israel - has found a number of other proponents as well, a disproportionate number of whom are among the intellectual elite.
It comes as no surprise that in a world where many neglect the importance of community, iPhones, iPods, and iPads constantly and consistently appear as the trendiest gadgets. These devices represent a culture that desires to deconstruct the power and purpose of community, placing all importance on the needs of the individual.
Everything we experience in life serves as a hands-on lesson concerning our purpose on earth. Consider this: Thirty-three miners plunge into two months of darkness 2,000 feet below the surface, disconnected from their source. After 69 days of eternity, the moment they were praying for arrived. Their dream became a reality. They would finally see the light of day, the joy of freedom, the hug of loved ones, and the tears of their children.
With a title such as this, Rabbi Winston's new book belongs in every Jewish home and institution. Page 180 holds a delicious, psychologically satisfying insight and answer to your confusion about the purpose and function of personal suffering.