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24 Kislev 5778 -
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Gaza Imam: Breaking Ceasefire Would Be A Sin

A Muslim imam in Gaza has issued a religious edict, or fatwa, that says it is a sin to violate the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Happy Thanksgiving – 2012

I see nothing wrong with our participating with all American citizens in observing Thanksgiving.

Abbas, ya Bahai, Get Lost!!

Muhammad As’ad Bayoudh al-Tamimi is a Palestinian columnist living in Jordan. In the past he has often clearly expressed the opinions of the man...

On the Guardian’s Opinion Section: Hamas Propoganda

IDF strikes on Nov. 18 knocked out the Hamas television stations Al Aqsa and Al Quds in Gaza, but Hamas leaders were likely not too concerned, and knew they could always count on Plan B: Propagandizing at the Guardian.

I Love Tel Aviv

Strolling around Tel Aviv and seeing how the words of our Prophets have come to pass in our generation, is as much of a spiritual experience as spending a day in the holy city of Tzfat.

On Politicians and Grunt Work

The Knesset members who “take care of things” for us deserve to be praised, not insulted: people like Uri Ariel and Zevulun Orlev, whose offices are filled day and night with the representatives of organizations and institutions, religious and secular. And they “take care” of these people. It’s true that Ariel and Orlev received popularity ratings of only three percent in a recent poll of the national-religious community, but this isn’t their problem—it’s the respondents’ problem. Orlev and Ariel are too busy for self-promotion.

50 Reasons to Make Aliyah

A few readers have written me lately, saying that my blogs are too hard-hitting, and that I would have better results with honey than with smashing people over the head with a sledgehammer. I am not totally convinced

Israeli Civil Rights Group Slams Modi’in on Anti-Haredi Policies

The Israeli city of Modi'in is slammed from an unlikely direction - Israel's civil right's organization, the Association for Civil rights in Israel (ACRI). Granted ACRI doesn't have the most objective agenda, and their voice was loudly missing when it came the Disengagement in 2005, but they are to be praised for doing the right thing when it comes to Modi'in.

Rachel is Weeping Over You!

The yartzeit of our Matriarch, Rachel, falls this year on Shabbat. Every year, more and more people gather at Rachel’s Tomb to pay respects to the Matriarch who is known as Rachel Emanu - Rachel Our Mother. Thousands of pilgrims will travel there today and tomorrow from all over the country, and perhaps 200,000 more will make the annual pilgrimage the day after Shabbat, every type of Jew there is, religious and non-religious, Haredim, Hasidim, and Dati Leumi, men, women, and children, busload after busload after busload, from far and near, waiting long hours for their turn to enter the small but beautifully renovated tomb near Betlechem on the way to Efrata .

The Rabbi’s Daughter

Several prominent Religious Zionist rabbis in Israel have fallen victim to the OTD (Off the Derech) phenomenon. Rav Shlomo Aviner, Rav David Bigman, and Rav Yoram Tzohar each have a daughter that has departed from the observant ways of their parents. So for those parents who have OTD children, you are not alone. There are some very prominent people who join you. One may ask: How can I publicize something like this about such prominent leaders in Klal Yisroel, since it might be embarrassing to them? The answer is that they do not hide it. They willingly participated in a film that tells their story.

An Open Letter to Religious Zionist Rabbis

Dear Rabbi: With elections approaching in Israel, I am searching for a religious political party for which to vote. When I think about voting for Shas, I remember their support for Oslo, the surrender of parts of Eretz Yisrael, giving rifles to our enemies, and the terrible sea of Jewish blood that was spilled after the Oslo Accords were signed. That is not the Torah I am searching to find.

Modern Orthodox Dropouts

There has been a lot of discussion about young people abandoning Mitzvah observance (going off the derech) over the past few years. A lot of that discussion took place here. Indeed it has been declared a crisis by some. The focus of this issue in the religious media has been primarily in the Charedi world. Many theories have emerged as to why children go OTD. Among them: being sexually abused and the negative reactions to it by family and community, dysfunctional family situations, faulty educational environments, teachers unprepared to deal with questions of faith, or being overly sheltered from the world so that rebellion occurs when they are exposed to it unprepared.

Is This Man a Charedi Hater?

In its most recent edition, Ami Magazine has accused Professor Samuel Heilman - a distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College of hating Charedim. I am all too familiar with accusations like this as I am often accused of being a Charedi hater myself. But the truth is that neither I nor Professor Heilman are such a thing.

‘The Right Kind of Jihad’

The Iranian Green Revolution had brave Neda Agha-Soltan, and the Pakistanis have the stubbornly courageous Malala Yousufzai. At fourteen, when the Taliban tried to assassinate...

EJC’s Kantor Unveils Model Bill for Europe on Regulating Ritual Slaughter

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor unveiled a model bill designed to set “strict legal terms” on religious freedoms for the continent.

Making Amends

Where I now work, there is a small kitchen where workers can have lunch. We take our lunch breaks at different times, and I usually take mine at the same time as an unassuming young man named Benny Green, a 25-year-old who works in the company’s stockroom.

Religious Coalition to Metro: Donate “Support Israel” Proceeds to Human Rights Group

A coalition of religious groups is calling on the Washington DC Metro to donate proceeds from an ad campaign suggesting Muslims are savages to an organization supporting human rights.

The Downside of Religious Idealism

Why is there so much animosity between Charedi and Dati Leumi/Religious Zionist factions? I can't fully answer the question. But I do have some thoughts about it. I think it is because Israelis are far more idealistic about their religious values - especially those who make Aliyah.

Microscope Jews

I found some essays penned by Diaspora Jews who succumbed to the Sin of the Spies in their negative reports of the Holy Land. Oy.

Rabbi Cherlow: Why Aren’t Human Rights Advocates Protesting Outlawing Jewish Prayers on Temple Mount?

Rabbi Cherlow said that it is possible that the great concession of Temple Mount began with the late IDF General Motta Gur and his paratroopers.

New Brit Mila Legislation May Be Weeks Away in Germany

Ritual circumcisions have resumed in the Cologne region of Germany, ending a controversy started in a Cologne court in June, when judges decided ritual circumcision constituted “bodily harm” to boys and religious coercion.

Outreach, Regrets and the Wrong Man for the Job

There are many people who are born frum that have issues that are similar to ba'alei teshuva. We shouldn’'t be singling them out. But then the Rav went right into bashing Modern Orthodoxy Although he didn't label them outright it was clear from the context that the Modern Orthodox Jew is, according to him, the one with the real problem.

Closed: The Last Synagogue in Egypt

Fears for the future of religious minorities in Egypt were accentuated earlier this month when it was announced that the last synagogue in the country would be closed down. The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, which had operated in Alexandria, was the last functioning center of Jewish life in the country. It is now clear that its cavernous halls, built in the nineteenth century, will not be open to worshippers hoping to mark Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services this year.

To Inform or Not to Inform – That is the Question

With all the bacteria a mouth is known to contain - and the possibility that it might contain bacteria or viruses that are very harmful to a vulnerable 8-day-old child while an adult carrier might not even be aware of it - it is not exactly rocket science to know that putting your mouth on an open wound is not a good idea.

The President Sends a Message of Submission

The Western media are not the only ones who fail to see the symbolism of raising al-Qaeda’s banner on 9/11. Our President missed it as well.

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