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I had the honor of spending an evening with the former Prime Minister. I was enthralled with his stories and life lessons, especially with his core conviction that a leader must truly believe in and be ready to defend his policies. If a leader does so, he told me, there is no need to worry about the criticism that will inevitably follow any brave decision.
Over the last decade, we've seen the convergence and alliance of Islamism with the far Left (and, with time, the not-so-far Left). Today, there seems to be another supposedly "impossible" convergence underway: We are witnessing the beginnings of an alliance between the radical Right (KKK, neo-Nazis, etc.) and the radical black Left (Black Panthers, Farrakhan, etc.)
Canadian MP Prof. Irwin Cotler: "“Israel is both a Jewish and democratic State with the added challenge of living in a hostile environment. The fundamental Jewish values of respect for the sanctity of human life should frame our discourse and policy when it comes to national issues, including Israel’s current African migration challenge.”
Progressives tried to balance out the instability they created by importing alien traditionalists to battle their traditionalists. But the demographic growth of traditionalists, alien and native, leads us to two kinds of societies. The kind run by native traditionalists and the kind run by alien traditionalists. And which one it will be almost entirely depends on how much power the progressives have had and for how long.
A values-based identity appears to be superior, but it is actually the product of an identity crisis. For example, Jewish assimilation dropped the 'peoplehood' aspect, leaving behind a values-based identity. When liberal Jews express their identity, it is values-based, built around "Tikkun Olam", or "Social Justice". That opens up a hole for someone like Peter Beinart to crawl in with a crisis of Liberal Zionism, a conflict between values-based identity and Jewish survival.
Americans are sick and tired of rancorous, scorched-earth politics, which has given Congress a nine percent approval rating. Let’s show America that politics is an honorable profession, a noble calling, filled with people who put values, country, and integrity first. Let’s start winning people back to the political theater by demonstrating that politics are inspiring rather than depressing, ennobling rather than corrupting, and harmonious rather than rancorous.
An Israeli–Zionist success story: the story of two Ethiopian youths who immigrated to Israel from their village in 2007 and evolved into top notch high school students and youth group leaders.
The secularists and atheists in my life don’t know enough about Judaism to know how big of deal this is, so they tend to look at my journey as a mildly exotic lifestyle choice – like a phase Madonna might go through – before they focus on the real issue at hand: circumcision.
At the end of a week in which the United Church of Canada, that country's largest Protestant denomination called for a boycott of goods produced in “illegal” Israeli settlements, including East Jerusalem, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird declared that "Israel has no greater friend in the world today than Canada." Baird was addressing the American Jewish Committee World Leaders Plenary in D.C.
Is this what three thousand and three hundred years of Jewish tradition has come to, that a nation that has always dared to walk alone, with different ideals and values from the wider culture, should so fully capitulate to the most corrupt, misogynistic values, that we would advocate that our young women have plastic surgery in order to get married?
How embarrassing.Last Sunday the Los Angeles Times ran an article about extravagant Jewish Iranian weddings in California that portrayed our community as a bunch of shallow, boastful materialists who think the purpose of a marriage ceremony is to tell our friends how much money we have.
Grief is a universal experience. But mourning, which is the religious and cultural expression of that grief, reflects the specific community's values and world
I've been reading Newsweek since 1975, when, as a yeshiva student in Israel, I subscribed in order to keep abreast of world events when otherwise not ensconced in the study of Torah. It's been three and a half decades, and my subscription, which lapses next month, will not be renewed. The reasons are reflective of the current state of American culture and mainstream journalism.
The words are from Ari Shavit, journalist for Israel's left-wing daily Haaretz, directed to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu (who took office, actually, last March 31 and has been prime minister less than a year) naturally responded by denying the charge, saying "My vision is of an Israel that is a world technological superpower, anchored in values, reaching peace from strength . we are working to jump-start the economy, to augment our security and to strengthen Israel through inculcating basic national values."
Special Note: For the past two weeks my columns have focused on the sad state of contemporary family life - controversies between siblings, parents, and children. Unfortunately, however, this deplorable state of affairs is not limited to families. Our communities and our institutions are all ridden by "infighting."
Last week I wrote about the difficulty of enforcing a tznius standard in some of our schools. I reported the stories of two children of the chronically ill, who by circumstances not of their doing could not meet the "tznius" criteria set by the school and kept being fined for infractions.
For a country that has fought for thirty years over the question of a woman's right to choose, we seem to all agree that once a child is born parents have no choice. They are not allowed to send their children to the school they prefer without incurring backbreaking financial penalties.
Social conservatives constantly bemoan the erosion of traditional family life and morality. In their view, narcissism and materialism plague the American landscape.
One of the reasons that parenting is so difficult is because parents are caught in a paradoxical situation. What every child wants most is to be loved as he is. However, the parent (horeh) is also a teacher (moreh), which comes from the word hora'ah - instruction. A teacher's job is to civilize the child, instill values, shape attitudes and correct negative behavior. We can't let our children go out into the world as pampered slobs or short-tempered bullies. We want them to be hard working, reliable, thrifty, considerate, patient and organized.
When one decides to have children, one has to decide: how one intends to bring them up, what values one will imbue in them and how one will stress their importance. Whatever they may be, when one instills the right values in a child, one later receives the dividends of one's efforts. This was proved so true this past Yom Kippur for Rebbetzin Judith Friedlander.
It is our fantasy, our illusion, our wishful thinking (supported by the movie industry and our own values) that as we age or become ill, we will be cared for by our ever-smiling and patient spouses and children, surrounded by our loving, laughing, cherubic grandchildren whose sole wish is to hug and kiss us and listen to our stories.