Author: Eytan Kobre

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Why Can’t They Be Like Me?

The current crisis in Eretz Yisrael constitutes an extended educational seminar on two topics: what is Torah, and what does it mean to be a student of Torah? At the outset, let’s dispense with...

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At the Lemonade Stand

In an opinion piece in the Jewish Week, the three co-authors of the recent study of New York’s Jewish population cheerfully report on why their findings are so promising: Much has been written about...

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A Multi-vocal Conversation

I’ve been trying to gather information, from 6,000 miles away, in order to form some opinions on what appears to be a complex situation in Beit Shemesh. I’m still in the midst of absorbing...

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Dishonesty in the Service of Animus

The seemingly insatiable appetite of the Forward for anti-Orthodox scandal-mongering has claimed its latest prey, Touro College, a “Jewish-oriented institution that reaches out especially to Orthodox students” (never mind that a full 32% of...

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Can’t Get No Traction

In my last post, I quoted the late director of the American Reform movement in Israel, David Forman, as stating that Reform’s “inroads into Israeli society have been marginal at best.” Back in 2005,...

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Silly Season, Part 2

As the controversy over the Israeli conversion bill heated up, in other corners of the Jewish world, too, ‘twas the season to be silly. In a New York Times opinion piece so rife with...

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Silly Season Is Here Again

It’s silly season again in the Jewish world. In other words, yet another fight has broken out over conversions in Israel, and ostensibly smart people have taken to saying some truly risible things. In...

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Quite Unconventional

When you attend a convention over Shabbos and several days later you still feel your neshama tingling, you know that what you experienced was rather . . . unconventional. That captures the experience my...

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The Triumphalism Meme and Its Uses

Amidst all the controversy that Rabbi Landesman’s recent post sparked, one particular statement of his failed to receive the attention it deserves. He wrote that he is “deeply concerned by the chareidi triumphalism often...

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Of Cartoons and Coldhearted Cowardice – Part 1

This week, the New York Times’ token center-right columnist, Ross Douthat, had an important piece on the contradictory notions of censorship in contemporary society. Reading it through Jewish lenses, though, one can see its...

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Sounds of Silence

I’ve been following with interest the back-and-forth between two veteran Torah activists who both have done so much for other Jews over their careers, R. Yaakov Menken and R. Dovid Landesman, and I’m amazed...

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The Micronesia Principle

To mark the just-concluded week-long visit to Israel of the presidents of Micronesia and Nauru, I republish below a piece that appeared in Hamodia in 2004. Micronesia. A fabulous name which, if it didn’t...

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Of Anthropology and Apathy

“You have to wonder what they’ll come up with next.” With that snide introduction, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that 20 Israeli hotels catering to an Orthodox clientele have signed a “modesty code” committing...

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My (non-deductible) contribution

An e-mail arrived today from the president of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency appealing for money to enable the agency to stay afloat. I must admit that as a free subscriber to JTA’s daily news...

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Gates of Wisdom

Last week’s news of a healthy 14% first-quarter profit for Apple Computer stood out as a ray of hope in an otherwise gloomy economic landscape. The company’s strong sales were due largely to the...

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Brace For Impact — In Advance

Anyone looking for a takeaway lesson from the amazing tale of US Airways Flight 1549 would do well to ponder the striking opening line of an Associated Press piece on the episode: “Chesley Sullenberger...

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The Watching

Morning dawns. It is Sunday, but not just any Sunday morn – it is the dawn of the Hallowed Day. America a secular land? Hah! Silly Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, et al – sacred devotion...