Author: Toby Katz

letter-447577_1280 20

Jews and Civilization

Tonight, the 26th day of Tammuz in the Hebrew year 5771, is my father’s ninth yahrzeit. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think mournfully of all the questions I would like to...

letter-447577_1280 3

Saved from the fires of Ruzhan

And so there we sat, all through the Sabbath, watching as the synagogue in which we had been imprisoned mere hours earlier was claimed by the flames and, along with all the Torah-scrolls and...

letter-447577_1280 47

FULL DISCLOSURE: Reflections on Barack Obama

Guest column by Chava Willig Levy Full disclosure: I believe that God guides history. The improbable, meteoric rise of Barack Obama offers a case in point. The facts are common knowledge: In 2000, Obama...

letter-447577_1280 24

Hidden messages in Obama ad

An ad has run quite a few times on the radio over the past few days, and it goes something like this. A mother’s voice says, “Eight times a day I have to test...

letter-447577_1280 44

What do BTs have to do to be accepted?

In all the articles and comments about whether Ba’alei Teshuva are fully accepted in Frum from Birth communities, one major factor I haven’t seen mentioned is the character of the individual BT. This applies...

letter-447577_1280 9

If they like him, we’re done for

We are encouraged that President Bush, best known for waging war in Iraq, has finally accepted the challenge of peacemaker. –NY Times editorial A line like that makes your heart stop. The NY Times...

letter-447577_1280 89

Nothing nice to say about charedim?

Any attempt at candor about problems within the charedi community seems to open a can of worms. Few indeed — even among Orthodox Jews — are the people who can see how overwhelmingly the...

letter-447577_1280 50

Charedi hooligans

R’ Rosenblum made a passing reference in his post, “The Choice is Ours,” to the juvenile delinquents who plague some of our beautiful charedi communities. Although I admire his soul-searching candor, I take issue...

letter-447577_1280 44

What Jerry Falwell said about Jerusalem

Jerry Falwell died yesterday, and today is Yom Yerushalayim — the day that Jerusalem was reunified in 1967. We Jews live in a dangerous world, beset by enemies, and it behooves us to be...

letter-447577_1280 21

Reform and anorexia: two op-ed pieces

Below, two articles juxtaposed. The connection needs no comment. Jonathan Schorsch in the Jerusalem Post (the writer teaches Jewish studies at Columbia University): “Shafran may think that the Orthodox merely reject ‘a thing, a...

letter-447577_1280 18

Proof: no tikkun olam without G-d

In his post, “The Hijacking of Tikkun Olam,” Yitzchok Adlerstein wrote, “Tradition always understood that any human attempt at effectively remedying the world is doomed to failure.” In response, reader Gershon Josephs asked, “I...

letter-447577_1280 15

Vanishing Jews

In today’s Miami Herald there are four articles, each one an interview with an elderly Florida couple who survived the Holocaust. Their stories are tragic and also inspiring, but here is the fact that...

letter-447577_1280 5

Look what the wind blew in

Today, Hoshana Raba — the seventh day of Sukkos — is the anniversary of the day all the sukkos in North Miami Beach blew away, exactly one year ago. Three days earlier, the weather...

letter-447577_1280 7

Tears

Tonight — Shabbos, the 26th of Tammuz — is the fourth yahrzeit of my father, R’ Nachman Bulman zt’l. I spoke to my mother today shortly before Shabbos (her time) and she told me...