Author: Toby Katz

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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)...