Author: Yaakov Menken

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Pursuing Peace and Straightening the Record

There is no “ultra-Orthodox offensive” — rather, the American liberal movements seek to change Israel to distract our attention from their collapse in America. The response is neither “ultra-” nor even Haredi; it merely seeks to preserve the unity of the Jewish People in the Jewish State.

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With Partners Like These…

The American liberal movements are actively fighting the growth of Torah in Israel, threatening rupture, and claim to know Israel’s security needs better than Israelis. By what measure could an Orthodox Rabbi call them Partners?

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Love Me… Or Else

The heads of the American Reform and Conservative movements believe that Jewish love for Israel comes with terms and conditions, and that they control the American Jewish heart. They are inflating their importance on both sides of the Atlantic, and placing naked self-interest ahead of the unity of the Jewish People.

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Gone to the Gorillas

The world has gone mad over the death of Harambe the gorilla. Had the child been harmed instead, there would be no similar outcry, as we know from similar incidents. What does this tell us about today’s priorities?

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Addressing Dishonesty

[UPDATED] There are some writers whom you imagine will disagree in an appropriate and logical fashion, without straw men and without inspiring people to mock words of our greatest teachers. And sometimes you will be disappointed.

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Lessons of a Viral Video

The Orthodox video that went viral last week dispels a lot of stereotypes about the Orthodox world and is frankly inspirational… but you won’t see that in any of the coverage.

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Speak the Truth, with Conviction

Our enemies speak lies with complete conviction, yet we are afraid to speak the truth with similar conviction. When confronted by strident anti-Semitism in new clothing, we must be brutal in only one respect: we must be brutally honest.

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Political Posturing at the Western Wall

Women of the Wall plans to show preference to some women over others in a way unsupported by any version of Judaism, doing a “Jewish” ritual supported by no version of Jewish ritual, in imitation of a ceremony that aims to restore Judaism’s doubly undemocratic Holy Temple. And it claims to be doing all this in the name of egalitarianism.

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Why Seminary Still Makes Sense

In a recent piece on Matzav.com, Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin discusses “Sending Girls to Seminaries and the Shidduch Crisis” and asks: “who are the American boys supposed to marry at 21 if...

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Conservative Jews Deserve More than PR

All agree that the Conservative Jewish movement is in rapid decline. But by hiring a PR agency, the United Synagogue is going in the wrong direction — surveys and branding will not fix the fundamental problem.

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Rabbi Gordimer and his Critics

I rise on a question of personal privilege on behalf of an esteemed colleague. An open debate of ideas is appropriate (as we have said all along), but unfounded mischaracterization of a writer’s motivations and dialogue with others is quite out of line.

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A Monument to Discord

The new Israeli agreement to create an “egalitarian” section at the Western Wall promises not merely a fissure, but fragmentation. It has already exposed the fault line of disagreement between the Reform movement and the Reform-funded Women of the Wall.