Category: Jewish World


Two-Way Traffic on the Haredi Highway

Have you ever wondered why, in light of the slew of “I survived Orthodoxy but saw the secular light!” essays and books, there no counter-flood of similar writing by some...

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Eliyahu’s Double Plea

The Rambam’s logic, as always, is unassailable. Miracles, he informs us (Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, 8:1), simply cannot be bases of belief. What appears to us as miraculous, he explains, could...

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Anatomy of a Chumra Society

I owe a large debt of gratitude to Rabbi Karlinsky. The Karlinskys were my Shadchanim some twenty years ago, and it has worked out most satisfactorily. Consider that full disclosure...

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Govrov Selichos, 1939

This time of year in 1939, in a Polish town called Ruzhan, a 14-year-old boy had his plans rudely interrupted. The boy, who, fifteen years later, would become my father,...


Opinions Gone Wild

I’m greatly pained by much of the reaction in the Orthodox community to what has come to be called the Iran Deal. To be sure, there are elements of the...


Exhibit A: Us

It’s not his name but I’ll call him Yochanan, after R. Yochanan ben Zakkai, who, the Gemara tells us (Berachos 17a), was first to greet anyone, Jew or not, he...


Homosexuality and the Torah Community

It has been difficult for me to articulate a nuanced, “middle of the road” approach that does justice to the subject matter, proudly upholds Torah principles, and at the same time avoids writing that which will hurt the easily offended.


A Footnote on the Matisyahu Debacle

We all know what happened. Matisyahu was invited to the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival. BDS Valencia pulled out the stops to ban the Jew. Rototom demanded that Matisyahu pass an...


The Non-Jewish AIPAC

My article on Christians United for Israel, CUFI, is the Ami Magazine cover story this week. We owe a tremendous amount of hakoras haTov to this community for their work...


Tisha B’Av With Faigy Mayer, o”h

An essay I wrote about Faigy Mayer, o”h,’s death, the haste with which some blamed it on her chassidic community and the importance of addressing mental health in the Orthodox...

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Spaced Out

“Are we alone?” asked the oversized headline of a full page ad in the New York Times last Tuesday. “Now is the time to find out,” it answered itself. The...


What Azoulay Meant About Reform Jews

by Rabbi Pesach Lerner When Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs, David Azoulay, recently appeared on Galei Zahal Radio to address Jewish conversion and religious standards in Israel, media and political...


A Worthy, Timely Truth

It’s intriguing – to be truthful, depressing – that as we prepare to focus on our galus and its causes we in the Orthodox world are witnessing acrimony born of...