Category: Jewish World

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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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The Evidence in the Barrel

Back in a previous lifetime, when I was a mesivta rebbe, I once heard a menahel exhort our talmidim to not get carried away on Purim. As an illustration, he...

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Golden Silence

The mother was understandably concerned. Her first-grader was a sociable, talkative little girl, and so her teacher’s phone call was certainly disturbing. This is a true story and took place...

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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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Handling Success With Care

Back in 1941 (no, I don’t remember it personally, but it’s documented), there was an American Jewish establishment group called the “Joint Boycott Council.” It objected vehemently to Agudath Israel...

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Voting Advice

Few things outrage people as greatly as the suggestion that their vote doesn’t really make a difference. “Your vote counts!” is, after all, the essence of Civics 101. And yet...

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Bernie’s Kibbutz and Mine

The disclosure of which kibbutz Senator Bernie Sanders spent time at in1963 was red meat for the voracious purveyors of what, regrettably, passes for political commentary these days. Mr. Sanders...

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The American Jewish Buffet

“Secular Orthodox.” That’s how Avinoam Bar-Yosef, president of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, recently characterized many Israelis. What he meant was that, while an Israeli may not be observant...

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The Professor Stumbles

You just can’t, as they say, make this stuff up. A performer recently made news by implying that 1) Holocaust denier David Irving deserves reconsideration, and 2) that the earth...

A member of "Women of the Wall" group (2nd R) wears a prayer shawl and Tefillin, leather straps and boxes containing sacred parchments, that Orthodox law says only men should don, during a monthly prayer session at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City May 10, 2013. An Israeli police spokesman said on Friday that five ultra-Orthodox Jewish men were detained during a protest against the group. Last month the Jerusalem District Court said that the women should not be arrested for wearing prayer shawls at the site. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (JERUSALEM - Tags: RELIGION) - RTXZH7M

Western Walls

Many are celebrating the official setting aside and expansion of a part of the Kotel Maaravi for non-traditional public prayer. I’m not among them. My thoughts on the matter are...

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Like the Face of a Dog

R’ Yisroel Salanter described modern politics quite accurately when he explained the Mishnah’s cryptic statement that “the face of the generation will be like the face of the dog.” Sadly, he described modern religion, too.