Category: Morality

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Was Michelangelo a Philo-Semite?

Michelangelo lived at a time when the Catholic Church was increasing its oppression of Jews — but his painting of the Sistine Chapel is almost entirely drawn from the Jewish Bible, emphasizing the connection between the Church and the Jewish nation. And then there’s Aminadab.


The King and Us

One of the findings of a recent Pew Research Center report about Orthodox Jews was that for the vast majority of them – are you sitting down? – “religion is...

Jews-at-the-Kotel 33

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...


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...


Da’as Torah and the Holocaust

The idea that we have 20/20 hindsight is, in actuality, simply a myth. If hundreds of thousands had fled Europe, sacrificing their dedication to HaShem and His Torah, how do we know history would otherwise have stayed equal?


Israel Led the Way — Sadly

The United States today is in almost every respect a more unpleasant country than the one I left over 35 years ago – less optimistic, less confident, and more bitterly...


Gay Marriage Decision Interview

I was interviewed by phone on a Jewish cable television program last week about the recent US Supreme Court gay marriage decision. The interview, along with one of a Conservative...


Say It Isn’t So, Rabbi Shafran

Rabbi Shafran is someone I have admired for decades. His witty, moving, and inspirational biography of the journey of a Jewish convert, Migrant Soul, emerged when I was still a...


Let’s Not Cry Anti-Semitism

The trail of anti-Semitism is long and bloody; irrational hatred towards the Jewish people permeated Europe, Asia and North Africa back through ancient times. Nonetheless, one should not be overly...


In Judaism, Love Doesn’t Always Win

In their rejoicing over the recent Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision, various Jewish groups grievously misrepresented Judaism. An essay of mine about the Jewish religious tradition’s true take on homosexuality...