Category: News

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And the Winner Is…

“Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser,” the famous, and famously blunt, General George S. Patton declared in a 1944 speech. “When you were kids,” he explained,...

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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...

A Troubling America for Jews…

American Jews might be excused for finding the circus more formally known as the current presidential campaign unthreatening, even amusing. Unthreatening, because the leading Republican candidate has a Jewish daughter;...

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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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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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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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Iranian Elephant

“Whatsa matter, you don’t like the other one?” That was what an old-time comedian claimed his mother-in-law said when she saw him wearing one of the two neckties she gave...

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A Crying Shame

Readers of a certain age will likely recognize the name Edmund Muskie. He was a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President back in 1972. There were several reasons...

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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.

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Howling Hounds and Golden Calves

Whether or not they happen to own dogs, some politicians have an affinity for dog whistles, at least the political type. That term plays on the fact that dogs can...

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Blame Terrorists, Not Songs

Some politicians and pundits – including several writers in Haaretz – seem misguidedly intent on extending blame for Jewish terrorism across Orthodoxy, even to the charedi community and its Torah...

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Prominence ≠ Importance

When President Obama called the recent U.S. military announcement that all combat roles will now be open to women a “historic step forward,” the image that came to mind was...

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Trumping Terrorism

When the Obama White House and Dick Cheney agree on something, it’s worthy of note. What united the two – along with a conga line of Democratic and Republican presidential...