Category: News

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Harassment, Hijabs and Hoaxes

Widespread reports over the weeks since Election Day of harassment and hateful graffiti aimed at minorities reminded me of something the legendary Agudath Israel of America leader Rabbi Moshe Sherer, z”l, taught me, the...

President-elect Donald Trump stands with Betsy DeVos after a meeting at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster Township, N.J., on Saturday.

School Choice: Response to a Forward Editor

An article of mine responding to Forward contributing editor Jay Michaelson’s lament over the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the nation’s next Secretary of Education appears in that paper, accessible here.

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The Boys Who Cried “Anti-Semite!”

The sobbing of some political liberals, including, of course, many Jews, that ensued after the presidential election results were tallied has turned into wild wailing with the appointment of Stephen Bannon as senior counselor...

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A Glimmer of Light in a Dark Campaign

Well, we’ve all had sufficient time by now to recover from the year-and-a-half-long national convulsion that passed for a presidential campaign. Might there be something positive to point to in an experience most of...

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Ripe Citrons and Ruby Slippers

On the first day of Sukkos, after tens of thousands of Jews had paid princely sums for flawless specimens of a particular citrus fruit, payments were made by others, too, for a very different...

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Ivanka Trump Got Me Thinking about Shabbat

Several statements by Ivanka Trump stimulated me to rethink my own Shabbat observance. The 35-year-old daughter of US president elect Donald Trump converted to Judaism seven years ago. She said that she and her...

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Kotel Krusade

An op-ed of mine about the recent disruption at the Kotel engineered by non-Orthodox Jewish clergy and an Israeli feminist group appeared in Haaretz. It can be read at: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.750731?=&ts=_1478444374594

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Vote-Buying, 2016

For all but the most starry-eyed devotees, or family members, of an aspirant to public service, voting essentially boils down to deciding which evil is lesser. Well, that’s a bit harsh. What I mean...

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Commanded

Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, a number of media, including the Wall St. Journal and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, found a good “Jewish” story in the popularity and abundance of dogs in Tel...

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A Mid-East Inconvenient Truth

Yes, yes, I get it. “Ethnic cleansing” conjures images of Nazi expulsions and murders of Jews, or the 1990s Bosnian war, when Serb and Croat forces intimidated, forcibly expelled or massacred one another to...

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Tempest in a Tallis

The image was, to be sure, jarring: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump being draped in a tallis. By an African-American pastor. In a Detroit church. To resounding applause. Bishop Wayne Jackson of the Great...

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Conservatism in Crisis

If the phrase “alt-right” puts you in mind of a computer keyboard, you are (blessedly) not following the presidential campaign. Even if you are aware of the phrase, though, you may not have a...

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Unrighteous Indignation

And here, all this time, we thought Auschwitz was a Polish death camp. It was, of course, at least in the sense that it was a place in Poland where upward of a million...

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Illusions of Objectivity

Some American journalists assigned to the political beat are having a hard time. Their dilemma is named Donald Trump, a man they don’t feel they can cover objectively. Those troubled are reporters with a...

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Summer Camps and Summer Camps

There are all sorts of summer camps. Most familiar to most of us are summer youth experiences like Camp Agudah’s various branch-camps and the broad assortment of others like them. They combine Torah-study and...

Khizr Khan addresses delegates on the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center on July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Khizr Khans son, Humayun S. M. Khan was a University of Virginia graduate and enlisted in the US Army. Khan was one of 14 American Muslims who died serving the United States in the ten years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. / AFP / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Silence Can Be Golden

What’s omitted from a discussion can sometimes speak quite loudly. And sometimes quite disturbingly. That’s true, I think, about the national conversation about the Khizr and Ghazala Khan/Donald Trump contretemps. Unless you’ve been summering...

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The Enemy

In December, 2014, after a driver shouting Islamic slogans mowed down more than a dozen pedestrians in Dijon, France, the city’s chief prosecutor called the attacks the work of an unbalanced man whose motivations...

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Trump and the Jewish Question

“The anti-Semitism that is threaded throughout the Republican Party of late goes straight to the feet of Donald Trump.” That, according to Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, erstwhile chair of the Democratic National Committee....