Category: Religion


The Sukkah Still Stands

There is simply no describing the plaintive, moving melody to which Yiddish writer Avraham Reisen’s poem was set. As a song, it is familiar to many of us who know it thanks to immigrant...


Under the Weather

With hurricane season upon us, we might learn something from the models that meteorologists offer when a large sea-storm heads for land. Something about Shemini Atzeres. The maps created as a storm approaches often...



“How do you say ‘the horse died’ in Yiddish?” asked the African-American panhandler to whom I had given a quarter when he accosted me in lower Manhattan. It was many years ago, shortly after...



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...


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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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...

Crooked Hillary

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....


Subway Poles/Snakes on Poles

Subway riders in standing room-only cars try not to think too much about what organisms might be happily residing on the poles they grasp during the lurching trip. To obtain some hard data, Harvard...


Pursuing Peace and Straightening the Record

There is no “ultra-Orthodox offensive” — rather, the American liberal movements seek to change Israel to distract our attention from their collapse in America. The response is neither “ultra-” nor even Haredi; it merely seeks to preserve the unity of the Jewish People in the Jewish State.


Torah Vs. Egalitarianism

The “Kosel Controversy” – whether “nontraditional” prayer services should be accommodated at the Kosel Maaravi – blazes on, fanned by the winds of politics, courts and “activists.” Respect for the Jewish mesorah at the...


Taking Aim at Massacres

What does the word “magazine” bring to mind? A glossy periodical or, perhaps, a news program? To many Americans, the word would more readily conjure a metal receptacle holding up to 30 or more...

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With Partners Like These…

The American liberal movements are actively fighting the growth of Torah in Israel, threatening rupture, and claim to know Israel’s security needs better than Israelis. By what measure could an Orthodox Rabbi call them Partners?


Letter in the New York Jewish Week, June 24, 2016

Editor: Gary Rosenblatt asserts that, as per the headline over his recent June 17 essay, “Ruth’s Conversion Would Be Rejected Today” by the Israeli rabbinate. The Jewish religious tradition, however, sees precisely in the...


The Power of a Place

Somewhere on earth there may be a more fractious, violent, convulsed and combative place than the Iraqi city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad. But it’s not likely. Currently, Fallujah is in the news because...

One hand with thumbs up, another with thumbs down. Blue background.

When “Right” is Wrong

There is a social media page titled “Justice for Harambe,” Harambe being the gorilla that was shot to death in the Cincinnati Zoo after dragging around a 3-year-old boy who had slipped into its...

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Gone to the Gorillas

The world has gone mad over the death of Harambe the gorilla. Had the child been harmed instead, there would be no similar outcry, as we know from similar incidents. What does this tell us about today’s priorities?