Category: Religion

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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Illogical Leadership

“Because you were convincing me,” was the woman’s straightforward reply. Her questioner was my rebbe, Rav Yaakov Weinberg, zt”l, then the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ner Yisrael in Baltimore. He...

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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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From the Mouths of Mexicans

I’ll call him Pedro; maybe it’s even his name. He seems to be a custodian of some sort for a shul – though I have no idea where it might...

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An Open Letter to my Chaveirim

I am dismayed by the actions of a few of our fellow RIETS musmachim. Our chaveirim founded Open Orthodoxy and are ordaining women, defending the questioning of Torah MiSinai and mocking rabbinic traditionalists. What in the world is going on?

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Pharoah and the Jews: a Case Study in Anti-Semitism

It’s possible to read the story of the Exodus repeatedly, yet fail to notice that the same lies that Pharoah told about the Jews over 3300 years ago are the same ones circulated today. If you think BDS is something new, or that there is a problem of “occupation,” it’s time to acknowledge the reality of hatred.

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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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“Marriage Redefined”

Newly posted online is a video of an Agudah convention session titled: “Marriage Redefined: Should I Care?” I was one of the presenters, and if you have interest in the...

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Merits, Not Munitions

The reporter’s question: “Should the chareidim serve in [Israel’s] military, or at least serve in some other capacity such as recognized public service commensurate with military service?” The query was...

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The Model is Working

Twenty years ago, no one thought it was “triumphalism” to refer to the exponential growth of the observant community. At that time, it was termed “unrealistic” — though then, as now, it was very real.

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Through Others’ Eyes

There were ample arrows in my quiver for shooting down the question, or at least for deflecting it. But our Shabbos night seudah guest, a young Jewish woman with limited...

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Denominational Déjà Vu

In 2001, I predicted that the Conservative movement would soon enough “halachically” approve what halacha forbids in no uncertain terms. [It did so 5 years later.] I perceive precisely the same Conservative approach to halacha in what bills itself today as “Open Orthodoxy.”

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Black Power

Australian political advisor Robert Hoge was born with a severe facial deformity and describes himself as “the ugliest person you’ve never met.” When he was born, his parents burst into...