Category: Religion

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.

Smithsonian_National_Museum_of_American_History_-_Dorothy_Ruby_Slippers_6269207855

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...

Jared-and-Ivanka

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...

600-56

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

1787337-54

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...

amerika-n-euml-panik-sonte-goditet-nga-uragani-artur_hd-1200x630-1

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...

a_rockport_citizen_bids_good_morning_with_a_tip_of_his_hat_-_nara_-_548251

Greetings!

“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...

boy-and-dog-720x340

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...

trump-in-tallis

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...

hamas summer camps

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...

enemy 2

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....

hatzalah

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...

kotel

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.

IMG_1535

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...

maxresdefault

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...

Khilah 2

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?