Wednesday Feb 20, 2013
Jewish tradition demands that we be very careful when making accusations. Like pillow feathers scattered in the wind that may not be put back inside in pillow – so too is an accusation made in public against others. Miriam was struck by leprosy when she spoke against Moshe (Num. 12: 1-15). The metzora (leper) was a motzi shem ra: a person who spoke negatively about others.
So it is with a great deal of...
Wednesday Dec 12, 2012
Purim in Kaifeng
Photo courtesy: Eric Rothberg
Imagine the Israeli government blocking a Jew from observing Kashrut, putting on Tefilin, or lighting the Hanukah lights.
Sounds absurd. Even for Israel which is home to the absurd.
There is a Mitvah to make Aliyah. The Mitzvah is known as Yeshuv HaAretz. A Jew is obligated to build the land of Israel. Yes, there are disputes as...
Thursday Aug 23, 2012
Condemnation of the brutal “lynch” (attack) by a wilding pack of Jewish youth in downtown Jerusalem on Arab youth last week came from nearly the entire spectrum of the Jewish world, both in Israel and abroad. About twenty Jewish teens were involved in the attack and many more looked on. The Prime Minister strongly condemned the attack as did Mayor Barkat. One of the Arabs, a seventeen year old Jerusalem...
Monday Apr 30, 2012
Over the years I have done far more than my share of traveling to Jewish communities around the world. As far back as 1970 I had the opportunity to make my first trip to visit with Jewish communities in what were then Communist countries. Last week I made my most recent such trip – to Budapest.
Now I have been to Hungary before – several times. But as far as the Jewish community is concerned, it seems...
Sunday Feb 26, 2012
Evading Service or Serving God?
Much of the Zealously Orthodox, non-Zionist, Yeshiva world in Israel would appear to be populated by those who may study the words of the Torah but who invest time and effort avoiding its commandments. How could I make such an outrageous statement? Allow me to make my case.
The Torah seems quite clear that in the event of war (i.e. when there is a need for conscription) only a very few...