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Masorti Matters

Wednesday Apr 17, 2013
    Some of you may know that I devote much time to helping Jews by Choice make Aliyah, under the Law of Return, when they have been refused by Israel's Interior Ministry for unfair reasons, in violation of Israeli law. Refusal is usually not related to the denominational affiliation of the Ger. It too often is connected to racial issues.  (Ethiopians and Indians are a separate matter). In order to be an honest advocate sometimes...
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...

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