Parshat Mattot concludes the saga started in Parshat Balak with the Jews’ slaying of the Midianites in revenge for their evil plan of trying to seduce the Jewish People to sin. At the head of the army, according to Rashi, was Pinchas, Aharon’s grandson, who stopped the sinning in an act of zealotry at the end of Parshat Balak, stopping a Jewish
We all have moments when we feel butterflies in our stomach, but for these past few weeks those moments have seemed endless.
First there was the frantic search for Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel. Our brave soldiers went house to house, college students came together to speak out through social media, and all Jews, religious and non-religious,
During the month of Av, the three week mourning period that we began observing this week is intensified, culminating in our national day of mourning: Tisha B’Av. Some years however, it seems that Av comes early. With the tragic murders of the three yeshiva boys and the current crisis Israel faces, the Jewish people have already experienced feelings of sadness and
Earlier today, on Jerusalem’s promenade overlooking the old city, I officiated at the bar mitzvah of Noah Kaye, a lovely young boy from NYC whom I’ve seen grow up over the years. Noah and his family are part of the Storahtelling Lab/Shul community. Before we began the ceremony I asked Noah’s grandfather Isaac to give his grandson a personal blessing- -one
I have been so moved by the events over the last two weeks in Israel. I have been, for some reason, more affected by this than I have been by the infinite number of horrific tragedies experienced in Israel prior to this. Maybe it’s because the targets here were children, and as a father I can’t bear the thought of losing my own child in such a way. Maybe it’s
Over the past 18 days, most, if not all large Jewish group meetings or organizations in the area have begun or ended proceedings with tehillim said for the three kidnapped Israeli boys, known to many now by their first names: Naftali, Eyal and Gilad. Weddings and Shabbos davening, as well as daily minyanim, were punctuated by special prayers said on their
Bradley Scott’s shout-out to the White House, silent so far about the kidnapping of three Israeli youth this week, could also be directed at an audience formerly supportive of Israel: American Christian leaders.
Response from American “Christian Palestinianists” to the kidnappings this week by Hamas of three Israeli teenagers is almost non-existent.
Back in the mid-’70s there was a groundbreaking female superhero on Saturday morning TV called Isis. An American high school science teacher found a magic amulet on an archeological dig in Egypt that allowed her to turn into the ancient goddess Isis who had superhuman powers to control the elements and use these powers to fight evil. The show only
We are not the first Jews to live with enormous uncertainty about the future. Uncertainty, however, can be both paralyzing and liberating. When the Jewish people have great leadership, times of great uncertainty have become times of opportunity and transformation.
The biblical narrative we read this week (Numbers 13:1-15:41) tells a dramatic story about
Although Israel has been at the heart of day-school curricula for decades, we have known little about how schools teach and students learn about Israel—at least until last month, when the AviChai Foundation released its study of Israel Education in Jewish day schools and high schools across America. The report explored the following questions: What do schools hope to
(originally printed in the Times of Israel, reprinted with permission of the author)
Oh, I wish I could write a love story about my people, the Jewish people. After all, I do love them and apparently, according to the Bible, so does God. So, who am I to argue? They have contributed so much to humanity on all fronts in such unfathomable abundance that even the
The Iranian regime’s new enemy, it seems, is Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Iran’s mullahs apparently fear Sisi’s secular stance against Islamist movements, and see him as an obstacle to Iran’s future influence in the Middle East.
According to the Jordan-based media outlet Al-Bawaba, Iran is determined to put an end to