In a month or so, 150 rabbis and representatives of the public are set to vote on the future of Israel’s rabbinate—ostensibly choosing between maintaining the current status quo or opting for a more open-minded and publicly sensitive Orthodox leader.
More than any other institution in modern Israel, the Rabbinate is the product of a short-sighted and
I “celebrate Israel” practically every day in one way or another—whether it is reading the news about Israel’s government, its fascinating technological breakthroughs, or even munching on my favorite Kvuzat Yavne green olives. But, once a year, when New York City’s Fifth Avenue turns into a sea of blue and white, there is no greater feeling of pride for an
The most recent confrontation at the Western Wall between hundreds of members and supporters of Women of the Wall on the one hand, and haredi, or ultra-Orthodox Jews on the other, was a hillul Hashem, a desecration of the Name of God, and of the good name of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Both sides have a share in that disgrace.
There’s nothing like a crisis to get people talking. Be it tuition, abuse cover-ups, the internet, or shidduchim, major dilemmas in our community are usually what attract the headlines and inspire conversation. This behavior is natural, of course. We generally have a desire to discuss things that are meaningful and relevant, and we also like catastrophes.
The election of a new pope raises again the question of the stance of the Orthodox world on interreligious relationships, particularly the relations between Christians and Jews. The question, specifically: In which arenas can Jews engage with Christians, and which areas are off the table?
What can Jews and Christians talk about?
To this deceptively
Sixty-six years ago, David Ben-Gurion needed to unite the Jewish people before appealing to the international community for a State of Israel. He created the “status quo compromises” with the Agudah, guaranteeing a religious character for the future state of Israel. The state’s relationship to education, personal status, Kashrut and Shabbat were
As Orthodox Jews, we assume a myriad of financial obligations in order to ensure that we can live in accordance with the tenets of our faith. We give generously to our shuls and we make charitable donations to various organizations that service the Jewish community at large. But one of the biggest investments we make is in our children’s future, as we enroll them
Jackie was the first. Jackie could not just play the game for himself. He was playing the game for every one of his race who had been denied a chance, whose future was closed because of racism and segregation. Indeed, as I remember it, Jackie played the game for every minority kid whose opportunities were constrained because of discrimination.
I was but a
An old saw about American Catholics of the 1970s and ’80s had it that “Catholics could not figure out whether they were Joe McCarthy or Gene McCarthy!” The same holds true for American Orthodox Jews, who have a history and tradition of liberal politics and progressive stances in public affairs but who are sorely conflicted as their community has moved to the
At one time or another, I am sure all of us have lamented something said or done by one of our elected representatives, or have questioned the wisdom of a decision made by the people who represent us in government. In theory, we may have every right to offer critiques of our elected officials, but quite frankly, doing so when we have not even registered to vote is
Leading up to Jerusalem Day this year, leaders of four U.S. Orthodox organizations in March sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about what they called “continuous violence against visitors, rampant grave desecrations, dumping of refuse and gross defilement” by local Arab youths at Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives cemetery, casting fresh