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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Op-eds

The Liberal-Traditional Dialogue with the Brick Wall

The conversation between liberal Jewish movements and Orthodoxy sometimes sounds like both sides are talking to a brick wall. Neither side can penetrate the thinking of the other or evoke the slightest of comprehension. Both sides walk away from the conversation feeling deeply hurt and undervalued. This lack of mutual understanding is especially apparent in the

The Mesorah of Chesed

In keeping with our mission to provide our readers with food for thought, the editors felt this piece would stimulate discussion. It has been edited for brevity and clarity.

The Five Towns—I attended an event in my neighborhood recently, where rabbis I used to study with were adamant about haredi boys never going into the IDF.  One of the speakers

Haredim in IDF Portrayed as Vermin in Haredi Propaganda Posters

In ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, anti-IDF posters recall Nazi propaganda. A slew of fliers, reportedly part of a contest started by a member of an extremist group, liken those who join army to bugs and vermin. As the JLBC went to press, a riot broke out in Mea Shearim, when a haredi soldier walked through the neighborhood and was attacked by a mob of at

Why Is Israel So Afraid of the Arab Peace Initiative?

Israel could easily make peace with Iran: it only needs to evacuate some settlements, allow a few Palestinian refugees to enter Israel, and the bitter enmity between Jerusalem and Tehran is a thing of the past.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple—but there is a theoretical kernel of truth to the aforementioned proposition. According to the Arab Peace

Can We Stop the Hate With Music?

Paradise Valley—With the Three Weeks approaching, and TishaB’Av looming in the not too far distance, reading the news and seeing videos about the behavior of Jewish people and everyone else from around the world has not been encouraging. Sinat Chinom is everywhere. It is now a crime to want to compromise, to go down a middle road. It can be a matter of observance,

Multiple Chief Rabbis Would Guarantee Religious Freedom

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

Celebrating Israel– In My Opinion

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

Time to End the Disgrace at the Wall

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.

Those

The Crisis Crisis

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.

M’pnai Darchei Shalom: Interfaith Dialogue in Modern Times

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

Bridging the Religious Divide: Rabbi Yoni Sherizen

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

SCHOOL CHOICE, THE GOVERNMENT, AND YOU

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