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Friday, March 24, 2017

Op-eds

A People That Dwells Alone

Last Saturday night, I attended the funeral of Ezra Schwartz at Ben Gurion Airport. Ezra was spending this year in a yeshiva with a particular focus on gemilut chasadim—charitable acts. Tragically, Ezra was murdered when he and his friends were traveling to do volunteer work at Oz veGa’on, a nature reserve established in memory

The Banality of Evil

Evil is as old as the world itself. The sixth chapter of Genesis tells the story of Noah, in which the evil, as embodied by an entire civilization, is condemned by God and then extirpated by a divinely inspired act of nature. The lesson of the Noah story is two-fold: humanity is capable of base evil; and the only way to cleanse that evil is

The Value of Orthodox Women Leaders

“You’ve come a long way, baby” is the slogan coined by the Leo Burnett Agency in 1968 for a thinner, more feminine smoke produced by the Phillip Morris Company for the Virginia Slims brand cigarette. The campaign was unusually successful in marketing cigarettes by tickling a soft spot on the American psyche that was

Death of Terror Victim Richard Lakin Creates Challenge for J Street

The death of any Jew at the hands of Palestinian terrorists should make American Jewish organizations sit up and take notice. But the death of U.S. Jewish peace activist Richard Lakin poses a special challenge to left-of-center advocacy groups such as J Street.

Lakin, 76, a retired Connecticut school

Haven’t Felt the Same Since

Twenty years ago on a Shabbos afternoon, my home phone started ringing. We did not have caller ID back then, but it was highly unusual that the phone rang with almost annoying regularity. We were living in Southfield, a Detroit suburb, on November, 4, 1995.

I was going to be covering an evening Book Fair

For the Record

A few weeks back, there was an article written regarding the lack of commitment by Bergenfield’s Council as it relates to road conditions on Highgate Terrace. As the administrator for Bergenfield, I

The International Beit Din Controversy: A Statement and a Proposal

The decisions of the International Beit Din for Agunot (IBD) have generated powerful rabbinic critiques and countervailing declarations of unconditional support. Because the freedom of specific women is in dispute, and because the line of engagement runs roughly along the RIETS/YCT border, we cannot afford to dismiss these disagreements as

An Insider’s Perspective on the Teaneck Board of Education Election

Three years ago I was elected to the Board of Education as a Trustee. The Teaneck BOE is responsible for the K-12 education of nearly 4,000 students and a budget of $95-100 million, accounting for 60-65 percent of property taxes. Residents can obtain a good education via the Teaneck public schools, though test scores may suggest otherwise.

Understanding the ‘Lone Wolf Terrorism’ in Israel

There was an interesting twist to news media coverage of the most recent Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis.

The stabbings, car-rammings and other Arab attacks were “isolated” incidents, the Associated Press declared. New York Times correspondent Diaa Hadid emphasized, in the second

Rallies Against Iran Deal Continue After Pact’s Passage

Only a handful of days had passed since the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and other organizations lobbied Congress against the impending nuclear deal with Iran.

Indeed, the Orthodox Union (OU) and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) issued a joint statement of concern and

We Must Keep Nuclear Weapons Out of Iran

President Obama repeatedly told the American people that no deal with Iran is better than a bad deal. Despite that promise, this week the House will be voting on the president’s deal that will give Iran sanctions relief while jeopardizing the security of the United States and its allies. I will be voting “no.”

Why Can’t We Argue Civilly?

Orthodox Judaism emphasizes Talmud study. Some people love the analysis-and-debate format of the Talmud but other people prefer studying the final decisions of the Talmud. They don’t enjoy the argument and discussion in the Talmud, and they most certainly do not love the layer upon layer of subsequent debate about the arguments in the