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Editorial & Commentary

Opinions on news events from the past decade

Elections, Crises in Israel, Virginia Tech Massacre, the Iraqi War, Hurricane Katrina, the Gaza Disengagement, Shuttle Discovery, 9-11 – What is the Jewish approach to these events?

Trauma Worldwide as Apple Drops Headphone Jack
About iPhone 7 & moving forward in life
Sometimes you need to move forward in life. And usually that means dropping something that’s tying you down.
The Kabbalah of Pokémon GO
Can Nintendo save the world?
It’s confirmed. Nintendo has Kabbalists designing their games.
The Torah of Pokémon GO
Artificial Intelligence, Tay & the Tree
The day the Internet went mad
If artificial intelligence takes over, is this what it will look like? Is it a he, a she, an it, or an us?
Harambe the Gorilla, Cincinnati and Me
Examining human priorities and our place in G‑d’s ecosystem
What Does Jewish Law Say About Vaccination?
Recently there’s been is a lot of debate and discussion on the issue of vaccinations. As a parent, I’m curious what Jewish law has to say on the topic.
Dan Uzan—a Walking Mezuzah
In tribute to the Jewish volunteer security guard killed outside a Copenhagen synagogue
Why an Orthodox Rabbi Got Involved in a Movie
Q&A with Rabbi Manis Friedman, who provides the Biblical account in “Patterns of Evidence” documentary
A new documentary that screened on January the 19th in more than 600 cinemas across America grapples with controversial questions about the search for archaeological evidence for the exodus of the Jews from Ancient Egypt as recorded in the Torah.
Reb Lipa, My Dear Friend
In tribute to Rabbi Lipa Dubrawsky
Rabbi Binyomin Bitton writes about the sudden loss of his friend and colleague, Rabbi Lipa Dubrawsky.
A Letter for Peace
The Rebbe's emissaries followed his directives, while wondering about the sudden urgency... That afternoon, the threat of horrific terror against Israel was averted...
Is History Bunk?
A sense of history provides context to help us better deal with the present, tools to understand ourselves and others. Understanding our national past strengthens pride and provides a sense of the mystery of transcendence about our role in the universe. People haven’t changed, and in many ways we face the same challenges that have been faced for thousands of years...
Heads or Tails?
I held up the heavy rusted tail, and presented it to the sixth grade class. It was in excellent condition with all its fins, and with the screw still attached at the end...
Primary Madness
Does a victory in New Hampshire matter?
It doesn't add up. Why do the candidates expend so much time, money and effort on a seemingly trivial contest when substantially more consequential races are on the horizon?
Spiritual Steroids
An exhaustive inquiry reveals that of late many baseball players have made use of illegal performance enhancing drugs. But I refuse to be inspired by this news story...
Stem Cell Miracle
The debate over stem cell research raised serious and fundamental ethical, moral and theological dilemmas, which cut across the social conscience and tore at the very heart of mankind's longing to heal...
The Mystic Brother
Not much has changed in 3,600 years...
Why did they find it so very difficult to accept the guidance of a mystic brother, yet so easy to be subservient to a foreign Pharaoh?
Faith-Based Diplomacy
Reflections on the Annapolis Summit
Apparently, the politicians handling the Israeli-Palestinian Middle East conflict seem to have an unhealthy affinity for the role of the rabbinate...
Home Run!
Barry Bonds hit his 757th, Matt Cain his first, but Rabbi Langer hit the most spectacular home run of the evening...
The Pursuit of Happiness
Happy 231st America – Happy 20th Prozac!
What they didn't tell us that you're not necessarily entitled to happiness--your right is merely to pursue it...
Whose Money Is It Anyway?
That question probably crossed the minds of millions of Americans as they scrambled to meet the tax-filing deadline last week...
The Anti-War Movement
The ironic side of the “Iraq Debate” is that it actually demonstrates how much we do agree on basic principles...
Are We Melting?
Listening to and reading all the predictions and prognostications of Global Warming can be downright depressing. Will we be saying goodbye to our world sometime soon?
Left or Right?
Left or Right? Each one seems to be presenting arguments with a valid core. Let us examine the Torah's perspective on the issues being debated.
Lawsuit City
Should the death of a child be a strong enough motivator for change? Or does it require a lawsuit?
Saddam -- Babylon's Last Dictator
Among evil dictators, Saddam stands unique in his preoccupation with his own power and glory. Is it far fetched to assume that he actually was the last manifestation of Nebuchadnezzar?
Why was Gerald Ford President?
Gerald Ford's presidency offers a valuable lesson in maintaining successful interpersonal relationships, and offers a vivid demonstration of the presence of G-d's hand in times of need.
Fight or Light?
Controversy and Irony at SeaTac Airport
Apparently, some reporters and news editors already "knew" that the rabbi is against the trees, and nothing--not even their own reportage--was going to change the way they present the story
The War Is All About The Oil
Imagine the invading Greek army entering the Holy Temple where gold, silver and precious stones were everywhere to be found, and searching for the... oil!
Don't Vote For Him!
Duck, here comes some mud...
It has been said that negative campaigning is "as American as Mississippi mud." So is there anything we can do about it?
Intercultural Adoption & You
Plucking a child out of his or her native environment is very traumatizing for the child. But sometimes the child's very life depends on it. Here's what you can do to ease the transition...
Take Heart Pluto, Less is More
As a member of the Jewish people I say, "Pluto, we feel your pain..."
Fearing Our Own Strength
Israel will fight back until Hamas and Hezbollah accept a cease fire, at least for the time being. Yet that is exactly what we must fear...
Dealing with Iran: A Biblical Approach
Finding the middle ground between military force and pacific diplomacy
Peace in the Middle East: Who Knows?
On the rare occasions when we are swayed by an "opinion piece" on a controversial issue, more often than not it's not by the arguments made, but by who is making them
Danes, Muslims, and... the Jews?
When something consistently reoccurs in our world--a particular weather pattern, a bottle-nosed dolphin migrating habit, a quirk of human behavior--we call it "nature." Apparently, the Jews-in-the-news phenomenon is a force of nature...
When Will We Learn?
Thoughts on the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections
It's hard for us to comprehend that there are people who are merciless and get joy out of murder. Innately, we refuse to see that we are being tricked, preferring to believe that our enemies want peace, as we do...
Praying for Ariel Sharon
"Why should we pray for him?" one community member responded to my e-mail. "Have you already forgotten what he did to our brothers and sisters in the Gaza Strip?"
Transcending Death at Sago
They built a barricade to protect themselves from the deadly gasses, they donned their oxygen tanks, and they waited and waited and waited...
Impact
Our mission and purpose may be hidden, perhaps, even, never fully revealed; yet a simple action--or inaction--on our part has the power to change the world
Picking a Judge: A Few Supreme Questions
Is he a liberal or a conservative? What's her position on issue X? ... Or should we be asking an entirely different set of questions?
A Mission of Discovery
We strap a rocket on our back. A fiery blast of passion frees us of earth's seemingly irresistible gravity. Yet the fulfillment of our mission depends on a successful landing...
Why Do They Hate Us?
The borderless war by terrorism is a new phenomenon, but its roots are age-old: an ideology of discontent that causes people to be disgusted by, and ultimately hate, cultures different than theirs.