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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?

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.
Should We Hate Them?
Many of us are not quite sure how to react towards terrorists who have no qualms about killing huge amounts of people. Should we be angry with them or should we feel sorry for them?
A New Road Map for Peace
It's been like trying to get to the Golden Gate Bridge using a map of Lower Manhattan. The problem has nothing to do with traffic jams or poor driving; it has everything to do with using the wrong map
The Power of Speech
In a rare show of bipartisan initiative, both Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Senate Democratic leader Harry M. Reid have been approached to help resolve 'Filibustering Rabbi' issue on Long Island.
Of Rubles and Dollars
Reflections on the place of G-d in American society
Supporting Israel in 1798
A leading role model for pro-Israel activism actually lived long before the founding of modern State of Israel
Replacing Fundamentalism... With What?
If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that laser-guided missiles and Abrams tanks are more lethal killing machines than a masked man with a butcher knife. So what is it about these anachronistic beheadings that offends us so much?
Fool's Hell
Some would say that we were living in a fool's paradise. Certainly others have known all along that the world is not a safe place. We beg to differ: it is not we who live in a fool's paradise, it is they who live in a fool's hell
The Sporting Life
The world is the ball and you and I are the players. Our aim is to get the world to its goal. There will be people trying to prevent us from doing so. Don't let that stop you...
The words have stopped because there's nothing left to be said. There is not yet forgiveness or acceptance for what has been said and done, nor, perhaps, will there ever be. But there is something else -- something that you have never felt before, at least not quite this way
I'm in Hawaii, He's in Iraq
I guess when something is truly right for you, no matter how impractical or out of the ordinary it may seem, you find yourself doing what you are meant to do...
Honoring the Dead
As Israel witnessed this inhumanity in disbelief, we knew that it would be our mission, as the IDF burial unit, to retrieve whatever we could, regardless of the risk involved...
My Friend, My Teacher
"A relationship with G-d." "Connection with G-d." How many times in the last fifteen years have I written those words! But what do they mean? What do they really mean?
The Children of Terror
With the spread of terrorism, our children are far too often graphically exposed to the worst of what life and humans offer. What can we do to help them deal with these horrific events?
The Kabbalah of Defeating Terror
This isn’t a battle between rival ideologies. It’s a struggle between two types of force—one that thrives on order, and another that flourishes on chaos. Can order defeat chaos? Can moderation defeat extremism?
Gandhi or Moses?
The Bible shares only three incidents in Moses' early life: how he intervenes when a non-Jew oppresses a Jew, when two Jews fight, and when non-Jewish men oppress non-Jewish women
Darkness Is a Coward
First came the false leads. Then came the shrug-off. But the soldiers kept at it, climbing through ditches and spider-holes -- until one final action ended the quest
Our Rosh Hashanah Blackout
I feel as if I am on another planet, a different dimension. For the first time in a long time, I truly feel Rosh Hashanah
Galileo's Trajectory
Somehow it's comforting to think of the little guy zooming around our solar system at 8,000 miles an hour in directions opposite of his intended destination, being zapped by radio signals he was never designed to respond to -- and actually getting things done
Do You Know?
Do you know what it is like to bring five kids and a stroller on a Jerusalem bus on a summer evening? Do you know what it is like to have your entire life changed forever in one split second?
You Have Made Us Proud
Amongst the blackness of tragedy I yearned for some hope and light. I did not have to wait long. In the last few days, I've found myself repeatedly saying: Thank G-d for making me part of this great nation of Israel
Life After Terror
Terror can become imbedded in the bone and tissue. It can go right down to the cellular level and be held there, embraced there, entrapped there for a lifetime. What can we do for those who are already its victim?
It's as if you would ask the Creator, a billion times a second, "Seeing what's become of it, would you do it all over again?"
People in New York are speaking about the eerie silence around us. I wonder which is more eerie: the sound of air conditioners and subways or the sound of our souls?
Land for Peace?
There's actually a clear ruling in Shulchan Aruch, the Torah's "Code of Law." This law does not even speak about the land of Israel -- it applies equally to Jerusalem and to Wellington, New Zealand
The Face of Wisdom
Personally, I could fare all right without a genius in my life. Same with the statesman, rock star or superhero -- even without the psychologist. But one thing we all need is meaning. To know what it's all about
It doesn't require physical contact or a long-term relationship. A fleeting encounter, the air of a shared space, suffices for one person to have a profound effect on a fellow human being
It's Okay to be a Hypocrite
The church has recently announced that "G-d is against war, always." The Belgians are the planet's guardians of human rights, and France has decided that Americans have no business crossing oceans to fight other people's wars
Blood and Tears
"But why did they have to kill each other?" I asked in 3rd grade history class. "Why did they have to go to war? If everyone knew what would happen, why couldn't they all just stay alive?"
Home Front
Remember those black-and-white WWII photos of heavy hearts, last goodbyes, care packages, crackly radio reports, and that hovering, ominous cloud of uncertainty? With my wife's brother in the 101st Airborne, now I'm it
Blood Type
Jessica lost her life, and two other critically ill people will not be receiving the organs used in the attempt to cure her. What can we learn from this devastating mishap?
Why I'm Not Afraid
A War on Terror means just that: a war not to be terrified by those who want you to be. If you're afraid, they've just won another battle -- and I'm not a loser...
I Knew Him
Dr. Gottlieb was on the 32a bus from Gilo that morning, on his way to treat three Down's Syndrome children -- something he did every Tuesday, gratis
The Agony and the Ecstasy
The world gets dry statistics about the number who died. But numbers don't tell stories. Numbers don't say what it's like to prepare a meal for one, to do laundry for one, when yesterday you had a husband and two teenaged children
Israel and the Battered Woman
"It takes two to make a fight. So I must deserve this -- after all, I'm not perfect either. I left dishes in the sink and didn't have dinner ready when he came home. Sometimes, I was a little confused after he beat me up and didn't function so well.."
Esther's Smile
The sorrow was guarded by soldiers dressed for battle, determined that no more grief would strike this village and this family -- at least until the funeral was over
Sad Days in Israel
In the movies they're tough guys yelling and screaming at their soldiers. But this platoon sergeant was like a Jewish father watching over his children, making sure they had something to drink and enough tissues to wipe their eyes
War Dreams
Am I ready for the facts of life? Did I ever in my wildest dreams think I would be living through war? That I would be hunted for being a Jew?
What To Do Now
The single thing every Jew can do for peace in Israel
Is G-d Punishing Us?
If you had a child, an only child, who was too much of a wimp to stand up for his rights, would you smack him in the face and watch him fall to the ground?
The Temple Mount
Jerusalem Under Siege
The killers are driven by hate, the pundits and politicians by vanity and naiveté; together, they would rip the heart of Israel from its body
People have become so sophisticated that they no longer believe in or understand anything anymore. Basic words, such as "friend", "enemy", "land" and "life" become totally incomprehensible
The Survivors
"Six thousand people applied to appear on the show, and not a single one was Jewish!" She asked me to help her understand this phenomenon. "After all" she noted, "wasn't it the Jews who survived the Holocaust?"
Gimmel Tammuz
Just about everything imaginable was happening--except for what everyone had predicted would happen
A Gathering with the Rebbe
You can't build a lasting building out of half-baked bricks. You can't assemble an accurate timepiece unless each of its gears, springs and balance wheels has first been honed to precision. But people, says the Lubavitcher Rebbe, are not bricks
The Story Behind Nelson Mandela's Madiba Shirts
Without pause, Madiba replied that he felt a strong affinity with Joseph.
On the Murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir
They call it just revenge. What a shame that they never paid attention to the daily prayers.
The Ice Bucket Challenge
What value is gained by dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head for a cause? Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply write a check in the first place?