Category: General

Isms of a Modern Age

I was honestly humbled by the participation of the speakers who preceded me at the Sunday morning session of Agudath Israel of America’s most recent national convention. They were: the venerable Malcolm Hoenlein (whose...

Questions Aren’t Fatal

When, as a teenager, I first read about the Code of Hammurabi, the ancient set of social laws dating from the time of our forefather Avraham, I was greatly troubled. Elements of the code,...

Annoyance and Opportunity

The mosquitoes are gone, thank G-d. Not only the determined one who pestered me one summer morning in shul during davening, but all of her friends and relatives too. Gone for the fall, winter...

Running, Racism and Resentment

When I recounted seeing a small group of unusually dressed men in shul last Sunday in Staten Island and realizing that they were trying to catch a minyan before participating in the New York...

Exercising the Empathy Muscle

Politicians are often subject to derision, often for good reason. Recently, though, a Catholic cleric hurled an unusual and creative insult at local politicos: They are like Jews. Edward Gilbert, the leader of the...

Crimes of Communication

“Funny, she doesn’t look Jewish” was the intriguing opening sentence of a recent story in the New York Post about presidential candidate Rep. Michelle Bachmann. The report asserted that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney,...

G-d Positioning System

I rode the brake and we descended the single-lane dirt path slowly, feeling the vibration of pebbles under our tires turn into the audible crunch of good-sized stones. My wife and I had embarked...

Hearing Voices

So many tears shed, so many words spoken, so many hearts twisted tight over the weeks, now, since the horrific, confounding, harrowing murder of Leiby Kletzky, a”h. With that distance of days, though— while...

Where Less Can Be More

“Can she have a cookie with a Pentagon-K on the box?” the voice on the phone asked and, after receiving my polite but negative response (a Pentagon-K?—now the Defense Department’s in the kashrus business?...

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