Category: Jewish World

Yisro – Consecrated Coercion

Last week, I offered the idea, based on the three Hebrew words, shiluach, yetziah and geirush, used to describe both the exodus account and a marriage’s dissolution, of Yetzias Mitzrayim as Klal Yisrael’s “divorce”...

Help Preserve the Kotel’s Kedusha

The push to balkanize the Kotel Maaravi is, as its proponents readily admit, intended as a step toward legitimizing American-style “Jewish religious pluralism” in Israel. That would be a disaster, not only because of...

Parshas Bo – Enticing the Wicked Son

When the Torah (Shemos, 12:26) recounts the question the Haggadah attributes to the “wicked son,” it states that, when our ancestors heard it, they responded by bowing down in thanksgiving. What were they thankful...

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The Four Rungs of Anti-Semitism

The public tolerance or acceptance of open Jew-hatred does not develop in an instant. An analysis of the descent into the abyss of anti-Semitism shows four distinct stages, or rungs. After the fourth is...

Mikeitz – Small, Not Inconsequential

Yosef, who reaches the height of temporal power in this week’s parshah, was originally presented as unimpressive, even vain, the favorite of his father but the lesser, at least as they saw things, of...

A “Certain Sect of People”

People sometimes ask me if writing a letter to the editor of a major newspaper is worth the trouble, considering that having one’s letter chosen for publication is a long shot. I reply that...

Vayishlach — A Poisonous Prescription

Number one on my list of brilliant people’s brilliantly wrongheaded ideas is something that the late British polymath/physician/comedian Jonathan Miller once said: “I feel that the Jew must constantly re-adventure and re-venture himself into...

Vayeitzei – Haters Gonna Hope

In a short, biting comment, the Chasam Sofer makes a trenchant observation about antisemites, whom he sees as following in the footsteps of Lavan, Yaakov Avinu’s father-in-law. When, after being tricked into working for...

Toldos – Confining Minds

A word often translated as “hunting” is used by the Torah to characterize Esav — “a man who knows hunting” (Beraishis 25:27). Likewise, earlier, to describe Nimrod — “a powerful hunter” (10:9). Rashi explains...

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