Category: Jewish World

Responding to Wrath With Calm

It’s strange but true: We sometimes fail to acknowledge the most important thing in the universe. That would be bechirah, Hashem’s astonishing gift of free will to mankind. We humans are able to choose...

Two Thoughts about You-Know-What

Surprisingly (he said with sarcasm), I’ve been giving some thought to the current pandemic. Specifically, to the unprecedented closures of shuls and yeshivos.  In the absence of a prophet, no one can claim to...

Plagues Past and Present

It’s been some 700 years since the bubonic plague ravaged central Asia, killing millions of people. A decade or two later, in October, 1347, a ship from the Crimea docked in Messina, Sicily. Rats...

My Purim’s Highlight

My Purim’s highlight this year was an interaction I had with two little boys, no older than 8 or 9.  The shul I attend is often visited by a number of “collectors” asking for...

Masquerading as Feminism

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t have a column in Hamodia this week, but thought I’d post a Purim-themed thought I wrote several years ago.  A joyous and meaningful Purim to all!...

A Misleading Morph

I’ll never forget coming across the phrase “the Holocaust” – complete with the definite article and capitalized second word – in, of all things, a translation of the Mishnah. More unnerving still was that...

Pleasing Orthodox Political Palates

For some of us, double-edged swords don’t come more dangerous than the prospect of a Jewish president. The accomplishment would be heartening in a way, and would say much about America. But the reality...

The Guard Protecting the Shul

Security for Jewish institutions – shuls, schools, community centers and organizations – has understandably been at the forefront of many minds and agendas in recent months. Agudath Israel of America, where I serve as...

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