Category: Judaism

Klal Yisrael Matters

A “scandalous letter” in the files of Israel’s official rabbinate “reflects ignorance,” delivers “a severe blow” to Israel’s relations with Diaspora Jewry and “abandons the religious system in Israel to haredi hands.” Thus spake...

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Not Your Bubbe’s HUC

The first ordination banquet of the Hebrew Union College of Reform Judaism did not go smoothly. A group of invited rabbis opened their menus, realized that the first course was to be little-neck clams, and immediately left. Fast forward 125 years, and once again the abandonment of Jewish values was too profound for some of those invited to bear.

Optics and Essence

While Democrats and Republicans were trading verbal punches – and misinformation – about immigrant children last week, an adult immigrant riveted the attention of a crowd, and then the world, as he saved a...

The Israeli Rabbinate’s New Standards

An article I wrote for Haaretz about Israel’s official rabbinate “blacklisting”  some American rabbis, disallowing their vouching for people’s Jewish credentials can be read here.   Even if you’re not a Haaretz subscriber or registrant, if...

Human Uniqueness

In the course of a public roundtable discussion about immigration and crime, a few days before Shavuos, President Trump made a comment that provoked some outrage. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,”...

Checking Out… and Checking In

Dr. David Goodall is no longer with us. The 104-year-old scientist travelled to Switzerland from his home in Australia last week, weary of life and in a wheelchair, but not otherwise disabled or seriously...

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Moving Commentary 7: Yom Haatzmaut

As Thursday evening gently prodded Yom Haatzmaut revelers to begin closing down, my day was just beginning. Radio stations in America were asking for local commentary, and in a few cases, I was elected....

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