Category: Morality

Is Anybody There?

Remember Terri Schiavo, the “vegetative” Florida woman who, as a result of her husband’s insistence and a court order (over her parents’ objections), was removed from life support and died in 2005? “Vegetative” patients—people...

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...

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The Ugly Side of Idealism

On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, P.J. O’Rourke described the mass murder as “an act of idealism.” Not idealism as we colloquially use the term to refer to the ability to place other values...

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Celebrating Diversity

I was also at a Shiva this week — a member of our community lost his brother, who lived in Israel, after a long illness. Their family is from Iraq, and praying in his...

Rewriting the Past

Bar Ilan University Milton scholar William Kolbrener has a profound meditation on Yom Kippur and teshuva (repentance) in his new collection of essays, Open Minded Torah. He begins by noting a profound distinction between...

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Meaningless Ritual

The original founders of the “Jewish Friends of Reform,” in Germany of 1843, invited to join them “all who do not accord any authority or obligatory power to the confused and frequently meaningless rabbinical...

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