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Biographies

RABBI CHAIM ZELIG FASMAN 6/19/2016 02:31 PM

My beloved friend and study partner from my yeshiva days in Chicago, Rabbi Chaim Zelig Fasman, passed away recently. I was really brought up very short and greatly distressed at learning of his passing. Even though seventy years and the space of great continents separated us, one never forgets or is really distant from one’s learning partner – we studied together on a daily basis for nine...

JUSTICE SCALIA 2/21/2016 02:49 PM

Justice Antonin Scalia passed away last week. He served as an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court for the past thirty years. He was a brilliant jurist, an acerbic wit, a kind gentleman and a devout Roman Catholic. He was a strict constructionist of the American constitution, often stating that the simple language of the constitution should not be reinterpreted and twisted in...

BERNIE 2/15/2016 01:49 PM

I rarely if ever write about politicians. Politics always dominates the news because it is at one and the same time very personal and nevertheless very consequential nationally and internationally. But it is a pretty vicious sport, so my pacifist nature overrules my otherwise inquisitive nature. But there is a phenomenon in the American political scene that I feel is worthy of my commenting on...

LEADERSHIP 1/4/2016 01:25 PM

The fact that the current Torah readings concentrate on the life and career of Moshe as being the all-time supreme leader of the Jewish people, and through them of civilization generally, caused me to give some thought to the trait of leadership. We always think of leadership as a positive trait. Yet, some of the most charismatic and successful leaders of nations and empires have been very bad...

KLINGHOFFER 10/27/2014 12:59 PM

An elderly, crippled, wheel chair bound Jew by the name of Klinghoffer was thrown overboard from a cruise ship by Arab terrorists about a decade ago. Klinghoffer’s only crime was that he was Jewish. These facts are uncontested and well-documented. Nevertheless, in the name of artistic freedom, a play was written that justified the murderous deed and intimated that Klinghoffer’s murder was...

RABBI ISAAC HALEVI HERZOG 1/13/2014 10:51 AM

At the end of last month I attended an all day conference here in Jerusalem commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of Rabbi Isaac Herzog’s seminal Ph.D. thesis that he submitted to the University of London. The thesis was a scientific, historical and halachic review of the source of the ancient dye used to produce techelet colored wool for the priestly garments and for the tzitzit/fringes...

RABBI OVADYAH YOSEF 10/29/2013 01:26 PM

I was not in Israel when Rav Ovadyah Yosef passed on to his eternal reward. However, even in Brazil where I was at the time it was front-page news and pictures of the enormous funeral procession accompanied the obituary article. Rarely has one person had such an imposing effect upon the lives of millions of others as did Rav Yosef. His greatness in Torah knowledge was unquestioned, even by...

הרב עובדיה יוסף 10/28/2013 04:38 PM

לא הייתי בישראל כשהרב עובדיה יוסף הלך לעולמו ולשכרו. עם זאת, אפילו בברזיל, שבה שהיתי באותה עת, אלה היו חדשות שהופיעו בעמוד הראשי עם תמונות של תהלוכת הלוויה העצומה ומאמר הספד. נדיר שלאדם אחד יש השפעה גדולה כל כך על חייהם...

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS 7/28/2013 06:01 AM

Though Thomas Jefferson was undoubtedly a great intellect and a skilled political leader, I have never been given to carefully dissect his writings in order to discover subtle philosophical nuances and deeply hidden meanings. Usually, for me, only Torah contents are worthy of such scrutiny, for their messages are eternal and relevant for all times, circumstances and every generation - and indeed...

SEEING GENERATIONS 4/29/2013 12:32 PM

My two month old great grandson came to visit me on Saturday night last. He naturally brought his parents along for the visit but he was the honored guest, the center of all generational attention. He will not remember the visit, for memory kicks in later than does birth and unfortunately in many instances kicks out early before death. Nevertheless for great grandparents a visit from a member of...

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