In My Opinion
5/20/2013 12:16 PM
History has recorded for us great powers, ideas, faiths and societies that though apparently successful for periods of time, even long centuries, have turned eventually into monumental failures. The twentieth century was witness to the immense failure of fascism and of communism as examples of promised social panaceas that eventually collapsed due to false ideals and dogmatic ineptitude. ...
5/13/2013 01:46 PM
Every holiday is dependent, so to speak, on memory for its observance to be meaningful and uplifting. The specific commandments, customs and rituals that accompany the Jewish holidays of the year are the memory aids that trigger our emotional and spiritual responses. Just sitting in a succah or eating matzo is sufficient to open the floodgates of memory that enhance our observance of that...
THE BOOK OF RUTH
5/6/2013 12:03 PM
With the holiday of Shavuot lurking joyfully just around the corner, I have spent some time reviewing the holy book of Ruth. Traditionally read in many synagogues on the holiday, the narrative quality of this book itself is masterful and its delineation of the main characters is sharp and arresting. But it is the moral and idealistic quality of the book, especially as it is reflected through...
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...
4/22/2013 04:01 PM
Every day of life automatically brings with it a share of frustrations and disappointments. Very rarely do things turn out for us exactly as we planned and hoped that they would. Some frustrations are relatively minor even in our personal scheme of things – my inability to easily change a halogen light bulb or carry a tune for instance. Other frustrations such as health problems and financial...
ISRAEL AT SIXTY FIVE
4/16/2013 04:16 PM
The Jewish state celebrated its sixty-fifth Independence Day commemorations this week. Though sixty-five years occupies most of the time span allotted to humans on this earth, in the eyes of history it is a relatively short time. Nevertheless, I think that one must marvel at what has occurred here in the Land of Israel over the past sixty-five years. And, the world has certainly changed...
THE AMBIVALENT COUNT
4/7/2013 06:02 AM
We are currently in the season of the counting of the days of the Omer that will lead us to the grand holiday of Shavuot. In the tradition of rabbinic commentary regarding this process of counting the days between Pesach and Shavuot, the emphasis has always been on the countdown towards Shavuot – towards the revelation at Sinai and the granting of the Torah to Israel. Tradition forced us...
THE NEW POPE, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE JEWS
4/3/2013 06:00 AM
The new Pope of Rome, a 76-year-old Argentinian cardinal, ascends his throne with a murky past. Rumors have always swerved about him and his behavior during the terrible period of “The Dirty War” that engulfed Argentina, when the country was controlled by the military juntas. The cardinal was accused of complicity and of notable silence during that sad period of time that consumed tens...
PESACH AND LOCUSTS
3/17/2013 05:01 AM
Over the past weeks the plague of locusts in a relatively minor form infested our area of the world. The locusts apparently did do great though not catastrophic damage to crops in Egypt before crossing the Sinai peninsula and turning north to invade Israel. The Israel Agricultural Ministry sprayed extensively from the air to destroy the streams of aggressive locusts and achieved success in...
3/11/2013 01:13 PM
The problem with common sense is that it is none too common. In fact, one could characterize it as a rare commodity or even as an endangered species. Does not common sense tell us that Shas, United Torah Judaism and Bayit Hayehudi, all of whom proclaim their loyalty to Torah, should form one bloc in order to influence the country and its government? Yet we are witness to terribly vicious and...