Politics

After Pittsburgh and Poway, is it time to make aliyah?

May 11, 2019

Thoughts after the synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway. In a world where no place is safe, where should you live?

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Should Israel be more like America?

March 31, 2019

When I first arrived here in 1984, I wanted Israel to be more like America. It was a common aspiration among immigrants: Israel of the mid-1980s was a much rougher place than it is today, with infrastructure resembling that of a developing nation (remember six-month waits for a home phone line?) more than the world-class […]

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Surprise me, Moshe Lion

November 26, 2018

Jerusalem has a new mayor. I desperately want to see the good in Moshe Lion. But I’m up against “the negativity bias.” Can I be surprised?

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Can Startup Nation save Israel from itself?

August 5, 2018

The Nation-State Bill. The Surrogacy Law. The detention of Rabbi Dubi Haiyun. Where did the words of Israel’s Declaration of Independence go?

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Judaism’s epistemic crisis

November 22, 2017

Are we on the verge of an “epistemic crisis?” Vox Magazine’s David Roberts seems to think so. And it has implications for battles we’re seeing in the Jewish world, from the Western Wall to the army induction office.

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Trump triggers crisis of faith for some religious Jews

February 6, 2017

The election of Donald Trump has created a profound crisis of faith among some Orthodox Jews who opposed Trump’s candidacy. How is it possible, they ask, that so many of their co-religionists allowed themselves to look past Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, his pathological falsehoods and moral failings that seem to go against so much of what […]

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Breaking the rabbinate’s monopoly on marriage

January 2, 2017

Rabbi Chuck Davidson is on a holy mission to end the Israeli Rabbinate’s monopoly on marriage. Nearly every night of the week, Davidson conducts wedding ceremonies that the rabbinate deems “illegal.” His goal: to get arrested. That’s the only way, he says, to force the courts to rule on what he considers one of the […]

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Lowest common denominator

November 6, 2016

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu buckled under haredi pressure in September and canceled 20 long standing Israel Railways permits to do regularly scheduled repair work on Shabbat (leading to the cancelation of train service the following Sunday morning that inconvenienced tens of thousands of commuters and soldiers), he probably wasn’t thinking it would reignite Israel’s […]

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Snub from Cairo

September 16, 2016

When Egyptian judoka Islam el-Shehaby lost to Or Sasson in the 100-kg judo contest at the recent Rio Olympics, Shehaby demonstrably snubbed his Israeli opponent by refusing to shake hands, as is Olympics protocol (not to mention just plain good manners). This prompted outrage – not only in Israel, but at the International Olympics Committee, […]

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Abolish the rabbis

August 15, 2016

A radio campaign called Hatuna Shava – a play on the Hebrew for a wedding that is both egalitarian and “worthwhile” – has been running over the past month in Israel. The radio spot urges young couples to get married, but to keep the Israeli Chief Rabbinate out of it. Hatuna Shava is a collaboration […]

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