Politics

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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Israel: the new Jewish shtetl

January 23, 2017

Hebrew Union College Professor Steven M. Cohen published an essay last month with some startling conclusions about Jewish demography. Reviewing figures compiled by the Pew Research Center over the past half century, he writes in The Forward that the number of Orthodox Jews in America has quadrupled in just two generations – with 79,000 “grandparents” […]

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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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The blessing of the broken toe

December 8, 2016

Three days before our daughter’s wedding, my wife Jody broke her toe. She dropped a large plata (a hot plate we use to warm food on Shabbat) on her foot. The toe turned purple and I rushed Jody to the nearest Terem emergency center for an X-ray and some advice on proper bandaging. After the […]

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Why I’m voting for Donald Trump

April 1, 2016

Yes, you read that right. It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally come around. Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has won me over. And come November, if he’s still in the race (and if this election year has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is mandated from heaven), he’ll have my vote. He says he’s […]

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Co-opting intersectionality: how to beat BDS on campus

February 18, 2016

The drama continues at Oberlin College. Last month in The Jerusalem Post, I wrote about growing anti-Semitism and BDS support at my alma mater. Now, the Facebook group “Oberlin Students and Alumni Against Anti-Semitism” has published an open letter with more than 200 signatures describing the toxic climate on campus for pro-Israel students and calling […]

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Anti-Israel sentiment is PC at Oberlin College

January 18, 2016

Oy, what has happened at my alma mater? Oberlin College was in the news in December when its students declared that the campus dining department was guilty of a litany of offenses, in particular “cultural appropriation.” Trigger warning here: if you are uncomfortable with young people acting ridiculously, stop reading now. Still with me? OK, […]

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Lessons from The Leftovers: finding meaning in an ISIS-filled world

January 1, 2016

Two weeks ago, the HBO TV series The Leftovers completed its stunning second season. With its incessantly bleak tone, and ratings that were not much better, critics and fans called it “the best show on television you’re probably not watching.” But you ought to. Go out and binge watch all 20 episodes right now. Because […]

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A terrible confession

December 7, 2015

I have a terrible confession to make. I’m ashamed to even let the words pass my lips, but I suspect I’m not alone. Each time there’s a terror attack overseas, that is to say, one outside of Israel, I feel a tiny twinge of hope. Then I am instantly overcome with guilt and I berate […]

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In praise of datlashim

June 7, 2015

Datlashim are some of my favorite people. I admit I’m partial. All three of my kids are datlashim. That said, datlashim may represent the very future of Judaism or, stated with less hyperbole, may help an increasingly fractured Jewish community find common ground between religious and secular. Datlash is an acronym that stands for dati […]

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