Archive

Archive for January, 2012

Protests: From Manhattan to Moscow to the Middle East to Meah Shearim

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

A lot of things have happened while I was away on vacation, and I guess a lot of things will happen when I go back on vacation. But while I am here today I want to focus on the major event of the year past, because it’s results continue to unfold, and it all finds its roots in this morning’s Torah portion.

For many years I was a regular subscriber to Time Magazine. But not anymore! First of all, there is not much left to the magazine, and besides, I get enough bias against Israel from the New York Times … I don’t have to pay extra for Time Magazine. But the fact is, that while I usually disagree with much of Time’s perspective, the magazine got it just right when it chose as its Person of the Year – “The Protestor.” Protest movements are nothing new but what made it remarkable this past year was how widespread protest movements had grown … from a vegetable vendor in Tunisia to hundreds of thousands in Egypt’s Tharir Square to gun fire outside Libya’s palace to Rothschild Blvd. in Tel Aviv to the city of Homs in Syria … sweeping across Yemen and Bahrain … in Mexico and India and Chile … outside the walls of the Kremlin in Moscow to the center of Wall Street in New York. Citizens of the world were up in protest over their government’s policies and the demand for change, justice, equality merged into a cry for freedom. READ MORE

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Two insights on Israel

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Two insightful articles about the two major issues confronting Israel today, written by one of Israel’s most insightful commentators, Yossi Klein Halevi:

  • In Israel faces up to religious extremism, Klein Halevi examines the “perception that “Israeli democracy is under imminent threat by religious fundamentalism,” and it’s underlying truth—that Israel’s ultra-Orthodox “itself is in deep crisis.”
  • Can the Center Hold? explores the paradox facing centrist Israelis: supporting a two-state solution while remaining “deeply skeptical of Palestinian intentions.”

The Battle of Beit Shemesh

January 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Two insightful articles about the horrible situation in Beit Shemesh:

Ring Out the Old…

January 3, 2012 Leave a comment

It is hard to know how to properly greet you today. To say “Happy New Year,” we were told in the Yeshiva, sounds too “goyish.” To wish you a Shana Tova sounds a bit too Jewish! So let me fall back on the age-old Yiddish wish: “Ah gut yahr un ah gezunt yahr” – Let it be a good year and a healthy year.

But while the New Year is about to begin and we are supposed to “ring out the old and ring in the new,” I still have some unfinished business from this past year which I want to take care of this morning. Amidst a year filled with earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear crisis, street protests and the Arab Spring, the most significant event of this past year came toward the end of the year, with the arrival of my sixth grandchild – my second grandson. Nothing can compare to that! But today I want to tell you about three news clippings I came across this past year that I wanted to comment on, but somehow they didn’t fit in to any of my sermons. The first story is the most ridiculous one of the year. The second, in some way, is the saddest one of the year. And the third, in some way, is the nicest one of the year. Collectively, they say much about the present American and Jewish condition. READ MORE