Religion

An Interesting Read: Scowcroft’s Role in the Obama Administration

Friday, January 2nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington During the presidential  campaign, a persistent subtheme in the Jewish community was the role of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in the Obama foreign policy team.

The Gaza War: Return to Comfortable Territory for Jewish Groups

Friday, January 2nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington This is a really delicate question, so don’t get me wrong.  But I can’t help thinking American Jewish groups are taking a certain satisfaction that the Gaza offensive and the predictable shift of world opinion against Israel are presenting them a problem they know how to deal with – unlike the financial carnage that is upending the Jewish world and threatening the survival of some venerable institutions.

The Pros And Cons Of Our Internet Addiction

Friday, December 12th, 2008

The other day, on a lark, I created a Facebook group called “I Refuse To Join Pointless Facebook Groups,” and invited several hundred of my online friends to join. As of this writing, about three dozen have joined this pointless group, some perhaps aware of the irony, some not.

 

UPDATED: Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition

Monday, December 1st, 2008

He was a tall, imposing figure, ripped straight from the pages of the Bible, with his long grey beard and uncompromising faith. But there was something missing from the picture.

 

Jewish Vote, 2008: More Study Needed

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 James Besser in Washington Mik Moore, the Jewish Funds for Justice blogger and co-creator of the “Great Shlep,” the pro-Obama youth crusade in Florida, has a provocative item this week about why predictions of an anti-Obama vote in the Jewish community proved wildly inaccurate.

Groups Try to Galvanize Jewish Antiwar Activism

Friday, November 21st, 2008 James Besser in Washington It’s been an anomaly of Jewish life since 2003: Jews have been more opposed to the Iraq war than almost any other group, and yet Jewish organizations have been mostly silent on the subject. Among major Jewish groups, only the Reform movement has called for an end to the conflict, and they have done so with exquisite caution.

A Lid On The Kid

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

One of the most difficult things to teach a young child in an observant family is to keep a yarmulke on his head. For a busy kid that likes to run and jump and climb, a kippa is an unnecessary and unnatural thing, if not a nuisance.

 

With the exception of a swimming pool or beach, strictly Orthodox boys are never seen in public without a kippa, and it has become as rigid and non-negotiable a requirement as kashrut, daily prayer and keeping Shabbat.

 

Misperceptions About the Jewish Vote

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 James Besser in Washington At a party the other night, I was pressed to talk about the election (actually, after more than a year, it might be nice to talk about something else for a change, like the changing leaves or the stock market…well, scratch the stock market). This was a gathering mostly of liberal non-Jews who were delighted with Barack Obama’s election. And to a person, they had a wildly inaccurate view of how Jewish voters voted on November 4.

Moshiach Marathon

11/05/2008
Staff Writer

As flocks of runners flew off the Pulaski Bridge and made their way up to Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City last Sunday, Nachum and Chaya Mushka Wineberg juggled hundreds of bottles of POWERade, handing them off to their mother and father.

Higher POWERade: Rabbi Zev Wineberg hands out kosher sports drinks during the Marathon. (Photo by Yosef Lewis | Chabad.org)

McCain, Obama and the Wright Factor

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 James Besser in Washington Over the weekend the blogosphere was filled with speculation about this question: would Sen. John McCain now be leading Sen Barack Obama if he had more actively raised the issue of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Democratic nominee’s former pastor? Opinion is divided, with many analysts saying that  the issue of the sinking economy would still trump all others,  but one question has not been actively raised: what about the Jewish community?
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