I present below, in its entirety and without further comment, former mayor Ed Koch's latest essay on the tensions between the White House and Israel. In it, he concedes that some will call him alarmist, but finds some parallels between the administration's treatment of Israel and the Roman siege against Jews at Masada.
Here's one big Zionist reason to root for the New York Mets.
Last November 21, the Hebron Fund booked a reception room in the Met's stadium for a fundraising dinner. The fund supports a Jewish presence in Judaism's second holiest city, site of the Machpela (tomb of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, and some say Adam and Eve) and King David's one-time capital. The Machpela is to Jews what the Lincoln Memorial is to Americans, except Lincoln isn't buried there but Abraham is.
anyone who has visited the holy land knows, Israel is a thoroughly modern country with decidedly unholy traffic snarls, ubiquitous cell phones and all manner of other urban ills.
For some pilgrims, Israel’s highly developed, Westernized culture is a disappointment, as it masks the sights and sounds of biblical times. Jerusalem, for example, may be the holiest city in the world, but it can be hard to envision Temple times with the roar of buses nearby and the smell of pizza in the air.
With the sound turned down, Vanessa Hidary's performance on HBO's "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry" looks a lot like the other stand-up poets: accentuated with aggressive hand gestures and straight-faced sincerity.
But at full volume, Hidary stands out.
A new congregation started last month in the Philadelphia area, just in time for the High Holy Days. The service featured a menorah, a Torah and references to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not to mention Moses.
It also featured references to Jesus and salvation.
While there have been no shortage of attempts by Christian groups like Jews for Jesus and Hebrew Christians to sponsor religious events blending two clashing theologies in the attempt to attract unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, this congregation, called Avodat Yisrael (Servant of Israel), is unique.
Rabbi Mahir Reiss, a respected Brooklyn businessman and Orthodox Jewish philanthropist credited with resolving international Jewish religious disputes, was sentenced to 27 months and fined $6.3 million for his role in an international money-laundering scheme involving a Colombian drug ring. In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein on Wednesday based his decision on whether the 48-year-old Reiss knew that the illegal money he was laundering involved drugs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Dunst contended Reiss knew.
Revered by three major faiths as the first man to recognize and worship one God, the prophet Abraham remains an enigmatic historic figure, painted in few-but-broad strokes in the Torah, described in hagiographic terms in subsequent depictions.
In medieval times in the Middle East, translators in synagogues would render the reading of the weekly Torah portion from Hebrew into the vernacular Arabic or Aramaic.
Something similar took place in Manhattan this week.