Editorial

Narrowing The Religious-Secular Gap

02/28/2012
Editorial

In 1948, when the State of Israel was founded, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion made an accommodation for full-time yeshiva students to serve their country by studying Torah rather than enlisting in the army. There were only 400 such young men at the time, and Ben-Gurion believed the number would diminish.

A War That’s Hardly Phony

02/21/2012
Editorial

The war between Israel and Iran has already begun, if declarations of hostility and sabotage mean anything. The war is in a phase not unlike the Sitzkreig, or “phony war,” in late 1939 and early 1940, only insofar as there is, at least on the surface, more talking and jockeying for position than anything else, an almost eerie readying for an explosion that everyone was certain would happen, but had yet to ignite.

Hadassah At 100

02/21/2012
Editorial

Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization, has had its share of negative attention of late. A major victim of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, it continues to face financial challenges, and a top executive recently accused several lay leaders of improper use of funds.

But as the largest Jewish organization in America prepares to celebrate its centennial, it’s important to step back and look at the remarkable accomplishments over the last 10 decades of a group 300,000 members strong.

Mormon Posthumous Baptism, Again

02/14/2012
Editorial

The perennial controversy over the Mormon Church performing posthumous proxy baptisms on Jews is not only back in the news this week, but highlighting two people who are iconic symbols in their respective religions.

On Tuesday, Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace laureate, called on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to urge his fellow church leaders to stop performing the proxy baptisms.

Toward Gap-Year Consensus

02/14/2012
Editorial

One of the outcomes of the controversy over Rav Aharon Bina and his Netiv Aryeh yeshiva in Jerusalem is the increased attention focused on the fact that teens who spend a year in Israel are to a large degree on their own, with their parents often in the dark about the policies and intellectual and emotional environment of the institutions where they have sent their children.

Ayelet Nation

02/07/2012
Editorial

Every week, so many of us think of the news as what we see on front pages of newspapers. But every week there are families receiving life-changing news in the privacy of a doctor’s office.

Parents and children suddenly acquire new vocabularies, words for esoteric diseases and treatments, awareness of cell counts, medications and machineries, along with sage advisers for coping with what feels like uncharted situations.

An Ethical Seal Of Approval

02/07/2012
Editorial

While proponents of kashrut tout its many auxiliary benefits — building community, a constant reminder of holiness — it is primarily a ritual, rather than ethical, obligation, taken on out of respect for God and/or tradition and not because keeping kosher makes the world a better place.

Israel, Iran And The Bomb

01/31/2012
Editorial

The rhetoric and reporting around whether Israel, with or without U.S. involvement, will take military action against Iran this year, is ratcheting up. But that doesn’t make the conclusions any more clear. In fact, based on past history, when Israel takes military action it does so swiftly, suddenly and with no previous drumbeating in the press, as in the successful attacks on the nuclear reactor facilities in Iraq in 1981, and in Syria in 2009.

Non-Jewish Clergy Grapple With Israel

01/24/2012
Editorial

Interfaith dialogue can often seem like an amen chorus: like-minded people, already predisposed to dialogue, saying “amen” to phrases like “building bridges between people” and “making room for ‘the other.’” But sometimes it can be more tough-minded and clear-headed, and yield real benefits.

Beware Of The Brotherhood

01/24/2012
Editorial

While many in the mainstream media are suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood, which controls the majority of the new Egyptian Parliament, is being tempered toward moderation by its new responsibilities, King Abdullah of Jordan doesn’t seem to be buying it.

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