Editorial

Crossing The Line

04/24/2013
Editorial

Last summer President Obama warned that the use of chemical weapons by Syria in its civil war would cross “a red line” and could result in a military response.

Lonely Men Of Faith

04/17/2013
Editorial

Twenty years after his death, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the beacon of the Modern Orthodox movement and rosh yeshiva of the rabbinical school of Yeshiva University, is still mourned and remembered not only for his towering intellect and Talmudic teachings but his willingness and ability to blend a life devoted to Torah study with a full appreciation of the blessings of modernity.

Historic Kotel Proposal: Don’t Divide, Increase

04/10/2013
Editorial

In the famous story of the two women who come to King Solomon, each claiming to be the mother of a baby they are fighting over, the wisest of all men offers to cut the child in half with his sword and give each of the women an equal portion.

Beware Of The Brotherhood

04/04/2013
Editorial

Some Mideast experts are warning of a civil war in Egypt over increasingly serious economic, social and political problems, and disillusionment with the Muslim Brotherhood, which has exacerbated rather than eased the crisis.

April’s Multiple Messages

04/04/2013
Editorial

April is a month crowded with Jewish observances and remembrances this year, both ancient and modern.

Fresh off of Passover and its inspiring message of freedom and spiritual liberation we face the cruel reality of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on Sunday, April 7, recalling a time not only when 20th-century European Jews were denied their freedom but systematically put to death simply because they were Jewish. We are painfully aware that each year there are fewer survivors within our midst to give personal testimony to the tragedy. All the more reason why we should take part in religious and communal observances that mark the day, often featuring survivors telling their own stories.

Six million is an almost impossible number to think of in terms of victims of the Nazi regime. But one person’s authentic recollections can be a powerful reminder of the human suffering that took place and the physical and psychological scars that remain.

Recent events in Europe provide a troubling echo of the fact that anti-Semitism is still with us. Attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions, whether they are explained as anti-Israel in nature or motivated by hatred of Jews, are deeply worrying. They need to be addressed not only through statements by government officials but by civic and religious leaders in the local communities as well as through vigilance against future destructive acts and educational programs in the schools.

In Israel, Jews throughout the country will mark April 15 as Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day for the thousands killed in the country’s wars these last six decades. Those who have been in Israel on that day understand that it is a far more somber, emotional observance than Memorial Day in the U.S. When the blast signaling a moment of silence across the country sounds, all movement stops, and one realizes that hardly a family in the Jewish state has not suffered a loss in Israel’s struggle for independence and survival.

In typical Israeli fashion, though, mourning and joy rub against each other as Yom HaZikaron gives way to Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, April 16. Perhaps the celebration is so spirited because people realize the depth of sacrifice that led to statehood.

Then, closing out the month of April, comes Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer between Passover and Shavuot. Though a minor, ancient holiday, it is a joyous one. But there is no definitive reason why. Some say it is because the Jews marked a victory on that day in ancient times in the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans; others say it was the only day no students of Rabbi Akiva died during a weeks-long plague. But neither explanation indicates a time for celebration. Still, amidst a calendar fraught with solemn occasions and anniversaries, it’s good to have a day to rejoice. We can always find a reason to be grateful.

As we enter a month rich in Jewish tradition and history, we note that its peaks and valleys reflect the human condition, with times to laugh and times to cry, and a responsibility to find meaning in each.

Still Fighting Slavery

03/28/2013
Editorial

Slavery is a constant companion at our seder tables each year.

Obama Scores Points In Israel

03/28/2013
Editorial

There was only so much President Barack Obama could accomplish in a brief trip to Israel this past week, but he made the most of it.

Pope Francis And Pius Archives

03/20/2013
Editorial

During the current era of warming Jewish-Catholic relations, initiated in 1978 by the late Pope John Paul II and continued by the recently retired Benedict XVI, some dividing points between the Jewish and Catholic communities surfaced. Among them were the resurrected Latin Mass that calls for the conversion of the Jews, and the lifting of a Holocaust-denying priest’s excommunication.

The Turkish Threat

03/13/2013
Editorial

Other than the remnants of Sadat’s Egypt, whose peace with Israel is now as fragile as peace can be, more Western hope was invested in Turkey than any other country in the Middle East. It was at one point less Islamist than secular, an applicant to the European Union and a member of NATO but not the Arab League. In the late 1990s, Israel and Turkey seemed virtual allies.

Helping Houses Of Worship, After Sandy

03/13/2013
Editorial

The rabbi of a synagogue in Rockaway heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy recently noted the illogic of those who argue that houses of worship should not be allowed to apply for federal emergency aid, in keeping with the separation of church and state.

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