Birthright Israel, the free 10-day trip to the Jewish state for 18- to 26-year-olds, is a great project. It enables scores of people to visit Israel, many of whom would otherwise never have the opportunity.
My father, of blessed memory, would have loved New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Commissioner Kelly is sensitive to the need to preserve and protect civil liberties, but he also recognizes that a society must first and foremost ensure the safety of its citizens. My dad used to say that political correctness takes open mindedness to the extreme -- where people’s brains fall out and they stop thinking rationally. He was also devoted to the safety of his family, which he taught me; being alert, observant and lucky.
As I pushed through the jampacked Kotel on Rosh Hodesh Sivan, thousands of religious girls pointed at my kippa and screamed in my face. Not only did they stick out their tongues, but they made the shape of a gun with their hands and rotated between pointing it at their heads and pointing it at mine. Scanning through the faces of the young girls, I wondered if in a different setting, we could’ve been braiding challah or lighting Shabbat candles together as friends. Some of their eyes leaked with hatrid and disgust, while some overflowed with intrigue, curiosity, and at times boredom. A large portion of the girls seemed to be mulling about, happy to be spending time with friends, and waiting for us to leave.
When I was in seventh grade I ran for president of our community-wide youth investment club. Investment clubs were common in the 1950s and `60s in the adult world, and parents encouraged their kids to learn the value of financial investing early. What I learned from my experience in the club changed me, but not the way my folks intended.
How welcome, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg’s call to Modern Orthodox leaders to speak out for a new, better order at the Kotel (“Time For Modern Orthodox Leaders To Speak Out On Kotel Proposal,” Opinion, April 26).