Editorial & Opinion

Is The Jewish People Better Off Today Than It Was A Year Ago?

12/27/2011
Editor And Publisher

If you’re an optimist and were asked to name three of the most significant Jewish events of the past 12 months, you might cite the release and emotional homecoming of Gilad Shalit after more than five years in captivity; the protest movement that spread across the Arab world, signaling an end or challenge to autocratic rule and a push for democracy; and a Jerusalem-Washington relationship bolstered by new military and strategic advances, and politically by America’s decisive efforts to thwart Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood through the United Nations and to prevent a nu

Gary Rosenblatt

Time To Help Arab Christians

12/27/2011
Editorial

If the Arab Spring were to fulfill its revolution, what would happen? An anti-Christian “genocide,” fears Christian Solidarity International, a human rights group. Those who know the situation firsthand say that Christians in the Middle East are increasingly fearful and have been the victims of church bombings and street-beatings. If this were a real reformation it would entail not only democratic elections in countries like Egypt (where the repressive Muslim Brotherhood leads the pack), but tolerance for differences and dissent.

Why The Delay In Ethiopian Jewish Aliyah?

12/27/2011
Editorial

Imagine if during the emigration of Soviet Jewry, in the 1980s and ‘90s, it became known that Israel chose to slow the pace, for no convincing reason, of those coming out of a land of persecution and hardship seeking new lives in the Jewish state.

There would have been an outcry throughout the diaspora, accompanied by highly charged demands for speeding up the process, or at the very least, calls for an explanation for the change in plans.

The ‘Great Jews’ Dilemma

12/27/2011

Each year we are privileged to see Jews accomplish extraordinary things in science, art, literature and other subjects. Many of them strongly identify as Jews, but for many, Judaism plays little or no role in their lives. Rav Kook once asked a poignant question: When will Jews who are great also be great Jews?

Numbers Don’t Count

12/27/2011

Rabbi David Wolpe quotes an Israeli scholar saying that, because we have have over 100 mitzvot about economic justice and only 24 about kashrut, we are taught that we should be at least equally concerned about the former (“Business Ethics,” Dec. 2).

Rabbi Jake

12/27/2011

Jonathan Marks’ article “More Needed for Jews With Special Needs” (Dec. 16) highlights an important issue in our community that often resonates only with those families who have severe special-needs children themselves.

Reform Choice Z

12/27/2011

The Reform movement is indeed in crisis of losing its youth “with the last hora of the bar/bat mitzvah party” (“Reform Meets Amid Challenges,” Dec. 23).

Gingrich Pandering

12/27/2011

Newt Gingrich’s claim regarding a reversal of Mideast policy calling Palestinians an “invented” people and opposing a two-state solution, all of which contradict the views of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the majority of the Israeli people, are clearly aimed at securing the vote of American Jewry in the coming presidential election (Editorial, “Truth And (No) Consequences,” Dec. 16).

Wrong Emphasis

12/27/2011

In “A Time Of Zealots” (Editorial, Dec. 16) you state “Chanukah is the festival brought to us by Jewish Zealots. It was the military victory of guerrilla fighters and rogues against Greek repression.” You even cite The Book of Maccabees as your proof text. What you fail to mention, and is perhaps the most salient point, is that Chanukah was predominantly a war between Jews and Jews, i.e. Traditional Observant Jews versus “traitorous Jews who had no regard for the Law (Torah) and who had a bad influence on many of our people” (Book Of Maccabees).

Whose Definition?

12/27/2011

Yes, non-Orthodox and Orthodox are going in opposite directions, but not for the reasons the letter writer states (“Nothing To Discuss,” Letters, Dec. 16).

Some haredi Jews in Israel believe that their young men should be exempt from the military service in the Israel Defense Forces that is necessary to protect Israel from its many threats, preferring to leave that task to the “heathen” Conservative and Reform, so that ultra-Orthodox young men can continue their yeshiva studies without the distraction of the military. 

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