President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which had been passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress. It is a forceful response to the disgraceful attacks on Asian-Americans by bigots who blamed them for the Covid-19 pandemic. Nothing of the sort appears to be contemplated in response to the attacks by Palestinian sympathizers on Jewish-American persons, synagogues, and restaurants during and after the latest Israel-Hamas conflict.
Steve Lipman reviews a new book by Rabbi Natan Slifkin on trends in Orthodox Jewish thought...rationalism vs. mysticism.
Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis made history as the first-ever Israeli woman appointed to be the sole rabbinic leader of an Orthodox synagogue, the Shirat Hatamar congregation in Efrat. Rabbi Daniel Bouskila interviewed her about her fascinating journey to this groundbreaking milestone.
R. Reines did not see Zionism as devoid of religious value. To the contrary, it was a movement of teshuvah, of return. R. Reines the realist knew that Mizrachi must remain a political arm of the Zionist movement. Nonetheless, he still believed that at its core, Zionism was a spiritual awakening.
When one spouse has grown up with Sephardic traditions and the other with Ashkenazic traditions, whose customs prevail in the marriage and in their family? Must they choose one custom, or may they fashion their own combination of customs for themselves and their children?
Only when halakha manifests a deep passion for justice and human sensitivity will it secure the wide allegiance of Jews today. Moral integrity is, therefore, an existential imperative for contemporary halakha.
Hasidic children often receive less than adequate general education. Lacking basic skills in math, English, science and social studies, they are handicapped when seeking gainful employment. Yaffed is an organization which works to ensure that Hareidi schools are held responsible for meeting State standards for general education.
The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the State of Israel must recognize conversions performed by Conservative and Reform rabbis in Israel, for purposes of Israeli Jewish citizenship. This decision has raised a firestorm of controversy, with much of the Orthodox religious and political leadership condemning it. Rabbis Weiss and Angel offer a positive Orthodox response. This article appeared in the March 4, 2021 Jerusalem Post.
Rabbi Marc D. Angel describes the lives and teachings of significant American Sephardim of the Western Sephardic tradition. These men and women were influential during the course of their lifetimes...and deserve to be remembered and appreciated.
We may find it jarring to come into contact with Jews who observe minhagim different from ours. We may think that their practices are quaint, or odd, or plain wrong....The hope is that through greater awareness and empathy, we will function as a stronger, happier, and more diverse Jewish community. We need a genuine recognition that in our various searches for Divinity, different Jewish communities have followed diverse—perfectly halakhic and proper—roads.