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As the United States commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 21, 2019,  here are several memorable quotations of Dr. King's that reflect his teachings, and his feelings for Jews and Israel.

 

Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.

Until 1968, Americans celebrated February 12 as Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and February 22 as George Washington’s birthday. These commemorations were then replaced with Presidents’ Day on the third Monday of February.

Should the music of Rabbi Carlebach—or any other composer—be banned because of alleged or real private moral failings? Or should the music stand on its own merits, regardless of the personal life of the musician?

While all humans need affirmation from others, different people have different sorts of recognition hunger. Some are so internally weak, they need constant validation and applause. They seek publicity for themselves. They want to be noticed, and they ache when they are not noticed. It may seem odd, but it is often very true, that the most “popular” and “powerful” people are also the most lonely and insecure people.

All halakhic converts must understand: they are 100% Jewish according to halakha. Their Jewishness is not contingent on “acceptance” by the Chief Rabbinate or by any Hareidi dominated rabbinic courts. Halakhic converts are Jewish, their children are Jewish, they are obligated to fulfill the mitzvoth as are all other Jews. Anyone who casts aspersions on their Jewish status is a sinner, plain and simple.

The lessons to be learned from this campaign run the gamut. And the fact that there are so many insights to be gleaned indicates that there is in fact one larger, meta lesson to be learned: Men, and particularly male educators, leaders and aspiring leaders, must listen before any of the larger lessons can be absorbed.

MK Aryeh Deri derided Modern Orthodoxy as “Borderline Reform” as reported by Israel TV’s Channel 2. This head of the Haredi Sefardic political party, Shas, has served a prison term for criminal corruption, hardly a badge of honor for an Orthodox spokesman we would expect to be committed as a matter of conscience to “doing what is right and good” [Deut 6:18].

Among the many essays and books that he authored was a work of translation and commentary entitled, “Restoration of Zion as a Response During the Holocaust: Em Habanim Semeicha” (Ktav, 1999) by Rabbi Yissakhar Shlomo Teichthal, hy”d, who himself was to be martyred during the Shoah.

I first visited Tel Aviv’s Chief Rabbi Haim David Halevy, of blessed memory, in the summer of 1984. I was then a 15-year veteran of the American Orthodox rabbinate serving a large congregation in New York City.

“Something there is that does not love a wall.” So wrote the great American poet, Robert Frost. Walls divide us, separate us, block us from free contact with each other. And yet, we can’t live without walls. We need boundaries to maintain our individual selves, our communities, our nations. Just as we feel the need to resent walls, we also need to appreciate their value. But where to draw boundaries and where to build walls are matters of great controversy.

As the United States commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 21, 2019,  here are several memorable quotations of Dr. King's that reflect his teachings, and his feelings for Jews and Israel.

 

Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.

Until 1968, Americans celebrated February 12 as Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and February 22 as George Washington’s birthday. These commemorations were then replaced with Presidents’ Day on the third Monday of February.

Should the music of Rabbi Carlebach—or any other composer—be banned because of alleged or real private moral failings? Or should the music stand on its own merits, regardless of the personal life of the musician?

While all humans need affirmation from others, different people have different sorts of recognition hunger. Some are so internally weak, they need constant validation and applause. They seek publicity for themselves. They want to be noticed, and they ache when they are not noticed. It may seem odd, but it is often very true, that the most “popular” and “powerful” people are also the most lonely and insecure people.

All halakhic converts must understand: they are 100% Jewish according to halakha. Their Jewishness is not contingent on “acceptance” by the Chief Rabbinate or by any Hareidi dominated rabbinic courts. Halakhic converts are Jewish, their children are Jewish, they are obligated to fulfill the mitzvoth as are all other Jews. Anyone who casts aspersions on their Jewish status is a sinner, plain and simple.

The lessons to be learned from this campaign run the gamut. And the fact that there are so many insights to be gleaned indicates that there is in fact one larger, meta lesson to be learned: Men, and particularly male educators, leaders and aspiring leaders, must listen before any of the larger lessons can be absorbed.

MK Aryeh Deri derided Modern Orthodoxy as “Borderline Reform” as reported by Israel TV’s Channel 2. This head of the Haredi Sefardic political party, Shas, has served a prison term for criminal corruption, hardly a badge of honor for an Orthodox spokesman we would expect to be committed as a matter of conscience to “doing what is right and good” [Deut 6:18].

Among the many essays and books that he authored was a work of translation and commentary entitled, “Restoration of Zion as a Response During the Holocaust: Em Habanim Semeicha” (Ktav, 1999) by Rabbi Yissakhar Shlomo Teichthal, hy”d, who himself was to be martyred during the Shoah.

I first visited Tel Aviv’s Chief Rabbi Haim David Halevy, of blessed memory, in the summer of 1984. I was then a 15-year veteran of the American Orthodox rabbinate serving a large congregation in New York City.

“Something there is that does not love a wall.” So wrote the great American poet, Robert Frost. Walls divide us, separate us, block us from free contact with each other. And yet, we can’t live without walls. We need boundaries to maintain our individual selves, our communities, our nations. Just as we feel the need to resent walls, we also need to appreciate their value. But where to draw boundaries and where to build walls are matters of great controversy.