An Unsettling Future

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Before battlefield technology evolved to the point that warfare could be conducted remotely, before Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos dreamed up the concept of deliveryman-less delivery of goods, drones were much different animals. Animals quite literally, in fact, with the term drones referring to male bees who did not make honey and did not… Read More

The Bond of Brotherliness

Why does Joseph suddenly wake up to his familial ties and reveal himself as the long-lost son and brother? Apparently, he was inspired by Judah’s stirring speech that opens our Torah reading. How did Judah strike such a responsive chord in a Joseph, whose heart had previously been so impervious to filial and sibling sensitivity?… Read More

The Power of Unity

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Take a look at the makeup of the Jewish world around you and you might find a series of fractious divisions running through the fabric of our global community. That’s no accident, as it’s largely the divisions that garner attention, providing fodder for much of the news that’s appeared in the pages of the JT… Read More

‘Deal with It’

John H. Wilcox (“No Doubt, Maryland Is a Southern State,” Dec. 18) is totally missing the point of the letter that I wrote Nov. 21 (“‘White Power’ Letter Is Insulting”). It was not meant to be an historical narrative. What happened in the Civil War has little to do with the events of the victory… Read More

‘Between’ Is Poor Choice of Words

The JT’s Dec. 5 editorial “The Irreplaceable Netanyahu?” referred to “increasing violence in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians.” That terminology failed to make it clear that one side is the aggressor and the other side is simply defending itself.   Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem have been ramming their automobiles into crowds of Israelis at train… Read More

Public Menorah Lightings: Yea or Nay?

The “Editor’s Note” (‘Your Say’, Dec. 19) is summarily contradicted by Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb’s “But by My Spirit” in the very same issue. This learned d’var Torah knows nothing of “various halachic decisors’” justification of public menorah lightings in violation of the Talmud.   Quite the contrary: The estimable O.U. luminary sharply contrasts the… Read More

For Maccabees, Goal Was Power

In “Chanukah and the Holidays” (Dec. 19), Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Druk characterizes the message of Chanukah as “the victory of freedom over tyranny.” This is factually incorrect.   Commenting upon the common belief that Judah Maccabee was a crusader for freedom of religion, Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser points out that this “statement is true only if you… Read More

Israel: Democracy Despite Its Faults

I think it’s ludicrous to spend time and money polling people on whether Israel should be a democracy or a theocracy. Surely, they’re not mutually exclusive. For those who are concerned that Israel will become “too Jewish,” fear not. One need only remember that Israel was founded by secular Jews and is home to an… Read More

Bag (Ac)counting

Here’s a quick mental exercise: How many reusable bags do you own? Do they make it into the store with you on your various shopping excursions? For many years, my family had a small supply of reusable bags that we had divided between our cars so that we would have them on hand when running… Read More

On Being a Member of the Tribe

I spend a great deal of time traveling as a scholar-in-residence, speaking primarily on the topic of sustainability as refracted through the prism of a Torah lifestyle. Venues typically include synagogues, Hillels and Chabad Houses, JCCs and various environmental conferences. Several years ago, I was asked to participate in the Tribal Lands Climate Conference sponsored… Read More