Modern-Day Spanish Jewry

In July, my wife, Roberta, and I led a group from Beth Am on an 11-day Mission to Spain, organized by the Conservative Cantors Assembly. Forty cantors from North America went, bringing 300 congregants with us (no other Baltimore groups went). I was personally interested in the mission’s goals: to learn the history of Jews… Read More

A Rabbi Is ‘Lynched’

Twelve years after his death, Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader and arch-terrorist, is still causing Jews grief. This time, we’re relieved to report, no one died. But there’s no doubt that the life of Rabbi Neil Blumofe, senior rabbi of Agudas Achim in Austin, Texas, was badly shaken. And all because he included a visit… Read More

A Setback in Space

The Israeli Amos 6 communications satellite that was destroyed in an explosion on the launch pad last week was reputed to be the country’s most advanced. But what Israel —and the world — lost during the spectacular fire in Cape Canaveral, Fla., was much more than a $200 million piece of equipment. In addition to… Read More

False Accusations

The authors of “Black Lives Platform Gives Hope, Not Fear” (Sept. 2) are quite misguided. They are saddened and pained by the Jewish responses to the M4BL platform and contend that Jewish outrage at the policy platform is dividing the black and Jewish communities and preventing the communities from building relationships. Such a position by… Read More

Meeting the King Parshat Shoftim

What is the essence of the exalted Hebrew month of Elul, the auspicious 30-day period of time prior to the Days of Awe in which, according to Chasidic philosophy, “The King is in the field,” when God is, as it were, more accessible to us than throughout the year? How might we best prepare ourselves… Read More

‘Time’ for School

Only one thing compares with the glee of children streaming out of hallways the end of each school year — the heady delight of parents knowing that their children will be someone else’s problem at the beginning of the school year. Now don’t think that I’m a heartless or inattentive father. I truly cherish the… Read More

The ‘Altruistic Evil’ of Social Justice for Palestinians

As yet another indication that the university campus has  become “an island of repression in a sea of freedom,” last March a pro-Israel group, Hasbara Fellowships Canada, was barred from participating in a Social Justice Week event organized by the Student Association of Durham College and University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The stated reason… Read More

Never Like a Child

“You know old people are just like children,” said the professional athletics director who works with all ages. As someone in the former category, I felt a chill go down my spine and a rush of adrenaline course upwards. How could I convey to this woman that even though older people may have diminished abilities,… Read More

No Friend of Israel

Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s Aug. 26 column in the JT, “Why Tim Kaine Is Good for Israel, Jewish Values,” was the ultimate in chutzpah. Cardin, who voted against the Iran agreement, was supporting Sen. Kaine as being a friend of Israel when, in fact, Kaine helped forge the agreement with Iran.  That the Iran agreement is… Read More

Stepping Up to Help Those in Need Parshat Re’eh

This week’s reading, Parshat Re’eh, includes the laws of kashrut and how to observe the three harvest festivals:  Pesach, Sukkot and Shavuot. I will be focusing on another theme from the reading, however: tithing. Tithing is when farmers take 10 percent of their yield and donate it to the priests and the poor. This is… Read More