A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Curse the Children of Israel

The use of comedy in Jewish storytelling is a very powerful tool for conveying the serious wisdom of our tradition. Often, the Torah introduces us to a wide range of colorful characters — intriguing men, women, and creatures — in order to infuse the stories of the Torah with wit and humor. These personalities have… Read More

Shame on J Street

The representative of J Street had the gall to demand that Hillel not only give it a venue for its anti-Israel agenda, but also, by extension, funds that have been donated to Hillel (“No More Talking,”  June 19). For a blatantly anti-Israel, pro-Arab organization to make such a demand required real chutzpah and a falsification… Read More

Well-Earned Salute for Col. Burtnick

I enjoyed your article on the post-humous award of the Medal of Honor to Sgt. William Shemin (“ Medal of Honor,”  June 5); however, one major element was left out. Col. Erwin Burtnick, commander of the Department of Maryland and chairman of the national Awards for Valor Committee of the Jewish War Veterans of the… Read More

Our Jewish Identity

Editorial Director

In the barrage of Facebook messages, tweets and dueling op-eds leading up to, distilling and reacting to the historic June 26 Supreme Court decision recognizing a right enshrined in the Constitution for people of the same sex to marry, few have used the opportunity to reveal certain inherent truths. Yes, those celebrating the landmark 5-4… Read More

Fitness and Family

We all know the health benefits of being active, but life is hectic with work, child care/family responsibilities and a bunch of other demands on our time. Rather than looking at family obligations as an obstacle to exercise, I view it as an opportunity. By exercising with their children, parents not only teach them how… Read More

We Must Do Better

In the aftermath of the Freddie Gray riots, some have chided black Baltimoreans for participating, for supposedly labelling themselves as victims and for justifying the economic malaise that affect their people. I take issue with that characterization. Since 2012, I have participated in dialogue between African-American and Jewish members of Northwest Neighbors Connecting, sponsored by… Read More

Order in the Court

It is one of Israel’s paradoxes that, while the country accepts any conversion made abroad for purposes of aliyah, not even many Orthodox conversions made abroad are sufficient to render a future Israeli Jewish for personal status purposes. That’s because only Orthodox conversions made in the country under the auspices of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate —… Read More

Symbols Matter

The Confederate battle 
flag flies outside the South Carolina State House

The racially motivated shooting of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston has added new focus to the national conversation on the question of what it means to be an American. That we are inheritors of dual legacies of freedom and slavery makes this Independence Day weekend a good time to consider issues… Read More

THE DELUSIONAL ZEAL FOR AN IRANIAN “DEAL”

In the mad rush to seal a nuclear “deal” with Iran, we don’t hear much about the radical Islamic Republic’s fierce intransigence at the negotiating table, and even less about the degree to which it is fueled by extremist ideology. But there is no secret that the driving force behind the mullahs’ worldview — their hegemonic… Read More

The Paradox of the Red Heifer Ritual Parshat Chukat

The mystical ritual of the red heifer is a chok, a commandment we follow not because it is rational, logical or moral, but because it is Divinely ordained. The very notion of the priest purifying an individual who has been defiled by contact with a dead body, through the process of sprinkling him or her… Read More