Searching For Harmony

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Last week, the prestigious SAR High School in Riverdale, N.Y., made waves and headlines with the announcement that its leadership had allowed selected girls to don tefillin during morning prayers. It led many within and outside of the “Orthodox” world to take sides; some suggested that the decision could well lead to a deep schism… Read More

Only Israeli Scholars Are Complicit In The Actions Of Their Government

As the recent calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israeli universities by the American Studies Association and the Modern Language Association clearly indicate, an ideological imbalance in the professoriate has resulted in a collective antipathy toward Israel as the latest villain in the academic left’s panoply of oppressors — this time the victim of the… Read More

Finding The Meaning Behind Seemingly Mundane Laws

There is an almost humorous anecdote mentioned in the Talmud in Tractate Brachot. In describing the possible superficial reality of one’s faith in G-d, the Talmud creates the surreal scene of a thief about to secretly break and enter into his victim’s home, whereupon he utters a silent prayer for success in his forbidden activity:… Read More

Transforming One Family

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While thousands of miles from home this past winter on the 2013 Associated Family Mission, Diane Orlinsky discovered the incredible warmth and cohesiveness of Baltimore’s Jewish community. Just as important, it reinforced her views that The Associated can be transformative for a family. Involvement with The Associated Diane Orlinsky’s involvement began several years ago, when… Read More

Morocco’s Arab Street Maneuvers

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Morocco is a stable, Western-oriented Arab monarchy, which is also known for its cooperation with Israel dating back decades. Last fall, King Muhammed VI came to Washington as part of an effort to deepen the relationship between the U.S. and Morocco. At that time, Ambassador- at-Large Serge Berdugo, president of the Jewish community of Morocco… Read More

Inadvertently Offensive

The Economist made some waves recently with an editorial cartoon showing the difficulty the U.S. and Iran are having coming to terms. President Hassan Rouhani is depicted reaching over a chasm to President Obama, but is being held back by a variety of hardline figures, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Mr. Obama, on the… Read More

Breaking Bread Together

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It seems to me that so many Jewish conversations recently have devolved into divisive rhetoric about Israel; rather than being dialogues, these exchanges position one single-minded extreme against the other. Long gone are the age-old positive Jewish characteristics of civility and warmth. Instead, let’s shift the conversation from rights and wrongs to rights and responsibilities…. Read More

Baltimore’s ‘Little Jerusalem’

I read with interest your obituary for Alice E. Krupsaw (Community, Jan. 10) who passed away at age 106. As stated, she documented memories of growing up in “Little Israel” on Eagle Street. As I lived near Eagle Street on Fulton Avenue, this close-knit Jewish community in Southwest Baltimore, with Wilkens Avenue running through it,… Read More

A Joint Responsibility

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Dope. Weed. Ganja. Mary Jane. Hash. Herb. Reefer. This week’s issue of the Baltimore Jewish Times is really not about any of these things. It is instead about responsibility. The day that Colorado’s legalization of marijuana took effect, National Public Radio ran a report that featured an interview of one of the many citizens and… Read More

Mourning a Pet Dog

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For the sake of transparency, allow me to admit that I am an Orthodox rabbi who does own a pet dog. She is a truly wonderful creature: Tame, gentle, loving and tender, she seems to think that everyone on two legs is her best friend and avoids as much as possible the four-legged alternatives. Approaching… Read More