An Inseparable Part of Judaism

Maayan Jaffe cites discouraging figures from the recent Pew Research Center survey [on American Jews] to show there is a “stark disconnect” between the youngest generation of U.S. Jews and the Jewish state (“Somewhere In The Middle,” Jan. 3). How ironic, considering that her lengthy article is filled with the anti-Zionist views of people such… Read More

Parshat Mishpatim Using Our Gifts From God Wisely

In studying my bar mitzvah parshah, I delved into the subject of slavery, comparing the Jewish concept of servitude with slavery as it existed in the pre-Civil War South. To find out more on this subject I studied with Rabbi Shmuel Silber, and we reviewed the relevant sections in Parshat Mishpatim, Sefer Hachinuch, Ramban and… Read More

‘Miriam The Robber’

“I can’t believe Miriam is in Mrs. Shepfield’s class with us,” I said to my best friend, as we jumped onto our swings at the park. “Yeah,” she answered. “Last year, the girls at her old school called her trouble.” “What do you mean?” I said, shaking my head. “Isn’t that gossip?” “No!” Sara exclaimed…. Read More

A Balanced Look at Conflict

The JT and writer Maayan Jaffe are to be lauded for an excellent, balanced article on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (“Somewhere in the Middle,” Jan. 3). The examples used to support engagement with this issue reveal the challenges that present-day conditions and different historical narratives play in designing a future peace and two-state arrangement that… Read More

Mikvah Not Possible Without Architect

I am glad that you mentioned when the original mikvah was built at Beth El Congregation, acknowledging the work of Rabbi Mark Loeb and those who contributed the money for building the original facility (“Magic Water,” Dec. 20). I would like to add that the mikvah would not have been there were it not for… Read More

Kol Hakavod!

As Orthodox rabbis in both the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas, we were happy to read Nathan Lewin’s op-ed calling to attention the work of Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld at the Ohev Sholom Congregation (“A Real-life Solution To The Agunah Problem,” Jan. 3). We applaud the work of Rabbi Herzfeld and support this and other important… Read More

Finding Lessons in the Redwood Forest

The tree is a sustaining metaphor in Judaism. It stands at the center in the Garden of Eden, perhaps the first metaphor authored by Adam and Eve. The Torah is referred to as a tree of life, it’s teaching an illumination of meaning and happiness. The first Psalm reads that the happiness of the individual… Read More

Relevance Defined

Relevance. We use this word a great deal at the Jewish Federation of Howard County. Recently, a community leader asked me what it means. I thought it was an excellent question, one worth exploring. In order for people to donate to any cause, they want to have some sort of meaningful connection to it. What… Read More

Harsh Words on Iran Sanctions

Rabbi Jack Moline, the incoming director of the National Jewish Democratic Committee, last week charged into the debate over enhanced Iran sanctions in a way that raised eyebrows and some concern. An Iran sanctions bill has won a bipartisan majority in the Senate but with not enough votes yet to overcome a promised veto from… Read More

Ariel Sharon Without Apology

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Ariel Sharon’s long, highly decorated and celebrated life in Israel’s military and political spheres is a rich source of material for constructing a meaningful remembrance. The complexity of his life and the different roles he played in service of the State of Israel have been on display since the general and former premier died Jan…. Read More