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

Boycott Is Woefully Misplaced

Why is there no boycott of Saudi Arabia, where political executions, beheadings (100 this year alone) and arrests are commonplace? No boycott of Iran for dehumanization of women and homosexuals? No boycott of the Syrian government, which has used powerful bombs and even chemical weapons against its own people? No boycott of the Islamic countries,… Read More

AFMDA Volunteers Hard at Work

To clarify the statement in the JT’s June 12 story, “American Dollars, Israeli Lives,” that the AFMDA (American Friends of Magen David Adom) does not have a “professional paid” staff covering Baltimore, we have, however, several dedicated volunteers with the Landay Life Chapter of Baltimore, which has been in existence for over 45 years, helping… Read More

Obama’s Exit Good for Israel

The recent sermon or speech at Adas Israel synagogue in Washington, D.C., by President Obama continues to show that while he may not be anti-Israel, he has no empathy for that nation (“Off the Mark, Obama’s latest wooing of Jews not working, poll suggests,” June 19). As usual, he blamed the lack of progress in… Read More

Story on Clapman Was Well Deserved

Arnold Clapman and I go back 70 years, when we were classmates at The Talmudical Academy on Cottage Avenue (“The Many Lives of Arnold Clapman,” June 19). In classes together from kindergarden through City College ’57, his artistic talent was evident and amazing early on. But more important was his warm personality and easy smile…. Read More

This Is Not the Charleston I Know

The unspeakable murder of nine accomplished, beloved and respected African-American Charlestonians of faith in their own church last week hit our city like an earthquake. These murders occurred in my neighborhood, across the street from Buist Academy, the public magnet school my daughter and son attended with their white, black and Hispanic classmates. This is… Read More

Net-zero means surplus for nonprofits

Nonprofits have a responsibility to their donor base: to use a donor’s money efficiently and to accomplish effectively the mission of the organization. And if organizations feel they have the right to continue to ask for voluntary donations, donors have the right to ask how their money is being used. Donors should care if their… Read More