Living with a ‘Softened Heart’ D’var Torah - Parshat Vaera

The Torah portion Vaera describes a conflict between God and Pharaoh with Moses as God’s messenger. Moses asks Pharaoh to free the slaves. Pharaoh not only refuses, but increases the Israelites’ burden. God says to Moses that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and for this, Pharaoh and all of the Egyptians will be punished with… Read More

‘The Greatest Feeling’

The way a child sees the world is truly astonishing, and those parents (or uncles, aunts, siblings, babysitters and teachers) among us who are privileged, for even a moment, to enjoy a glimmer of that unique combination of wonder and certainty are truly blessed. I’ve written about this before, but holding my own kids up… Read More

Don’t Endanger Americans

Syrian immigrants pose a grave  danger to all Americans —  and  especially to American Jews and gays. Top Obama administration officials testified that Syrian refugees cannot be properly vetted. As FBI Director James Comey stated, “We can query our databases until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record… Read More

Seeing Through the Transparency Bill

Under a bill introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the right-wing Jewish Home party and approved by the Israeli Cabinet on Dec. 27, new rules are going to be imposed on Israeli nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive funding support from foreign governments.  According to supporters, the Shaked bill is a “transparency bill” designed to… Read More

Rabbis Ignore Facts

I agree with Rabbis Marla Hornstein and Ary Lorge in their support of Planned Parenthood. (“A Choice That Needs Protection,” Dec. 18).  However, I cannot understand why the rabbis are blinded by the exposure of Planned Parenthood’s selling of fetus body parts. They state, “The  alleged evidence documenting such behavior has been shown either not… Read More

Breaking Our Silence

The images are shocking. Celebrants at a Jewish wedding in Jerusalem dance to a rock band while brandishing assault rifles, guns, knives and a fake Molotov cocktail, and repeatedly stab a photograph of Ali Dawabsheh, the 18-month-old Palestinian toddler who was murdered along with his parents by Jewish  terrorists in the West Bank village of… Read More

The Responsibility Is Ours and Ours Alone

First of all, thanks to the JT for publishing its most recent articles on cemeteries, “Honoring Those Who Came Before Us” (Dec. 18). From my perspective, the issues burdening our cemeteries come from multiple layers. And there is no quick fix because the amount of rot within the root system has caused the decay portrayed… Read More

My Candidacy Calls for Reform

When I read “District 11 Team Endorses Van Hollen for Senate” (Dec. 25), I had to chuckle. Maryland’s District 11 team, consisting of Sen. Bobby Zirkin and Delegates Shelly Hettleman, Dan Morhaim, and Dana Stein have a great deal in common with Congressman Chris Van Hollen. They are all typical politicians who take campaign contributions… Read More

No Reason to Spy

One of the many surprising revelations made by  Edward Snowden in 2013 was that the National  Security Agency was tapping the phone conversations of world leaders, most famously German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a key U.S. ally. That led President Barack Obama in January 2014 to announce that the United States would no longer spy on… Read More

How Humble Is Too Humble? Parshat Shemot

When we open the Book of Exodus this week and turn to Parshat Shemot, we find that the Israelites are suffering under the tyranny of ego. Pharaoh, a despot who believes himself to be more powerful than God — indeed, he believes that he is a god himself — has enslaved the Israelites in order… Read More