Sanders’ Values Are Israeli Values

“A Fly (Donkey?) on the Wall: Behind the Scenes at the DNC” (July 29) quotes Adrian Shanker as describing Bernie Sanders’ “vision as grounded in values that are very Jewish to begin with.” Sanders’ hashkafa is that of democratic socialism: the ideology of the Founding Fathers of the State of Israel. (Not to be confused with… Read More

Five Things People with Disabilities Wish You Knew

Eighteen years ago, my best friend gave birth to a baby boy with Down syndrome. I was already very familiar with people who have disabilities, but I had no idea what to say to my friend who had just given birth to a child with severe disabilities. A week later I sat down with a… Read More

Pope Francis Must Insist Auschwitz Church Be Moved

Last week, Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to Poland, visiting Auschwitz — the notorious death camp in Poland where 1.1 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. Auschwitz is comprised of two camps: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II, also called Birkenau. Birkenau is the actual “theater of death,” where the vast majority of Jews were… Read More

Zika Advances while Congress Dawdles

The mosquito that carries the Zika virus, which can cause severe birth defects in  fetuses, has emerged in the mainland United States. More than a dozen new “homegrown” cases of the virus have been reported since last Friday, and Health officials have warned pregnant women not to visit a Miami, Fla. neighborhood where the recent… Read More

Force Was Justified

In the Baltimore Jewish Times  articles on the Democratic  National Convention, one briefly mentioned the demonstration in support of the Palestinians outside the convention center (“Sanders Supporters Showed Up in Droves to Protest DNC,” July 29). Prior to the Convention, some leaders in the Democratic Party had wanted to insert into the Democratic National Platform… Read More

Kauffman Column Was Ad, Not Op-Ed

Why was the Brad Kauffman piece (“Democrats Must Be Held Accountable,” July 15) run as an opinion piece rather than as a Kathy Szeliga political ad, which it clearly was? Like rabbis in the pulpit, an op-ed in a Jewish communal setting should offer analyses of policy and issues, rather than serve as a venue for partisan stump speeches…. Read More

Embracing the Journey Parshat Matot-Masei

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Undoubtedly, the Exodus stands as the central event of our  nation’s collective consciousness, an event that we invoke daily in the Shema, on the Sabbath, on festivals and after every meal. Still, when we consider the detail that our portion of Masei devotes to recording all 42 stops of the 40-year desert sojourn, we’re a… Read More

Kauffman is Right on Iran

I am protesting the ad hominem attack on Brad E. Kauffman in a letter to the  editor of the July 29 edition (“Your Say.”) Marty Waxman, in reference to Kauffman’s well-reasoned opinion published July 15 (“Democrats Must Be Held Accountable,”) baselessly accused Kauffman of insincerity. Marty Waxman closed his letter with the following dig, “he… Read More

Continuing Skirmishes with the Chief Rabbinate

Israel’s haredi Orthodox Chief Rabbinate has racked up a series of recent victories against those who want to expand the country’s religious freedoms. In the Jewish state, religious questions are also political, so Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acquiescence to the haredi side in the debate gives the Rabbinate’s narrow, inflexible approach the state’s stamp of… Read More

Names We Should Always Remember Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 27:1-11

The story of the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-11) has all of the earmarks of a Jane Austen novel: the disenfranchisement and injustices borne by women surrounding the question of inheritance rights; the formal but respectful articulation of the grievances of those women; the dramatic and triumphant vindication of their plight and plea. The story… Read More