True Freedom Implies a Return to One’s True Essence

What is the truest definition of freedom? I believe that an exploration of a difference of interpretation between two Talmudic sages on a phrase in our Torah portion will shed a great deal of light on this fundamental existential question. Commenting on the verse that submits that if the nation walks in God’s ways, He… Read More

Wohlberg: Rabbi or Self-Serving Figurehead?

The last time (and it was the very last time) I attended services at Beth Tfiloh, I listened to Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg’s “sermon” praising then presidential Republican candidate John McCain while denouncing Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Now I read that Beth Tfiloh recently hosted right-wing Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, warmly introduced by Rabbi Wohlberg… Read More

Presidents’ Conference ‘a Rickety Contraption’

The rejection of J Street’s application for membership in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is curious (“Not So Fast,” “What is the Presidents’ Conference?” May 9). Nevermind what some may consider J Street’s controversial Mideast positions or its separately incorporated political action committee, the rejection speaks worlds about the Presidents’ Conference… Read More

Facebook Challenge: an Israeli-Palestinian Accord

What can Israelis and Palestinians agree on? Everything. Or nothing. I was asked to address this question by the moderator of a Facebook forum devoted to discussing Middle East peace. I have joined a number of such groups in recent weeks in a blatant effort to help promote my new book, “Broken Spring.” My experience… Read More

Bring Alan Home!

It breaks my heart to read about Alan Gross (World Briefs: “Alan Gross goes on hunger strike,” April 11). Alan and I go back to fifth grade at Campfield Elementary School, when his family first moved to Baltimore and he showed up in my class on the first day of school. We became instant friends… Read More

In Memory of Inge Weinberger

The [Yom HaShoah] commemoration in Baltimore (“Legacy of Loss,” April 18) included candle lighting in memory of our Holocaust survivor family members who died this past year, along with a candle for Ms. Inge Weinberger z”l, whose work with HIAS was a beacon of light to survivor family members when we came to the United… Read More

When Nothing is Sacred, Moral Decline Runs Rampant

Item: The Rialto, Calif., Unified School District asks its 2,000 eighth-grade students (ages 12 to 13) to “research the Holocaust and write an argumentative essay, based on cited textual evidence, in which the students are to explain whether or not they believe this was an actual event in history or merely a political scheme created… Read More

Prefund Benefits? ‘Outrageous’

I’m glad the May 2 editorial “The Postal Service’s easy button” finally got around to mentioning the 2006 Congressional mandate to prefund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits within 10 years. Prior to that outrageous misuse of Congressional power, the Postal Service was debt free and profitable. Indeed, that single factor is responsible… Read More

Jacobs Needs a History Lesson

[Americans for Peace and Tolerance president] Dr. Charles Jacobs (“Not So Fast,” May 9) peevishly accuses J Street of breaking  a long-standing agreement that Americans “who do not live there [in Israel] or have … children on the front lines do not have the right to use … American power to circumvent Israeli democracy and… Read More

The Holocaust Story:‘Our Responsibility’

A “thank you” to Simone Ellin and the Baltimore Jewish Times for the thoughtful “Legacy of Loss” (April 18) cover story. We agree that members of the younger generation must learn and share the stories of Holocaust survivors. For the past decade, we have had the privilege of teaching a Oral History of Holocaust Survivors… Read More