Contributing Author

Inertia and IntrospectionN

, 2/17/2006, 3:34 AM

Yelling at the Television

I yelled, "They support terrorism. Always have! Always will, Mr. President! Wake up." He didn't listen. , 2/3/2006, 11:05 AM

A Modest Proposal

The US State Department thinks that Washington DC is Israel's capital. Unfortunately for Israel, most of the Israeli government seems to agree., 1/15/2006, 6:32 PM

House of Cards

I have just read an article about how the Sheikh Mohammed Hussein has accused the Israeli government of building a synagogue under the Al-Aksa mosque in order to cause the mosque to collapse. Israel, of course, has categorically denied this preposterous accusation, but that denial doesn't make me feel any better., 1/4/2006, 11:49 PM

Just Us

Justice, for those who live in Samaria, Judea and the former Gaza communities has become "just us". If you are a member of the communities that Likud slated for destruction, you are a criminal., 12/22/2005, 11:01 PM

A Centrist Philosophy

I searched the Internet for definitions of "center" or "centrist" that would explain Sharon's use of the term. It was then that I came upon Philo Judaeus and his interesting take on the concept of "center"., 12/6/2005, 5:33 PM

Harvest of Terror

There is a current and perennial fight that happens every year in Israel, and if you don't know the facts, you may be lulled into the idea that it is simply an agricultural dispute. It goes way beyond agriculture., 11/28/2005, 10:18 PM

Israeli Concessions Stand

Almost every holy Jewish site has been given away - and now, according to documents, for a nice bribe and the "trade" of a stolen synagogue tuned into a Catholic Church in Toledo, Spain, the Israeli government wants to turn King David's final resting place into another concession from our government to those who have already taken too much from us., 11/7/2005, 11:59 PM

Spiritual Laps

While I am gratified that the popular culture has now decided to peek into religious Jewish life, I am also upset and saddened that it is with complete disregard and disrespect for our religion., 10/30/2005, 3:43 PM

America the Betrayer

The United States is fully mobilized fighting a global war on terror, and yet it is doing its utmost to create a terrorist utopia in the heart of <I>Eretz Israel</I>, the only democracy in the Middle East and its only true ally in the region. , 9/5/2005, 11:17 PM

The New Heroes of Israel

Do not think that what was done was done for nothing. Those protestors became - for my children and, I am sure, for many other children in the world - the new heroes of Israel. , 8/21/2005, 8:09 PM

Newspeak Israel

The government leaders of Israel assumes that if they outlaw the use of certain words, certain symbols and certain expressions, they will eliminate the outcry against them. , 7/17/2005, 9:35 PM


I am a mother, and I have to worry about something, so I worry that my kids will take all the Jewish values that I have worked to promote within their souls and, because no one is watching, forget them., 7/5/2005, 10:47 PM

Saudi Columnist: We Must Discuss Why We Hate the Jews

The extent of tremendous hatred of the Jews is baffling. Therefore we ask, 'Why do we hate the Jews?' The immediate answer will be: 'No, we don't hate the Jews, we hate the Zionists.' [But] this is nonsense. We don't hear [preachers saying in their sermons,] 'Oh Allah, destroy the Zionists...the offspring of Herzl, and the 'Basel plan'. , 5/31/2005, 10:37 AM

The Obligation of an Heirloom

Gaza does not belong to Israel. It belongs to Jews. Not just Israeli Jews, but <I>all</I> Jews. And it isn't just Gaza that belongs to all Jews. All of Israel - Biblical, historic Israel ? belongs to all Jews. , 1/2/2005, 11:18 PM

Death of an Enemy

It is not a sense of happiness I feel at the news of Yasser Arafat's death, it is relief. However, this relief is tempered with trepidation., 11/11/2004, 9:02 PM

Some Motherly Advice

So, it is with the knowledge I have gained from my own mother and from being a mother that I offer some advice to the Israeli government, in the form of quotes said over and over and over to me as a child...., 11/2/2004, 10:34 PM

A Sign of the Times

Please excuse me if I wax academic for a moment by "analyzing" something I saw in the recently concluded Olympic Games in Athens. It involved a bit of sign language that I not only saw flashed by an athlete from the fictional Arabic nation of "Palestine" during the opening ceremony, but also from a runner representing Morocco. I didn't see all the games, so I don't know if this sign was used in ot, 9/6/2004, 11:50 PM

Respect for the Left

Members of the left-wing, in both Israel and America, are disrespectful of the Arab population as a whole. In fact, I would have to add, those who make excuses for the brutal activities of the Palestinian people are bigots. They will try to convince you otherwise, but what I am saying is true., 6/10/2004, 10:02 PM

Mending Fences

Before I go any further, I have to explain something about myself: I am a "Torah feminist." I just made up the term, so I should explain it to you. I define it this way: "I am a woman and proud to be a woman." I don't want to be a man. When I say my morning blessings and thank G-d for making me "according to His will," I mean it. I love being a woman. , 5/25/2004, 12:29 AM


We have a very long memory for our enemies and our pain. The recent deaths of the Hatuel family of Katif -- a pregnant mother and wife and four girls -- hit me especially hard because I am a mother with children. But, to be frank, every Jewish death from hate is hard. It is as hard and black and hot as the lump of <i>challah</I> that I remove from my oven every week. , 5/12/2004, 10:16 PM

Gardening Season

As I think of planting a garden this year, I can't help but think of those who must have a much harder time with this decision than I am having. I am thinking of the people of Gaza. Like me, many of them are also probably wondering about whether to plant a garden this year., 5/3/2004, 7:57 PM

Not Just Gaza

Now imagine that the next day Yasser Arafat announces to the world that he has decided to remove all Palestinian presence from the Shomron and that he envisions a time in the not-too-distant future when "there will be no Palestinians left in the Shomron.", 2/3/2004, 5:57 PM

Redefining "Peace"

Everything depends on our correct understanding and use of words ? starting with the words of G-d in Torah. Often our common use of words must be compared against G-d?s use of words in order to get us back on the right track. One of those words is ?peace.?, 1/21/2004, 5:47 PM

Time for a Recount

Every time an Arab spokesman opens his mouth, he adds another 500,000 to the supposed population of Arabs in Judea Samaria and Gaza. And we repeat their claims, from Prime Minister Sharon on down, as if they are indisputable truth., 11/27/2003, 7:08 PM

A Definition of Terms

A friend of mine sat down at my kitchen table, stirred a teaspoon of honey into her tea, and asked casually, ?What does anti-Semitism mean??, 11/27/2003, 6:46 PM

The Sin of Omission

Isn?t it true that it is not the things that we have, but the one thing that is missing is always the most important thing in our lives? The recent tragic deaths, hospitalizations and illnesses attributed to the missing B1 vitamins in Remedia formula have brought this home in so many ways. One missing element, one tiny missing ingredient in the mixture, can spell tragedy and death not for just one, 11/12/2003, 5:16 PM

The Lesson of a Riddle

Integrity is that precious, elusive, expensive, dangerous and tenuous something that answers the riddle; and there is a lot less of it on the airways and in the silence that followed Arutz Sheva?s final broadcast. Last week, Arutz Sheva?s three Israel National News radio stations have been silenced by the government of Israel., 10/26/2003, 10:51 AM

You Can't Please Everyone

The Israelis vote to remove Arafat and to take control of their own destiny, realizing that "You can't please everyone, but you must please yourself." , 10/8/2003, 6:49 PM

Be Modest, Israel

It is alright to get angry, Israel. Righteous anger shows that we are holding others accountable, and that we refuse, finally, to be merciful to the cruel. We refuse, finally, to be cruel to the merciful., 9/21/2003, 7:17 PM

?Ghost in the Machine?

You see, the reason why Descartes and his boys couldn?t solve this paradox for themselves is because someone in their ?hood made a mistake along the way and said that G-d was spiritual. , 7/27/2003, 3:21 PM

Why Couldn?t He Make Life Easier?

Why did G-d choose to create a world specifically like ours, where so much time is seemingly wasted on preparations and so little on actual substance? We take showers to stay clean to go to school to get degrees to get a job to get money to buy food to have energy to go to work to buy more food to have energy to? But where is it all leading to? , 7/20/2003, 8:22 PM

On Pinchas, Yirmiyahu and Moshe

Feeling spiritual in <i>shul</i> and after listening to an inspiring lecture (or after reading this commentary) will not have a lasting effect. Such a divine service would be sufficient for someone living in the Moshe or Yeshayahu era. The excitement usually wears off as soon as the reality of the ?real? world knocks on the door again. In our last days of this dark exile, we have to deal with the , 7/17/2003, 8:07 PM

A Man of Spirit

When the time came for Moses, Israel?s faithful shepherd, to be gathered unto his people, he asked G-d to appoint a good leader for Israel - ??[A] man over the community, a man of spirit?: Someone who would be able to relate to the individual spirit of every single Jew, a leader who would be able to tolerate everyone the way they are. Just as no two people look exactly the same, so too, no too peo, 7/15/2003, 6:53 PM

<i>Balak</I>: Human Enlightenment

This past century, the bloodiest in all of human history, should have lain to rest two of the most cherished theories about mankind postulated by the Enlightenment and Secular Humanism. One was the idea that all moral questions, all issues of right and wrong, good and evil, were subject to being correctly decided on the basis of man's reason alone, without the necessity (better put, without the in, 7/10/2003, 2:17 PM

Rabbi Kook on <i>Balak</i>: Tents & Dwellings

Both the tent (<i>"ohel"</i>) and the dwelling (<i>"mishkan"</i>) are types of temporary shelter. Both relate to the soul's upwards journey. However, there is a difference between them. The tent is inherently connected to the state of traveling. It corresponds to the aspiration for continual change and growth. The dwelling is also part of the journey, but is associated with the rests between trave, 7/10/2003, 2:06 PM

The Summertime Blues

A true desire to bring on the messianic age requires us to work hard on maintaining our enthusiasm, even when it is not natural. As with many other things, awareness of the problem is half the solution. If we realize that it is part of our natural psyche to feel drained and disappointed after climactic experiences, we can exert greater control over such feelings. Different people have different me, 7/7/2003, 5:14 PM

<i>Chukat</i>: The War Against Arad

Israel?s war against the King of Arad differed from other wars in its causes, in the method of warfare employed, in its results and in the lessons learned. , 7/3/2003, 1:59 PM

Rabbi Kook on <i>Chukat</i>: Beyond Human Logic

The Talmud teaches that the inner meaning of the <i>Parah Adumah</I>, the red heifer whose ashes were used for ritual purification, is uniquely profound. Unlike all other <i>mitzvot</i>, this ritual is beyond the grasp of the human intellect. Even the wise King Solomon admitted, concerning this <i>mitzvah</i>, "I thought I would attain wisdom, but it is distant from me." (<i>Kohelet</i> 7:23; <i>N, 7/3/2003, 1:26 PM

<i>Hukat</I>: To Be Knowledgable

Although the Torah does not call attention to it, <i>Parashat Hukat</i> marks a great transition in the Exodus story. , 7/2/2003, 11:20 PM

The Laws of Uprooting Jewish Settlements

In the course of the suffering accompanying the divine process of our redemption, we are once more encountering this terrible conflict between brothers involving the uprooting of Jewish settlements. We are not exempt from clarifying it in the light of Torah, which illuminates the proper path for both the individual and the nation, both in healthy situations as well as in morbid ones. There are thr, 7/1/2003, 4:07 PM

<i>Korach</I>: For the Love of <i>Hashem</i>

The Great Defender suddenly turns on Korach and his cohorts with a vengeance, demanding that <i>Hashem</i> dispose of them in a spectacular manner, in a way that no one will ever forget. Was Moshe fed up with attacks on his leadership? Was he sick of spies, cynics and seditionists? What made him go ballistic?, 6/26/2003, 4:08 PM

The Rebbe?s Roadmap

In a public gathering, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn, addressed the issue of settlements and a peaceful Israel. This talk was on the eve of <i>Shavuot</i> in the year 5743 - 1983; twenty years ago. Let's listen in..... , 6/26/2003, 3:56 PM

Rabbi Kook on <i>Korach</i>: Inclusion and Selection

When permitted, these private altars could be established in any location. They allowed all to approach God; even non-priests could offer sacrifices. The periods when <i>bamot</I> were permitted reflect an inclusive form of divine worship, attracting all to approach God and serve Him. For the service in the Tabernacle and the Temple, on the other hand, only the descendants of Aaron were allowed to, 6/26/2003, 3:20 PM

<i>Korach</I>: Holiness in Time, Place and Person

Korach and his assembly complain against Moses and Aaron: ?You have gone too far! All the people in the community are holy, and the L-rd is with them. Why are you setting yourselves above the L-rd?s congregation?? Seemingly they are right. After all, the Jewish People had previously been told, ?You will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to Me.? (Exodus 19:6) Likewise, it says, ?Your people, 6/24/2003, 1:13 PM

Yearning for Leaders Like Yehoshua and Calev

Every year, when the Torah portion cycle reaches <i>parshat Shlach</i>, I am horrified yet again and engulfed by a dreadful feeling. This <i>parsha</i>, which tells the story of the Twelve Spies sent out by Moshe <i>Rabbeinu</i> to scout the Land of Israel and present him with their impressions, relates two basic points that touch our everyday lives in Israel today., 6/24/2003, 12:57 PM

<i>Shlach: ?Aloh Naaleh?</I>

To my mind, the message of this <i>parasha</i> could not be clearer: there is one place and one place only for <i>Am Yisrael</i>; the <i>midbar</i> is a station and not a destination. Yet, unfortunately, even many of those who have ?religious? reasons for not living in <i>Eretz Yisrael</i> at present seem to have turned their relative <i>midbar</i> into a permanent reality., 6/20/2003, 4:08 AM

<i>Shlach</I>: The Measure of a Jew

It will take 38 years and almost 600,000 deaths until we finally make it to the Holy Land. The legacy of the episode of the spies still haunts us: we fail to fully appreciate Israel, we tend to accentuate the negative, we freak out when the "A" word - <i>Aliya</i> - is mentioned., 6/20/2003, 3:24 AM

<i>Shlach</i>: Seeing Our Thoughts

This week?s <i>Sidrah</i> opens with the incident of the <i>meraglim</i> and closes with the <i>mitzvah</i> of <i>tzitzit</i>. The fact that the <i>Sidrah</i> is framed by these two <i>parshiyot</i> suggests that there may be some relationship between them. , 6/20/2003, 3:12 AM

"Roadmaps" and Jewish Grasshoppers

We just can't force ourselves to replace micro-managed socialism by creating a viable free-market economy with incentives for business growth and resultant jobs. We just can't break up the systemic political graft, corruption, bureaucracy, protekzia and yes, the "sacred-cow" of the Histadrut too. Our leaders <i>are</I> the latter day, self-perceived grasshoppers. , 6/18/2003, 1:55 PM

Rabbi Kook on <i>Shlach</i>: Garments of the Soul

The Sages taught that the <i>mitzvah</i> of wearing <i>tzitzit</I> corresponds to all of the other 612 <i>mitzvot</i>. ?When you see (the tassels), you will remember all of God's commandments.? (<i>ibid.</I> 15:39) Wearing this special garment and its tassels reflects the splendor of attributes and deeds by which the Torah envelops and clothes the Jewish soul. , 6/18/2003, 11:31 AM

PM Sharon, Go Study Torah

Today, the Prime Minister of Israel is confronting President Bush, head of the greatest superpower on earth. Yet, unlike Chizkiya, who repented and strengthened Israel, the Prime Minister is yielding to America?s demand to establish a state for the Arabs within the very heart of the land of our life?s blood, and what is more, to destroy Jewish settlements. Sharon?s weakness derives from the fact t, 6/18/2003, 11:14 AM

<i>Beha?alotcha</I>: The Mouth That Roared

i>Chazal</i> seem to agree that one culprit reigns supreme: the mouth. Our mouths can be a bottomless pit of peril: slander, bad language, undue criticism, harsh and hurting words spoken in anger, etc. , 6/13/2003, 11:42 AM

<I>Beha?alotecha</I>: Leaving Midyan

<b>Yitro</b>: I appreciate your offer, but I must return to my birthplace. I have all that I need and I will have a better life back in Midyan., 6/12/2003, 7:52 PM

<i>Beha?alotcha</I>: Leadership Through Self-Sacrifice

These Jews are marvelous people who benefit the masses. They are amongst those who bear insult without slinging insults in return. They hear themselves denigrated without responding. They act out of love and rejoice in suffering. Of them, Scripture states, ?They that love Him shall be as the sun when it goes forth in all its might.? (Judges 5:31), 6/12/2003, 7:43 PM

Frontal Encounter

Faith is difficult, especially in times of misery. It requires a huge effort to maintain it, cherish it and apply it., 6/9/2003, 6:03 PM

Faust, Immortality and <i>Kabbalat Hatorah</i>

Since most people are more concerned with earthly matters, such people distract the truly religious from matters sublime. As such, the religiously minded individual will see most people as obstacles in his search for communion with G-d. In fact, many of the gentile spiritual masters try to elevate themselves by shunning community. One immediately thinks of gurus meditating on isolated mountaintops, 6/9/2003, 4:57 PM