(This is an expanded version of an article published in The Jewish Press on December 25, 2020.)
“You go to international conferences and say that we abort fetuses with Down syndrome, and people think you’re insane.” So remarked Israeli geneticist and gynecologist Dr. Adi Reches last year.
In an article from 2019 titled “I Found the Outer Limits of My Pro-choice Beliefs,” Dr. Chavi Karkowsky wrote that “here in Israel, abortion is widely available and can be offered until delivery. A subtle abnormality, such as the one I saw in that ultrasound room outside Tel Aviv, can prompt a discussion…
(This is an expanded version of an article published in The Jewish Press on June 5.)
In April, Rabbi Moshe Taragin gave remarks on the fifth yahrzeit of his rebbe, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l. He recounted at one point:
“He was the most refined person I ever met: dignified, elegant, his speech, his dress, his manner…He had perfected his personality on so many fronts…He taught us that that’s part of being an oved Hashem, is to carry yourself with dignity, speak with dignity, with respect, not chas v’shalom egocentrism or cockiness.”
This is what eidelkeit looks like. Thus, Rav Lichtenstein…
(This is an expanded version of an article published in The Jewish Press on May 15, 2020.)
Last month in Yerushalayim, Rav Aaron Rakeffet reflected on the pandemic and the state of the world:
“Abortions. Today you have places where the baby can be eight, nine months old, and abortion is permitted by law…There’s no concept that there’s a code of law from above that has to govern us…And then you go further. Who would ever dream a time would come when you speak about two men, two women, getting married?…Why was there a flood? Why was God so angry…
(This is an expanded version of an article published in The Jewish Press on January 4, 2019.)
On July 6, 1989, Abed al-Hadi Ganaim grabbed the steering wheel of an Egged bus and drove it off the road, murdering 16 people including an American and two Canadians. After the massacre, Rabbi Meir Kahane wrote:
“More Jewish victims of the Hillul Hashem, the desecration of the Name, that the State of Israel has become. …
(This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the August 31 edition of The Jewish Press.)
The word “incitement” has legal significance in countries including Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom. To call certain speech incitement, particularly in such countries, implies a desire for state action against the individual so described. Claims of incitement often appear in commentary by Sarah Tuttle-Singer, new media editor for The Times of Israel. For example, in June 2016 Ashkenazi chief rabbi David Lau spoke supportively about rebuilding the Beit HaMikdash. Tuttle-Singer posted that “what Rabbi Lau says IS incitement.” (During the…
(This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the August 10 issue of The Jewish Press.)
“Where are the Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach?”
This was Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet’s response in 2016 (at 37:00) to support for same-sex marriage by Open Orthodox rabbis. His question came to mind on the recent controversy over conservative commentator Ben Shapiro’s tweets about abortion and halakha.
Just as the Noahide Laws ordain global sexual norms, they ordain global protection of life. “Abortion is included in the Noachidic prohibition of murder,” Rabbi Moshe Tendler wrote in 1966. …
(This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in The Jewish Press on June 8.)
In the past month:
How should Jews feel about these developments?
“Sexual morality is the root of all spiritual and moral welfare,” Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch states in his commentary to…
Toward the end of season two of Fauda, Hamas commander Walid Al Abed says in Shin Bet custody:
“In a few weeks they’ll get sick of me and put me in prison, where I’ll be treated like a king. Perhaps I’ll study for a degree, and in a few years’ time I’ll be released as a hero in the next prisoner swap.”
This attitude is likely shared by the killer of Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, Hy”d. …
A Muslim soldier recently swore in to the IDF on a Quran and posted a photo of the event on Facebook. There’s nothing strange about a Muslim soldier wanting to do that, just as there would be nothing strange about a Hindu soldier wanting to swear in on the Bhagavad Gita.
It is, however, very strange to see a religious Jew celebrate such an event.
“On a Quran! I’ve always wanted to see that.” That was a response to the soldier’s post by someone whose Facebook profile identifies himself as a Bayit Yehudi central committee member. …
(This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the May 4 edition of The Jewish Press.)
In Judaism, the world is intentional and nature has ethical significance.
“Rain in Israel is a blessing,” U.S. Ambassador David Friedman responded to the children’s deaths. “But this week that blessing took a tragic turn.”
Occasional writer, fan of racquet and barbell sports, dabbler of languages