Editorial


Hugging Hezbollah

With relations between the Jewish and Presbyterian religious communities at their lowest point in decades, it’s hard to imagine what could have possessed the Presbyterian Church (USA) to decide this was the right time for a good-will visit with the leadership of Hezbollah.A 24-member delegation from the church met last Sunday in Lebanon withRead More


No Time for Dithering

American Jews have a long tradition, going back to the early days of the Republic, of laying aside their differences in times of crisis and speaking out with one voice to defend their brethren in other lands. That tradition has become an 11th commandment in the half-century since the birth of the sovereign State of Israel. Jews here haveRead More


Tax Season

Sometimes the biggest ideas spring full-blown from a great mind — think of Freud, say, or Keynes — and the truth, once stated, suddenly alters our understanding of reality. Other ideas, like racial equality, bubble up from below, building strength until leaders emerge who can force the issue onto the public agenda.AndRead More


Joy of Texts

There is a moment, for those who indulge, of explosive, triumphant joy, at times approaching ecstasy, during the festival of Simchat Torah, which fell October 7. It’s the moment when the reader chants the last few lines of Deuteronomy, completing the annual cycle of public Torah reading, and then begins again with “In the beginning.”Read More


The Poor Among Us

The numbers have finally started to come in, and it turns out that much of what we thought we knew about Jewish wealth and poverty is wrong. Several new demographic studies, reported on Page 1 by Nathaniel Popper, indicate that Jews are not the affluent subset within the American population that they are commonly thought to be. They are muchRead More


Israel’s Window

There was an air of tedious familiarity in the latest United Nations debate on Israel. Like so many times before, Palestinian provocation led to Israeli military action, prompting the Palestinians to convene the Security Council, which obligingly took up a condemnation of Israel, which was vetoed by the United States. After the charade was done,Read More


A Failure of Moral Vision

The movement toward divestment from Israel by mainline Protestant churches — first the Presbyterians and now, perhaps, the Anglicans — is an alarming measure of how badly Israel’s reputation in the West has been damaged in the last four years.The uneven warfare of the intifada, the spreading global specter of MuslimRead More


The Miracle of Return

More than any other holiday, the Day of Atonement is a marker of American Jews’ devotion to their heritage and traditions in the face of the assimilatory pull of the broader culture. Other holidays with a mass following, such as Passover and Hanukkah, are joyous occasions that combine family celebration with readily accessible messages of socialRead More


Shelter From the Storms

The festival of Sukkot, which begins Wednesday night, September 29, is known for the custom among observant Jews of building sukkahs, or booths, in their backyards and on their rooftops. The booths, open to the sky and the elements, are meant to symbolize the fragile, transient quality of the Hebrews’ journey through the wildernessRead More


Tests of Leadership

One of the marks of true leadership, celebrated in legend and drilled into every schoolchild, is the courage to defy the crowd and follow the dictates of conscience. In exceptional times, the exceptional leader knows when to do what’s right, not what’s popular.The flip side, too often overlooked, is that this sort of behavior is supposed to beRead More


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