For most Orthodox Jews, advocating for Israel in Christian circles is not exactly high on their to-do lists. And yet, after reading Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein’s seminal article in this issue, “Friends and Foes: Who’s Who in the Christian World,” I have no doubt that many of our readers will adjust their priorities somewhat.
“More and more, it appears that the Orthodox community must play a large, if not dominant, role in any action plan regarding Christian attitudes toward Israel,” writes Rabbi Adlerstein, director of Interfaith Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Indeed, after learning about the terribly lopsided view of the Middle East conflict found amongst many mainline Protestants who are simply ignorant of the truth and rely upon pro-Palestinian church leaders for their information, one wonders, along with Rabbi Adlerstein–Who provides the Jewish voice to these churchgoers? Rabbi Adlerstein provides his own disheartening answer to this disturbing question: Jewish leftists, who are filled with nothing but scorn and derision for the Jewish State. Where are the religious Jews? That’s the question we hope every reader will ask him or herself after reading this most important article on Christian/Jewish relations.
In this issue, we also take a penetrating look at one of the most emotionally charged halachic controversies to rock the religious world in recent years. Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, a mohel and the director of Community and Synagogue Services for the West Coast Orthodox Union and Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Halperin, the director of The Dr. Falk Schlesinger Institute for Medical-Halachic Research in Jerusalem, provide vastly different perspectives on metzizah b’peh, the practice that has been the subject of much debate and media attention.
Additionally, we explore some of the latest developments in the world of Jewish publishing including the growth of both frum comic books and magazines for frum teens. Can comics be an effective chinuch tool? Rabbi Jack Abramowitz raises this and other intriguing questions about the educational potential in comics.
In her analysis of the new magazines geared for teens (replete with clothing advertisements that are modest and affordable), Toby Bulman Katz draws some gratifying conclusions about the wholesome values and aspirations of young Orthodox girls today.
Of course, we also offer our usual array of talented, capable writers, from Peter Abelow and his useful travel suggestions to Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski and his practical advice for Jewish living. As always, I want to express how eager we are to hear from you. Please send your thoughts, ideas and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.