A Nation’s Loss: National Mourning in the Jewish Tradition

August 2, 2011, by

Grief is a fundamentally individual, transformative emotion. What can it mean to speak about “national grief, or national mourning”? Is there any calamity which a nation suffers that so alters its fundamental nature as to be truly analogous to the existential crisis the death of a loved one brings to an individual? Certainly, nations have

The Encyclopedia and the Kotel

In 1968, in the wake of the Six-Day War, we registered for the Rabbinical Council of America summer tour of the Holy Land. We arranged for our youngest daughter to stay with Malkah’s parents, Ceil and Sam Grund. Our two elder daughters, seven and five at the time, accompanied us. We traversed the length and

The Long Way Home

September 24, 2009, by

28 Elul 5769 It is always hard to sit down and write since writing doesn’t come naturally to me and the words don’t necessarily flow easily, but as the events of the year have played out so unexpectedly I felt compelled to follow up on a story that many of you read back in January

Lev Yehudi: Gather the Jews

March 12, 2009, by

View Slideshow On Purim night, OU Israel’s Lev Yehudi program hosted an evening of grogger making, megillah reading and entertainment. Lev Yehudi reaches out to Jews in the Tel Aviv area, introducing them to their Jewish heritage and Jewish customs, and for many participants this was a Purim like they had never experienced before. “The

This Purim We Built a Community

March 12, 2009, by

View Slideshow The children of Sderot and those communities hit by the Gaza War have suffered tremendously, and continue to suffer. But this Purim, they recognized the all they have received from Makom BaLev, the OU Israel program that has provided a safe haven for them, and they gave to others in need. Makom BaLev

Eikev – Plowing in the Land of Israel

January 18, 2005, by

The Mishna in Shabbat enumerates 39 distinct archetypical labors, or melakhot, according to a number of series. The first is the series of making bread, which begins with sowing and is followed by plowing (Shabbat 73a). The gemara objects that in practice plowing precedes sowing; why does the Mishna reverse the order? The answer: the