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One Fallen Soldier, 23 Descendants

April 28, 2015, by

On the day before Yom Hazikaron, the New York Times published this story about one of Israel’s fallen soldiers. Gil’ad, an only child, was a lieutenant killed during the Yom Kippur War. A talented musician, he was given the opportunity to serve in the army’s music division, but instead joined a combat unit with his

The Enduring Legacies of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

April 23, 2015, by

On Monday morning, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, the former leader of Yeshivat Har Etzion, English scholar and titan of Modern Orthodoxy both in Israel and abroad, died in his home at 81. Tributes to him poured in from around the world and across the Jewish spectrum — from the president of the Union for Reform Judaism

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein: A Personal Reminiscence

April 23, 2015, by

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, as I knew him, was not merely a giant of Torah, but also a giant of a man. He was a child prodigy—Rav Hillel Zaks, a grandson of the Chafetz Chaim and friend of Rav Aharon from Yeshivas Chaim Berlin, recounted that Rav Aharon stood uniquely above his peers even as a

Who Caught the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz?

April 23, 2015, by

Anything but the banality of evil. This week, Oskar Gröning, 93, nicknamed “the bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” went to trial in Germany for his complicity in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews over the summer in 1944. The trial is different from previous trials of Nazis since it isn’t about proving that Gröning was a part

What Does it Mean to be the Parent of a Chayal?

April 23, 2015, by

Yom Hazikaron Address by Rabbi Kenneth Brander to the Yeshiva University student body in Lamport Auditorium, April 22, 2015. I have no idea of what it means to be a Chayal. To go through the training to become a combat soldier in the IDF. To trek 45 miles in less than 24 hours while carrying

Parents’ Perspective on Their Children’s Aliyah

April 23, 2015, by

This essay first appeared in Yeshiva University’s publication “Torah To Go” for Pesach 5775. Republished with permission. What motivated some of our children to make aliyah? Nothing comes from nothing. Many of my mother’s relatives emigrated from Germany to Israel prior to World War II. Due to Hitler, yimach shemo, my mother, as a teenager,

Getting a Job So You Can Move

April 22, 2015, by

Some have the option of moving to a new community before securing a job. The majority of us—despite our deep wish for change—aren’t going anywhere unless that job is in place. Understanding the employment needs and concerns of families looking for affordable living, the 47 communities represented at this Sunday’s OU Jewish Communities Home and


April 16, 2015, by

I used to be great at remembering numbers. Numbers of old childhood friends are still implanted in my head, stored in the random, useless trivia section of my brain. My friend says we don’t need to remember them anymore. “Our phones store them for us, freeing up space for other things.” But we forget what

A Mayoral Mechira

April 16, 2015, by

Brent Eisen and Michael Hancock met in an unusual way—both suffered injuries playing on the same football team the summer before they started high school. Their coach made them both team managers for the rest of the season so that they could participate from the sidelines. That summer they developed a close relationship that was

Small City Takes the Big Prize: Meet Fair Lawn, NJ

April 15, 2015, by

Fair Lawn, New Jersey— whose Jewish community will be featured participants in the upcoming OU Jewish Communities Fair on Sunday, April 26 in Manhattan—has recently been named the top small city in the Garden State in 2015 by travel website CityDescribed.com. According to the website, Fair Lawn offers a wide range of components to be

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