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Defending Black Santa

December 5, 2016, by

This year, the Mall of America announced their first black Santa. Most people are okay with this – quite pleased, actually! – but there is a very vocal minority that has a problem with this. And yes, it’s racially-based. “Santa is white!” they scream. Some of them insist they’re not racist, they just want to

What’s in a Name? Everything

November 23, 2016, by

“Your name shall no longer be called Abram; rather, your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.” – Genesis 17:5 Bar Kapara taught that whoever refers to Abraham as “Abram” violates a positive mitzvah since the Torah says “your name shall be Abraham.” Rabbi Eliezer says

Get Out the Vote!

November 7, 2016, by

Friends and Partners of Orthodox Union Advocacy, With Election Day upon us, I urge you to make the time to vote tomorrow, November 8. There are many contested races this year, from the presidential level to the House and Senate, down to state legislative races, and it is critically important that you vote in every

Exit Ramp: The cliches are coming — a plea for Jewish originality

November 1, 2016, by

Now that the holidays are over, the Jewish calendar will quickly turn to a slew of dinners and fund-raising events. The events will be fabulous because fabulous — said in a perky voice with an over-emphasis on the first syllable — is the one-word Jewish evaluation that makes us all feel better about ourselves. The

Remembering Shimon Peres z”l

September 29, 2016, by

On the morning after Yom Kippur in September 1993 Senator Moynihan and I had a private meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres after his public appearance at the Park East Synagogue. Senator Moynihan had requested the meeting at the behest of my Rebbe, Rav Ahron Soloveichik, who had a number of questions about the

Where’s the Outrage?

August 3, 2016, by

On Sunday, July 31, the New York Post published nude photographs of Donald Trump’s wife Melania, a former model, from a defunct French men’s magazine. This apparently warranted the front page, as well as the classy headline “The Ogle Office.” In a perfect world, this would not be done. In a semi-perfect world, the backlash would have

New Archaeological Finds in Israel Bring Ancient History to Life

July 11, 2016, by

After more than 30 years of excavating the remains of a Philistine city, a team of archaeologists says it believes it has found a cemetery belonging to the Philistines, an ancient people on the outskirts of Ashkelon, the New York Times reports. And to the north, on a hill above the Kinneret, archaeologists have discovered one

Baruch Dayan HaEmet: Rabbi Maurice Lamm z”l

July 1, 2016, by

Rabbi Maurice Lamm, noted Torah scholar and author of “The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning” passed away Wednesday night at the age of 86. He was also the brother of former Yeshiva University Chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm. The Jewish Way in Death in Mourning was a pioneering halachic work when it was released over

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