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Why Evil Must Be Destroyed

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Evil is as old as the world itself. The sixth chapter of Genesis tells the story of Noah, in which the evil, as embodied by an entire civilization, is condemned by God and then extirpated by a divinely inspired act of nature. The lesson of the Noah story is two-fold: humanity is capable of base evil; and the only way to...

The Value of Orthodox Women Leaders

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“You’ve come a long way, baby” is the slogan coined by the Leo Burnett Agency in 1968 for a thinner, more feminine smoke produced by the Phillip Morris Company for the Virginia Slims brand cigarette. The campaign was unusually successful in marketing cigarettes by tickling a soft spot on the American psyche that was celebrating the advent of feminism.

The Jewish world in general and the Orthodox Jewish world in particular often follow the leads of its host society albeit at a much slower pace. It is not by accident that 300 years later and 380 kilometers away from Martin Luther’s Reformation came forth Israel Jacobson’s Reform Judaism. It is also not surprising that 100 years...

Haven’t Felt the Same Since

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Twenty years ago on a Shabbos afternoon, my home phone started ringing. We did not have caller ID back then, but it was highly unusual that the phone rang with almost annoying regularity. We were living in Southfield, a Detroit suburb, on November, 4, 1995.

I was going to be covering an evening Book Fair at the West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center. I was looking forward to meeting authors and interviewing community members.

But all of that changed.

As soon as Havdalah was completed, I turned on our answering machine to hear caller after caller from friends and colleagues relate the news that would take my breath away. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Jewish extremist...

Chabad of Riverdale to Offer Free Relationship Workshop

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The Chabad of Riverdale will be hosting a relationship workshop on Saturday evening, October 31 at 8:30 p.m. Men and women are welcome to hear presenter Rivki Rosenwald, a couples and dating coach and a life-skills advisor, talk about marriages that last a lifetime.

The event is sponsored by the S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop (Starting Healthy And LOng-lasting Marriages), a highly successful marital-education program for a healthy and successful marriage. Many hundreds of engaged and newly married couples have attended this innovative workshop that teaches them how to increase understanding and sensitivity to each other’s feelings, communicate effectively, build a sense of mutual respect...

The International Beit Din Controversy: A Statement and a Proposal

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The decisions of the International Beit Din for Agunot (IBD) have generated powerful rabbinic critiques and countervailing declarations of unconditional support. Because the freedom of specific women is in dispute, and because the line of engagement runs roughly along the RIETS/YCT border, we cannot afford to dismiss these disagreements as mere intramural rabbinic squabbling.

Here are five things that everyone should understand about the controversy:

1) The teshuvot published on the IBD website are inadequate. They do a poor job writing up the facts, and make insufficient arguments. A serious scholar who had only read the teshuvot, and had no relationship with or experience of the...

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