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Shavuot on Memorial Day

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There is a huge difference between taking off for Jewish holidays and living in a country where Jewish holidays are state holidays. Shavuot is an excellent example of this. Outside of Israel, you have to be a very committed Jew to take off from work for this holiday. Inevitably you have to face a co-worker who publicly tells...

Why Be Jewish?

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Intermarriage is shrinking the Jewish community. Every survey and sign over the past several decades has told the same story: we are shrinking through addition. Jews are intermarrying at huge rates for a simple yet devastating reason—they do not see Judaism as their all-encompassing way of life. Intermarriage is a symptom of religious apathy, or at least insufficient devotion. Judaism should inspire but sadly has failed to capture the Jewish imagination. Contemporary Jews ask “what does Judaism do for me?” and consistently fail to find an adequate answer.

The question itself is misguided. If the Creator gives you a mission, you do not ponder whether to fulfill it based on its...

Religious Dogma of Palestinian Statehood

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remark about the dangers of a Palestinian state has sent advocates of Palestinian statehood into a rage so hysterical that you would think he had questioned somebody’s sacred religious beliefs.

On second thought, maybe he did. The Palestinian statehood crowd has become so inflexible and doctrinaire, and so oblivious to the changing realities of the Middle East, that their political positions are starting to resemble a set-in-stone religious faith.

Here’s what the PM said: “Anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, anyone who is going to evacuate territories today, is simply giving a base for attacks to the radical Islam against...

Hate Crimes: US Lynches the Facts

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Which racial or religious “hate crimes” do you choose to identify? And which do you not? That is a question with which the US government and wider society seem to be struggling. In the process, they are revealing far more about their own worldview than they can possibly intend.

Since the beginning of this year, we have had, alongside the usual violence aimed at the Jewish state, the targeting of Jews in Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen. In all instances, the sites were targeted because they were likely to have Jews. Unfortunately, the leader of the free world, US President Barack Obama, among others, seems loathe to acknowledge this fact. Just recently, he described the Paris...

As California Goes...

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I recently had the upmost pleasure of spending a few days at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Miserable weather in New York made a tremendous effort to keep me from flying to California, but somehow I made it to beautiful Isla Vista, nestled between the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

As a former soldier of the Israel Defense Forces, I wanted to aid the pro-Israel student community in California answer any questions students had concerning Israel and its military, and encourage them to stand up for Israel on campus. I was happy to see a vibrant interest regarding Israel amongst students at UCSB, and a general willingness by...

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