General Topics

Anti-Semitism

The Bible says that poverty will never cease from the earth. Sadly, hatred and prejudice will never cease either. Some hatreds are more widespread and persistent than others. Of these cultural and religious hatreds, anti-Semitism has always been the most persistent and widespread. Anti-Semitism is like a microbe that exists as part of the natural structure of physical organisms (of…

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Bulawayo

In the summer of 1966, I was studying in the great Yeshiva of Mir in Jerusalem. One day, I received a call from Rabbi Professor Dr. Louis Rabinowitz, former Chief Rabbi of South Arica and then Vice Mayor of Jerusalem. He was one of the most dynamic, charismatic rabbis in a generation of outstanding ones.  He was also a close friend…

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Chanukah and Xmas

To the memory of Dr. Daniel Cammerman, a good, brilliant person, and a much-admired and respected pediatrician, taken tragically too soon from us. May his memory be a blessing. This week I was asked by a non-Jewish friend, whether atonement plays a part in Chanukah as it does in Xmas. At first, I did not understand the question. But then…

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King David

The festival of Hanukah celebrates the triumph of Judah Maccabee. And he saw himself as the reincarnation of King David, the giant slayer. But David was a very complex and multifaceted character. He was the beloved handsome, singer of psalms, shepherd, musician, fighter, and king. A thousand years after he lived, the rabbis of the Talmud re-created him in their…

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Better Angels

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg said that “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”  Steven Pinker, not known for his religious faith wrote a well-received book “…

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Capitalism

The popular narrative of the moment is that Capitalism has failed. Capitalism, it is argued, is not providing for the needs of a fair and just society. Instead, it is allowing a small section of the population to amass vast sums at the expense of others. And this may be true. But the question is, what’s better? Originally, “capitalism” simply…

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