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The Zoo Rabbi

Daniel Pipes is known in America as an effective commentator who tries to counterbalance biased reporting on the Middle East. As a result, he is vilified by the alliance of Left Wingers, Islamic lecturers at Columbia University, Israeli Anti-Zionists and Palestinian polemicists alike. He is feted by pro-Israelis, Right Wingers and Jewish fundamentalists. He was actually on Bush’s advisory board…

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Acts of Man

When I see the sort of natural tragedy we have witnessed in the Far East I am initially horrified at the scale of the tragedy and then at the terrible loss of life. And yet in some ways I am less horrified than I am by human disasters such as the massacres in Rwanda Burundi. This, like the Holocaust, like…

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The Tsunami Tragedy

There is no doubt that we have witnessed this past week a massive natural disaster. We call this an “Act of God”. Was it? The world simply shifted a bit. That’s what the earth’s crust does. It has been doing it for eons. That was how it was designed, to expand and contract. Just as the universe has bits and…

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Cutting through the Confusion about Shechita

Although it has been several weeks since the gruesome videos taken inside the AgriProcessors abattoir were released, the controversy continues. The videos were taken surreptitiously by a PETA volunteer employed at the plant, and can be viewed at PETA’s website. While PETA clearly has it’s own agenda, no one has denied that the scenes on the videos are real. They…

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Thinking About Doing It

Question:Given that many young Orthodox men and women are having sex before marriage and still remain Orthodox, how do you, as a rabbi, deal with the issue? Answer:Clearly, a Torah response to premarital sex is to get married early or to exercise control. Yet all educators know that human beings are built differently, respond differently. Just as some are rationalists…

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Blended Scotch whisky–a kosher vice?

There has been an increased interest in whisky in recent years, and with it a lot of confusion about the halachic permissibility of drinking blended Scotch. The issue involves the old sherry casks in which it is sometimes aged. Since this non-Jewish sherry would be forbidden to drink, some say the whisky is also forbidden. However, when I was a…

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