The True Followers of the Chatam Sofer

Why have you deviated from Jewish Tradition? Q: Occasionally I read your column, sir, and I am amazed at your confidence in the path of the National-Religious community, which is diametrically opposed to the path of our rabbis, Gedolei HaTorah (eminent Torah scholars). After all, everyone knows what the Chatam Sofer said, that“chadash assur m’ha’Torah” (“ ‘new’ is forbidden by … Read more

Correcting the Sin of the Spies

Virtues of the Land of Israel Our Sages said: “The mitzvah of settling the Land of Israel is equal to all the mitzvoth in the Torah” (Tosefta, Avoda Zara 4:3; Sifrei, Re’eh 53). They also said: “Whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no God” (Ketubot 110b). Also, “Whoever lives … Read more

The Sweetness of Bnei Merari

The Three Levite Families The Torah goes to great length describing the three families of the Tribe of Levi – Gershon, Kehat, and Merari – and their duties bearing the Mishkan (tabernacle). This can only mean that their job in maintaining the Mishkan and the Temple is extremely important. Consequently, it serves as a binyan av (prototype) for our responsibilities in this world. … Read more

Torah, Army, and the Hareidim

Political Issues At the time the government coalition was being formed, I received a number of questions from the haredi public and their supporters, concerning the issue of army recruitment, and the alliance of the ‘Bayit HaYehudi’(Jewish Home) party with ‘Yesh Atid’ (There is a Future) and why the rabbis did not condemn it. At … Read more

Israel and the West Opposite Islam

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed

Points of contention between Muslims and non-Muslims have gradually increased in recent years. In the opinion of many, they represent the most serious risk for world peace. It is not merely a conflict between Israel and the Arabs, but rather, the policy of Iran and Al Qaeda, who openly express sheer hatred of Israel and the West. In the words of the Iranians, the United States is the “Great Satan”, while Israel is the “Little Satan”.

President Obama’s Mistakes

President Obama’s Visit to Israel With the holidays behind us, I now have the opportunity to share my views about U.S. President Barack Obama’s important visit to Israel. First, I must correct what I previously wrote about him. In the past, I wrote: “Regretfully, it has become clear that Barack Obama is perhaps the most … Read more

A Song of Praise for Yom Ha’atzma’ut

Three Levels of Holiness of Yom Ha’atzma’ut Q: Is ‘Yom Ha’atzma’ut’ (Israel Independence Day) a sacred day, or is it merely a question of nationalism, unrelated to Torah and kedusha (holiness) as the Haredim claim? Isn’t the fact that the government and judicial system are not committed to keeping Torah and mitzvoth a reason not to be happy … Read more

Our Own Flesh and Blood

Overwhelming Tragedy An individual possesses the ability to grasp the short range significance of events and to understand those aspects which affect his own personal life. Yet, even this process takes time. Only after enough time has passed is one able to analyze properly what has befallen him. When a massive, sweeping event occurs – … Read more