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The Blogs

The marketplace of ideas Apply for a Blog Latest posts Joanne Palmer Jul 3, 2020, 11:26 PM A more perfect union This will be such a very odd Fourth of July. On the one hand, fireworks have been going off all over the place for weeks now, mainly in the city but in the suburbs too. They are hard to see — it’s unclear where they’re... Joanne Palmer Jun 26, 2020, 7:50 PM The fireflies have no idea Last night, when I was walking my dogs, I saw fireflies in the park. It immediately took  me back to last year at what must have been just about this time, when the fireflies at dusk in another, lusher, wilder park flickered with such intensity... Leonard Grunstein Jun 26, 2020, 7:40 AM Just the Facts Reliable, complete, accurate and unbiased reports of the facts are essential to good decision-making. More often than not ferreting out the facts is a process. Real life doesn’t appear to imitate the relaxed methodology of Sergeant Joe Friday, in the 1950’s popular television police drama... Joseph C. Kaplan Jun 25, 2020, 9:43 PM Erasing History vs. Just Smudging It — Part II [Transcript of interior dialogue: “C’mon. Confederate statues? Again? It’s not 2017 and we’re not in Charlottesville.”/“True. But it’s on the front page of the Times and Facebook again, and I have some new things to say.”/“Are you sure?”/ “I said some. But they’re important.”/“If you... Shammai Engelmayer Jun 25, 2020, 9:11 PM Two leaders vs. the ‘stranger’ While they pay lip service to “the word of God,” it is doubtful that either Donald Trump or Benjamin Netanyahu take it seriously when it comes to the Torah’s insistent prescription for how to treat “the stranger.” Immigration, legal and illegal, was one of Trump’s... Leonard Grunstein Jun 21, 2020, 8:24 PM Every Life Is Precious My father, of blessed memory, was enslaved. He was hunted down when he was thirteen because of his race, effectively branded, starved and nearly worked to death. He miraculously escaped when he was eighteen. I was born to him, when he was a free man.... Joseph C. Kaplan Jun 19, 2020, 1:00 AM Hazor’im Bedim’ah – In Glad Song They will Reap I’ve been honored over the years to know, and have personal relationships with, prominent people, distinguished leaders and thinkers in various Jewish and secular fields. Not because of anything special about me. Rather, for reasons of family or Far Rockaway affiliations, educational or employment experiences,... Shmuel Goldin Jun 18, 2020, 11:46 PM Beginning early and ending late: The power of uncertainty Did you ever ask yourselves the questions: Why do we start Shabbat early, and end Shabbat late? Why do we begin Shabbat shortly before sunset, yet end the day shortly after nightfall? The answers to these questions will take us into a fascinating halachic realm... Leonard Grunstein Jun 12, 2020, 8:58 AM The Sacred Policing Function May Not Be Profaned America is experiencing another episodic paroxysm; this time triggered by the tragic death of George Floyd, at the hands and knees of a policeman. Most everyone is united in genuine outrage at this dreadful act committed by someone charged with protecting everyone. However, the contrived... Shammai Engelmayer Jun 11, 2020, 10:40 PM How to repair a broken world “When a man or woman commits any wrong toward another person, thus breaking faith with the Lord.” Think about what this phrase is telling us. There is a profound message in this phrase—the middle phrase in Numbers 5:6, found in last week’s Torah portion, Naso—and... Load more