Op-Ed

Much Pain, No Gain

The great irony behind the traumatic evacuation of Amona is that no one gains from it. The 42 families that built a community on an empty hilltop, exposed to the…

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Fortunate Fallout?

The fallout of what has most alarmed some about President Trump’s immigration executive order may turn out to be a blessing. There are certainly reasons to question the order, which…

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The Role of a Great-Grandfather

It is a special zechus to be a Kohen and to have been given the right to redeem a bechor at a pidyon haben. Rare, however, is the zechus to…

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Thank G-d for Harry Reid

There are many people to thank for the coming accession of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump for winning the election. Hillary Clinton for losing it. Mitch McConnell…

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A (Qualified) Defense of the Ban

Too often, when approaching an issue and unsure what, exactly, people think about it, one tends to approach it from the wrong direction. Instead of keeping an open mind and…

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Vetting the Vetted

I conducted one of my last interviews as an immigration officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Istanbul with Mahmoud and his 8-year-old son from Aleppo, Syria. His…

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Misophonia

Winston Churchill was a valiant soldier, led his nation into war against terrible odds, and bore withering criticism and numerous insults during his embattled political career. He weathered defeat and…

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Politics and Pulpits

One of the clearest lines in the sand that separates religion and politics in America is something known as the Johnson Amendment. Last week, President Donald Trump vowed to “totally…

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Kindling Light in the Darkness

The ninth plague with which Hashem punished the Egyptians was the plague of darkness. For three days an Egyptian “could not see his brother.” This was followed by an even…

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Make Changes In, Not On, the Court

President Trump nominated Neil M. Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court justice Tuesday, and Senate Democrats are already lined up to oppose the nomination. Despite the super-heated political rhetoric, the…

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Fighting Their Way Out Of a Plastic Bag

Lawmakers in Albany are expressing fierce opposition to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan that New York City will impose a five-cent fee on plastic bags starting in February. Not that…

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How to Fix a Damaged Senate

When then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” to break the rules of the Senate in 2013 to allow for simple majority confirmation of presidential nominees, he created…

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Respect Judaism, Respect Democracy

An important letter was delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday that has ramifications for the sanctity of the Kosel and the unity of the Jewish people. Signed…

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When Bending Down Is Reaching Up

The simple words are at the core of every successful relationship, and their importance is stressed in schools and homes everywhere. Yet so many people find it extraordinarily difficult to…

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Making News, Literally

Even for someone who, in his day job as Agudath Israel of America’s public affairs director, is regularly sent dubious “news” stories from members of the public, a young man’s…

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The Importance of Norms

As teenagers, we would often ask our rebbeim why we had to or could not do certain things. My tenth-grade rebbi had a unique way of dealing with us; he…

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President Trump’s Foreign Policy Revolution

The flurry of bold executive orders and of highly provocative Cabinet nominations (such as a secretary of education who actually believes in school choice) has been encouraging to conservative skeptics…

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