Colors: Green Color

It has become a routine of mine here in Baltimore to attend the weekly Motza’ei Shabbos history lectures given by Rabbi Dovid Katz in Congregation Shomrei Emunah. Currently, Rabbi Katz is focusing on modern Israeli history. The best way to describe Rabbi Katz is that he is very similar in style and substance to Rabbi Berel Wein. Both are known to be fine talmidei chachamim (Torah scholars) while being experts in Jewish history. Both are as entertaining as they are informative and have a very earthy way of communicating.

Dear Senator Stavisky:

Although I have retired and live in Baltimore, I remain in close touch with the leadership in Queens and am keenly aware of what is going on. I am therefore very disappointed in your letter of January 11 to Yeshiva University – the letter in which you and two other state senators accuse Yeshiva University of bigotry against LGBTQ and of misappropriating millions of dollars.

On December 23, it was reported that about 330 American clergy from Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructive movements issued a “Call to Action” (fatwa or cheirem) to ban members from the Religious Zionist Alliance from speaking in their synagogues or anywhere in their communities.

My father’s second yahrzeit is 27 Kislev, the third day of Chanukah. My father would often observe that the Chashmona’im were the first army in history to engage in battle not for a military victory, nor a territorial conquest, or even for political reasons. Their motivation was purely for ideological reasons. The survival of Torah was their only concern. Their battle was with the Syrian-Greek overlords as it was with the Hellenist Jews who looked to uproot the Torah as the spiritual force behind Judaism. This is alluded to in the Al HaNisim, in which we thank Hashem for delivering the wicked into the hands of those who are dedicated to Torah.