Friday, January 15th 2021   |

Opinions

OP-ED: We don’t have adequate tools to combat domestic terrorism. Biden should change that.

By KENNETH L. MARCUS

(JTA) — The Capitol riot should be a wake-up call for those who did not hear the alarm four years ago at Charlottesville. The riot wasn’t just an assault on the seat of America’s government, although it is surely that, but also a development that if not forcefully addressed may endanger Americans throughout the 50 states.

More than 70 people connected with the Capitol riot have...

OP-ED: I grew up Jewish in the shadow of Nazi Germany. What I’m witnessing today in America reminds me of those dark days.

By JULIAN VOLOJ

(JTA) — The Spanish-born, U.S.-educated philosopher Jorge Santayana wrote in 1905: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Growing up Jewish in Germany, this was a leitmotif. My maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and the legacy of the Third Reich — the idea that democracy is fragile and ethnocentric nationalists were to be feared — was preeminent. This became especially apparent in the...

OP-ED: A failed and flawed president

By ALAN SMASON

Four years ago on Inauguration Day, I wrote a heartfelt open letter to the incoming 45th President of the United States. I noted the aura of celebrity that surrounded him and that many Americans were dismayed to know he was now the leader of the Free World and Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces. On behalf of the nation of disenfranchised, I wrote:

Our hope is that he...

OP-ED: Democracy in action; anarchy on display

By ALAN SMASON

When I first began to write this editorial, its aim was to acknowledge the unusual aspect of the Georgia Senate races in which voters elected their first Jewish and first Black Senators to Congress. Under a highly charged political environment, Georgia had selected two Democrats to represent their traditionally Republican state in Congress and had also turned control of the Senate back over to the Democratic Party.

...

OP-ED: A referendum on Trump rather than a radical critic of Israel

By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

– The Georgia Senate runoff to be held today was going to be a crucial coda to the presidential election, no matter what happened during the nine-week post-November campaign. But along with the question of which party would control the U.S. Senate for the next two years, one of the two races might have also served as a fascinating test of the electorate. It...

OP-ED: I resisted the call to include non-male voices every time I taught Torah. Then I tried it.

By AVIGAYIL HALPERN 

(JTA) — Many of my fellow rabbinical students and friends are enthusiastic about a new strategy for elevating women’s voices in Torah study into the beit midrash this fall.

The Kranjec Test — named for Danielle Kranjec, the Jewish educator who created it — holds that collections of texts known as source sheets must include at least one non-male voice. It’s the Jewish studies equivalent of the...

OP-ED: Does loving Christmas make me less Jewish?

By MEGAN SELIGMAN

(JTA) — It is a question I have struggled with for years.

I proudly identify as a Jewish person. I attend a Conservative synagogue on the High Holidays, keep kosher in my house and recite the Shabbat prayers on Friday night. I attended Jewish day school as a child and continue to speak Hebrew (albeit not well).

But there are some things I do that others would argue...

OP-ED: Belgian Shechita Ban ignores major considerations

By RICHARD SCHWARTZ

The recent Belgian government ban of shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter) overlooks some important considerations.

First, it ignores the many problems related to stunning, their preferred method of slaughter. These are thoroughly covered in the book “Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry” by Gail Eisnitz. Through many interviews with slaughterhouse workers and United States Department...

OP-ED: In COVID-aid bill scrum, Israel becomes a familiar scapegoat

By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

– There’s much to complain about when it comes to the process and the end result of the massive $900 billion coronavirus relief stimulus bill that just passed Congress. No matter which side of the political aisle you are on, the legislation was a mess. It is, at one and the same time, both insufficient to the needs of a country in distress as...

OP-ED: European hypocrisy laid bare in kosher-slaughter legal judgement

By BEN COHEN

( – Last time I checked, the French were still preparing their famed foie gras delicacy using the method of “gavage.” This involves force-feeding a duck or a goose with grain passed through a tube over a period of several days so that its liver swells to approximately 600 percent of its normal size. The point is, if you don’t put the bird through this plainly...