Cracks in the wall

Will we or won’t we get a wall? As a candidate, President Donald Trump repeatedly promised to build a “big, beautiful wall” on the border with Mexico and pledged that it would be paid for by Mexico. As the commander-in-chief, he has repeated that promise — even if he has waffled a bit on exactly… Read More

Everyone’s Talmud

Until modern times, the Talmud was a major Jewish preoccupation. This sprawling compendium of the law, lore and commentary of successive generations of early rabbinic scholars provided Jews with a human map for following the law of the Hebrew Bible and the six books of the Mishnah. The fact is that not many Jews —… Read More

Consider Gorsuch on his merits

The Senate’s advice and consent on a proposed Supreme Court nominee is a fundamental constitutional exercise that is important, consequential and reflective of the checks and balances built into our system of government. Consideration of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch should begin with that in mind. Gorsuch 49, is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge… Read More

Rabbi for rent

Rabbi Yona Metzger, the man who was the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel from 2003 to 2013, is going to jail. Although he pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, breach of trust and tax offenses — which earned him a 3.5 year prison sentence and a fine of $1.3 million — he was actually charged… Read More

Punishing Muslims for being Muslim

Most of the organized Jewish community, along with most civil libertarians, shuddered as the new administration issued an executive order effectively targeting Muslims who want to immigrate to the United States. The order suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days for review. It permanently bans immigration of Syrian refugees. It calls for a… Read More

No third-rate hack job

It is tempting to dismiss allegations of Russian hacking during last fall’s presidential election as blame shifting by sore losers in the Democratic Party and/or the work of a socially awkward teenage hacker working from his parent’s basement. Various figures on the right, including President Donald Trump himself, have intimated as much. But faced with… Read More

Caught in the middle

President Donald Trump appeared to be addressing his core supporters rather than the nation during his inaugural address last Friday. There was no outstretched hand to the other side, no inclusive reference to “my fellow Americans,” and no soaring rhetoric projecting the United States’ leadership role in the world. What Trump delivered with a clenched… Read More

The cost of staying tight-lipped

We are thankful that last week’s bomb scares were only that — there were no casualties, no damage and no bombs found at the 16 Jewish community centers in the East and South, including the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville, that received threatening calls on Jan. 9. We praise the institutions… Read More

Woodmont not playing its ‘A’ game

“Yeah, you go ahead and bar the first black president from your country club. Forget what the 1950s felt like.” This tweet followed the news, first reported Jan. 10 by the New York Post, that the historically Jewish Woodmont Country Club in Rockville was debating — “at each other’s throats,” was the Post’s description —… Read More