Purim: The Holiday of Jewish Solidarity

March 18 2019

Two of the central obligations of the upcoming holiday of Purim involve sending gifts of food to one’s fellow Jews and giving charity to the poor. These expressions of communal solidarity, explains Meir Soloveichik, point to the true message of the Purim story as told in the book of Esther. In a novel analysis, he argues that the book revolves not around whether there is divine providence, as is often assumed, but whether the Jewish people will continue to exist in exile. (Video 34 minutes.)

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More about: Esther, Judaism, Purim, Religion & Holidays

 

Understanding the Background of the White House Ruling on Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act

Dec. 13 2019

On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order allowing federal officials to extend the protections of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to Jews. (The order, promptly condemned for classifying Jews as a separate nationality, did nothing of the sort.) In 2010, Kenneth Marcus called for precisely such a ruling in the pages of Commentary, citing in particular the Department of Education’s lax response to a series of incidents at the University of California at Irvine, where, among much elase, Jewish property was vandalized and Jewish students were pelted with rocks, called “dirty Jew” and other epithets, and were told, “Jewish students are the plague of mankind.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, U.S. Politics