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Nov 27, 2017, 7:05 AM
The late Meta Skulsky — gone but not forgotten.
This past Sunday evening, I received a phone call from a friend to ask whether I could conduct the funeral of a distant relative the following day. There would be very few mourners present at the funeral, he said, as the...
Sep 28, 2017, 11:43 PM
Yom Kippur — It’s not just another day
Imagine you had never heard of Yom Kippur before, and you are now informed about the existence of a day called Yom Kippur. Suddenly you discover that on this day of the year we are given a unique opportunity...
Sep 20, 2017, 2:08 AM
Who was testing whom at the Akeda?
The story of the Akeda, read on the second day of Rosh Hashana, is neither very long, nor very detailed, but it ranks as one of the most controversial narratives in the Torah. While one could certainly examine it...
May 23, 2017, 2:02 AM
After fifty years, it’s time for us to say “it all belongs to us!”
Jews are obliged to lay claim to the location on which their Temple will be rebuilt
May 2, 2017, 3:56 AM
The Hasidic Rebbe who just died can inspire every one of us
Earlier today (Monday, 5 Iyar), at the age of 94, the last surviving great-great-great-grandson of the illustrious nineteenth-century Hasidic master, Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhyn (1796-1850), the unassuming "Pashkan Rebbe", Rabbi Yisrael Shalom Yosef Friedman Ben-Shalom, died in Gilo, Jerusalem....
Apr 24, 2017, 6:14 AM
How Ani Ma’amin Survived the Shoah
Azriel David Fastag was a Modzitzer hasid known for his beautiful voice, a chazzan and composer of Hasidic tunes before World War Two. Although the Modzitzer Rebbe had managed to escape Poland before the Holocaust, arriving in New York...
May 26, 2015, 12:00 PM
Chief Rabbi Lau, beware — rabbinic coercian is against the halacha
I saw a worrying news article last week. It was buried between reports of biker violence in Texas and David Letterman’s final appearances on late night television. Apparently, Israel’s Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, David Lau, suggested that Israel’s government should...
Apr 3, 2015, 11:00 AM
Slavery & Freedom are alive and well in 2015
In anticipation of Pesach this year, I resolved to explore the concepts of slavery and freedom. Personally, I have always struggled to find contemporary models to help me experience both slavery and freedom during the ‘Jewish origins and identity...
Mar 6, 2015, 12:14 AM
Appeasers of Iran are worshipping a Golden Calf
This week, from Sunday through Tuesday, I was at AIPAC Policy Conference. It was an exhilarating couple of days, an extraordinary couple of days, and a tiring couple of days. But above all, it was two days like no...
Sep 3, 2014, 10:26 AM
Who would have thought that I could learn something from Al Sharpton?
Last week somebody unexpectedly sent me a YouTube URL for Reverend Al Sharpton’s eulogy delivered at the funeral of Michael Brown, the African-American teenager shot dead nearly a month ago by a policeman in Ferguson, a suburb of St...
Rabbi Pini Dunner is the Senior Rabbi at Beverly Hills Synagogue, a member of the Young Israel family of synagogues. He lives with his family in Beverly Hills, California.