His Brother: A Novel Interpretation of Yaakov and Esav

There was this guy we knew in town, a big strong fellow. We never knew his real name, but everyone called him Red because of his red hair. He was a simple guy, quick to anger, quick to forget and forgive, pretty much content to take life as it came. He wasn’t much of a [...]


Public Careers: A Conversation with Dovi Meles from the US Dept. of Defense

Dovi Meles majored in psychology at Yeshiva University and graduated in 2009. Later, he studied at Temple University for a graduate degree in social work, aiming for a job in Jewish non-profit organizations. A few months ago, however, Meles got a call from the Pentagon offering him work at the Department of Defense. The position, [...]


The World of the Orthopract, Part I

I’ve come to the realization that a lot of people don’t really understand what Orthopraxy is. They might think they do, but they have it all wrong. The misconceptions bother me, both as someone who lives as an Orthopract and as someone who hates inaccuracy. Although the entire point of Orthopraxy is to blend in [...]


We the Beacon: The Beacon Manifesto

In light of the recent expose by the Forward based on two articles previously published in the Beacon, we would like to reiterate our mission statement:   With communication so facilitated by modern technology, information and opinion spread at a speed that can bewilder the mind. Every second, on scores of different sites, another article [...]


Is There a Future for Modern Orthodoxy?

In his 2005 book Sliding to the Right, Dr. Samuel Heilman examines Orthodoxy today and the trends that have shaped it and likely will continue to shape it for the foreseeable future. While Heilman concludes that the future is uncertain, he also unsurprisingly informs us what his title already said: Orthodoxy is becoming more right [...]


The Jewish community of Ghana – a lost tribe?

Shabbat 21st July 2012. Best clothes are put on and worn by all. Children are playing in the synagogue. Prayer books are lovingly opened. Songs praising God are being sung. Kiddush is recited over wine. This is a familiar scene in every Jewish community all over the world. There is one place, however, where this [...]


The Same Old Thing

It was my first night playing Kings, a drinking card game – which, by the way, is the best combination of fun I can possibly imagine. It got us all pretty wasted. People kept confusing my makeshift Minnie Mouse costume with a puppy, probably because I had painted a big black spot on my nose, [...]

Iranian President Ahmadinejad

So You Say You Want an Iranian Revolution?

A revolution in Iran might be optimistic, but that’s okay. Sometimes, the optimistic scenario might be right. Avigdor Lieberman openly said that sanctions might bring Iran to the brink of revolution by the summer of 2013. As he sees it, the combination of diplomatic pressure, even more sanctions, and the upcoming 2013 presidential elections will [...]

Peter Beinart

Our Own Worst Enemies

On December 13, 2011, Thomas J. Friedman, in his weekly column in the New York Times, ripped into American supporters of Israel, expressing his hope that Bibi Netanyahu was aware that the standing ovations he received in Congress were “bought and paid for by the Jewish lobby.” His terminology set off a firestorm among American [...]


Reflections on the Completion of the Babylonian Talmud

As a freshman in high school, I attended a celebration that marked the completion of the Babylonian talmud in the program of learning known as daf yomi ( “the daily page”) in which participants from all over the world study a page of talmud a day with the aim of completing the Talmudic corpus in [...]

In Features. Tagged daf yomi, Gemara, talmud.