What Will the Families of Meron Victims Think 110 Years From Now?

When the news started emerging about a tragic event at Mount Meron on Lag BaOmer involving casualties, Catriella Freedman couldn’t help thinking of her great-grandfather. He had also died on Mt. Meron on Lag BaOmer, more than 110 years ago. Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Rosenstein was known for delving into the mysteries of the Zohar and was a favored student of the Boyaner Rebbe. Like many, he made the pilgrimage to Mt. Meron, where the balcony on which he had been dancing collapsed, killing him and ten others. Since then, his grave has become something of a shrine at Meron. Moment spoke with Freedman from her home in Zichron Yaakov, Israel. Tell me a bit about your great-grandfather. Who my great-grandfather was and how I knew of him are two separate things. I just knew he...

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Are We All Hasidim?

In a world in which any Jew is a potential target of anti-Semitism, it is the most visible Jews who are most threatened. Jews with black hats, with tight curls hanging down below their ears and black coats and women wearing modest head coverings, they are the most vulnerable. Jews in synagogues. In Brooklyn, as in Jersey City and Monsey, violence against individuals in their Hasidic communities is almost an everyday event. If someone wants to do harm to a Jew, Hasidic Jews and their communities are and have become easy targets.

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The Haredi PR Problem: Bad For (All) The Jews

by Ezer Smith There has been some outrage recently over an Orthodox custom known as metzitzah b’peh, and justifiably so: The custom, during which the mohel sucks blood out of the circumcision wound with his mouth, has caused 11 cases of genital herpes in newborn boys since 2005. Two have died, and according to the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, some “became seriously ill” and others “developed brain damage.” This has prompted reactions from all areas of the journalistic and intellectual spectrum: Publications such as The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast have carried articles; Cantor Philip L. Sherman (a mohel) has included a short F.A.Q. about it on his website; Christopher Hitchens condemned it with his usual brand of anti-religion vitriol; and Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organization in...

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