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General articles written by David, either on this site or other sites

9/11: The day the words changed

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They say that on 9/11, the world changed. It certainly did change much about our world, and has reshaped the relationship (or lack of) between the west and the Muslim world. It continues to impact our daily lives – just ask anyone who has travelled by air, or look at the way the collective memory of American citizens leads them to react to events like earthquakes or large-scale accidents. New Yorkers seem to be living…

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Yankel Rosenbaum – 20 Years On

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It’s quite appropriate that I find myself visiting New York, and particularly staying in Crown Heights, as I pen this tribute to my dear friend Yankel Rosenbaum HY”D to mark the twentieth anniversary of his murder in the Crown Heights riots of 1991. This very morning I was walking to shul with my son, who was born just the day after Yankel’s shloshim, and I pointed out the place near the corner of President St…

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Gossip Danger

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

“I won’t let my child ever walk home alone again from school”, I heard a mother say, in the wake of the tragic abduction and murder of Leiby Kletzky in the supposedly safe Orthodox Jewish suburb of Boro Park in New York. An alarm and fear has descended upon a global community who until now collectively felt that “these things don’t happen in our neighbourhood”. The natural reaction of parents is to become extra protective….

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Democracy at Work

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A new law against boycotts in Israel has sparked a storm of protest. Civil rights advocates have slammed it as a jeopardising free speech, and pro-Palestinian human rights groups have condemned it, some suggesting that it endangers the country’s democratic character. After being passed in the Knesset by a vote of 47-38, it will almost certainly be challenged in the courts as to its constitutionality. Some people read this and think: what a terrible country Israel must…

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The Stigma

By Blog 4 Comments

There has been lots of talk recently in the local blogosphere (here, here, and here) as well as in the mainstream media about the alleged (I use terms like this throughout because they are appropriate until a court makes a determination) sexual abuse that took place at Yeshivah College some twenty years ago. This has elicited a range of vigorous responses from many people. Some have used this to take a stab at the administration…

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All the President’s Speeches

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President Barack Osama has made another pivotal speech directed to the Muslim world. Again, for those who don’t want to read or watch the whole thing, here is an abridged version that will give you the gist of what all the fuss was about: Thank you. Thank you (applause). Thank you. Please have a seat. I want to begin by thanking Hillary Clinton. I count on Hillary every single day, and I firmly hope and…

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The e-word

By Blog 3 Comments

I was quite shocked to receive the letter from the CoM advising of the formation of a new Shul Committee for the Yeshivah Shul. I was aware of some of the things that were happening in the background in recent months, and was even one of the people who took part in what might be very loosely called a “focus group”, referred to in the letter. Considering how long the CoM have had to consider…

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And you shall relate to your son

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

והגדת לבנך – שמות  יג”ח And you shall relate to your son – Exodus 13:8  As Pesach approaches, preparations go into full swing, and my mind jumps around between where we will be eating the various meals, where my children will be spending Pesach, the various tasks I’m going to do, and all the other “baseline” stuff that sits in my head: work and study. Study has kept me busy this year, and as I move ever closer to…

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if only Israel ended “the occupation” …

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The Jewish world is in shock after the brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family, from the town of Itamar in northern Samaria. On Friday night (the Jewish Sabbath), as they were sleeping, a Palestinian broke through the fence around the town, and brutally cut the throats of the family as they slept. I say the Jewish world, because the uproar at this massacre can hardly be heard from the rest of the…

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Kosher Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

The “kosher wars” have been reignited recently with the release by Rabbi Moshe Gutnick of The Kashrut Authority (I will refer to them as KA(Syd) to avoid ambiguity) of a statement regarding the standard of kashrut of Rabbi Rabi’s Kosher veYosher (KVY) at an establishment in Sydney. It should be noted that KVY is Melbourne-based, and KA(syd) has the closest thing to a monopoly on kashrut in Sydney. Indeed, the statement states that “[t]he appearance…

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