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Shame on Slate for Failing at Journalism

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Today I am asking my readers to head over to Medium.com where I published an article criticizing Slate for their irresponsible reporting on a sensationalist and false story about Gur banning soy because it can make you gay. The story is not true. It was originally reported with no sources or evidence on YourJewishNews.com, a site with no credibility. Read…


Check Out My Op-Ed in Haaretz

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Two well known Orthodox Jewish rabbis were arrested for allegedly conspiring to beat a recalcitrant husband to coerce him to give a get (writ of divorce). This is a serious crime. It also demonstrates the huge Agunah problem in Orthodox Judaism.

I did a little write up on the issues this case raises for Haaretz. You can read it here: Haaretz.com

(If you get paywalled you can read a PDF here: Haaretz Article) Read…


My Appearance with Rabbi Shafran on “Talkline with Zev Brenner”

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I was invited to join Rabbi Shafran to talk about recent comments by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the subsequent response by the Agudah. We discussed it on Facebook on Friday and I guess Zev or one of his producers saw the comment thread and decided to ask me onto the show. The format of the show was to be a moderated discussion between Rabbi Shafran and me. Read…


July 4th and the Three Weeks

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The USA Today reports that there are some orthodox Jews who will watch fireworks tonight with no sound. Seeing as this year the 4th of July is during the 3 Weeks between Shiva Asar B’Tamuz and Tisha B’Av there are some elements of mourning that are customary during this period. Many orthodox Jews refrain from listening to music as part of their mourning these 3 weeks.

Fireworks are often accompanied by music. Journalist Menachem Wecker was curious if the music accompaniment would cause some orthodox Jews to forgo the usual fireworks celebrations.

There are probably very few orthodox Jews who care about July 4th who also would be so stringent about the 3 weeks that they would not even listen to background music. Of those who are that stringent, very few would care to participate in July 4th festivities. Read…


Israeli Flag NOT Doctored Out of Iconic Boston Marathon Photo

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Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted the iconic photo of the 78 year old man in an orange shirt surrounded by police officers with smoke billowing in the background just after the explosion at the Boston Marathon. I took notice of the Israeli flag in the background. It was hard to miss the flag through the smoke and it meant something to me that the flag was so prominent in the photo.

One fellow left a comment on the photo with a link to a CNN version of the photo. In the CNN version the Israeli flag cannot be seen. The implication was that the photo was edited to remove the Israeli flag.

I did a little digging and I discovered that CNN got the photo from Getty Images. I hunted for the photo on Getty Images and found the second photo on their site. At first I was incensed. I even put up a blog post criticizing Getty Images (completely against my nature) for what I thought was scrubbing the photo.

I never looked at the photos side by side. I last saw the original photo last night and I first saw the second photo this morning. They were similar enough that it looked suspicious. But once I posted the photos one above the other I noticed, as did several intrepid readers, that they were not the same photo. The photographer took more than one photo as he got closer to the scene. In one photo the Israeli flag is visible, in the other it is not. But in the second photo, the American flag is visible. That’s clearly a better choice for this particular tragedy.

Once I realized my mistake I removed the blog post. Read…