Tag Archives: Moment Magazine

May/June issue of Moment is Out!

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

May/June 2009 Issue

May/June 2009 Issue

The May/June issue of Moment is out! Some highlights:

Avigdor Lieberman: Israel’s Le Pen

By Jeremy Gillick

Two years ago, Ha’aretz correspondent Lily Galili profiled the right wing Israeli politician and founder of the Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel is our Home”) Party, Avigdor Lieberman, for Moment.

Having served as Transportation Minister under Ariel Sharon, and having subsequently been fired in 2004 for opposing the withdrawal from Gaza, Lieberman “re-emerged,” Galili wrote in early 2007, “as a strange hybrid of an Israeli version of Jean-Marie Le Pen (the infamous French extreme right-winger) and respectable statesman.” Indeed, it was recently revealed that Lieberman was at one point a member of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach Party, which was banned from Israeli elections in the late 1980s for inciting racism against Arabs.

Now, with Israeli elections just days away, Lieberman and his nationalist party are poised to make huge gains. Polls indicate that Yisrael Beitenu could win as many as 16 seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset–potentially even more than Israel’s founding left-leaning Labor Party. And Benjamin Netanyahu, whose right-wing Likud Party is expected to beat out Kadima, the centrist one, has promised to give Lieberman a prominent post if he succeeds in forming a coalition. Continue reading

Clinton Confirmation Hearings: Good or Bad?

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

First of all, hello! We at Moment and ITM hope you had a lovely holiday season. Here’s to a beautiful 2009! (Or at least one without World War 3 and total economic meltdown.)

In case you haven’t seen it, our January/February issue is out, with a pretty set of photographs chronicling Jewish/black relations in this country to celebrate the inauguration of our 44th president. Darn, what’s his name again?

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

The important news of the day involves yesterday’s confirmation hearings of Hillary Clinton for Secratary of State.  Clinton took the opportunity to prepare the country for a new kind of State Department that would have a renewed focus on diplomacy and direct negotiation with Iran and other previously untouchable rogue states; thereby signaling a break from the kind of shunning politics the Condoleeza Rice State Department often utilized.

We are all hanging on every thread of information that could clue us in to how the Obama administration will deal with Israel, especially with the Gaza crisis upon us. Clinton did not get into specifics, but she drew the line on inclusive diplomacy at Hamas. Here’s what she said, from the LA Times:

“The president-elect and I understand — and are deeply sympathetic to — Israel’s desire to defend itself under current conditions and to be free of shelling by Hamas rockets,” she said. “However, we have also been reminded of the tragic humanitarian costs of conflict in the Middle East, and pained by the suffering of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.”

Clinton echoed the Bush administration stand in part by declaring: “You cannot negotiate with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognizes Israel and agrees to abide by past agreements. That is just for me an absolute. That is the United States government’s position; that is the president-elect’s position.” Continue reading

Iraqi Shoutout to Jews of Kurdistan

The Jewish Journal reported earlier this week that Iraq’s first lady, Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, wife of President Jalal Talabani, paid a visit to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The First Lady reminisced about her relationships with Jews of her Kurdish hometown, and, according to the Journal, toured the SWC’s Museum of Tolerance.

Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, the petite first lady of Iraq, briefly recalled the killings and tortures the regime of dictator Saddam Hussein had inflicted on her fellow Kurds.

She added, “In every person’s mind there is a small Saddam. Killing Saddam is nothing, but killing the Saddam in our minds is everything.”

Of course, we at Moment thought of Ariel Sabar, whose piece in the current issue of our Magazine, “Return to Jewish Kurdistan,” describes his trip to the Kurdish village where his father had grown up.

For a year, he had tried to talk me out of it. First, he insisted, the Zakho of his day—the houses, the people—was long gone. Second, I could get a fine picture of the city from interviews with Kurdish Jews who had left a half century ago and were now living in Israel. And third, the height of the insurgency wasn’t the ideal time for a sentimental journey to Iraq Continue reading

Moment’s 2008 Election Issue Now Online

Our September/October issue is now available online. In it you’ll find:

  • In Religion & the Supreme Court we offer up a comprehensive assessment of whether and how a justice’s faith affects his or her legal decisions. Some of the nation’s most prominent legal thinkers, Jeffrey Toobin, Jeffrey Rosen, Eugene Volokh, Laurence Tribe, Abner Mikvah, Jamie Raskin, Wendy Webster Williams, Marci Hamilton and Douglas Kmiec, discuss.
  • Kirk Douglas and his views on Judaism
  • Readers’ arguments for Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain from our presidential poll
  • Where the word l’chaim comes from
  • Columnists including Naomi Ragen and Eric Alterman
  • And more

You can always subscribe to Moment in just a few clicks here.

And remember, we love your input! Write to editor@momentmag.com or leave your comments here.

Physical Modesty in Judaism: A Response by Rabbi Gershon Winkler

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein

In our current issue, we printed a letter from a reader who was curious about Rabbi Gershon Winkler’s response to our Ask the Rabbis question (Who Cares What Women Wear [Or Don’t Wear]?) in the July/August issue. Here is his response in its entirety:

Reader’s question: “I would like to know, in a precise citation, where in his writings ‘Rav Moshe Feinstein boldly pointed out that there is no Torah injunction against nudity,’ and precisely in what context this statement was allegedly made.”

Rabbi’s response: I translate below the pertinent excerpts from Rav Moshe Feinstein’s response regarding nudity. The question was brought to him in the context of a man whose skin rash made it uncomfortable for him to wear clothing, and to pray clothed, etc. In permitting the man to not be clothed, Rav Feinstein raises the question whether nudity is prohibited by the Torah altogether. And I quote:

“[The concept of being dressed out of respect to God ]—for His glory fills the whole earth—applies only during prayer, when one ought to be properly attired as one would in the presence of dignitaries. But if it is not during the time of prayer, then, although one is still in the presence of God, one does not need to be dressed in clothing at all, and it would be then sufficient to use any kind of wrapping to cover those parts of the body which are customarily covered, and this is because the whole issue of meticulousness around dress is based solely on social standards alone, which vary from place to place and from time to time. And so, barring the social factor, there are no particular requirements regarding the wearing of clothing.

Continue reading

Our Response to David Duke, White Nationalists

When we discovered that David Duke, the Holocaust denier, former KKK grand wizard, and anti-Semite extraordinaire, and the White Nationalist online community Stormfront picked up on an article in the current issue of Moment Magazine entitled “When Money Grows On Jewish Trees,” our first reaction was far from shock. After all, any discussion of Jewish prosperity can devolve into a controversial one.

The article outlines the contributions of Jews in the current presidential race as well as in American history, showing why and how the Jewish community has become disproportionally represented in contemporary campaign finance.

David Duke said on his website that our article is an instance of the biased, Jew-controlled media getting away with writing what would be called prejudiced if it was written by someone else. Stormfront went further, saying we were “boasting” about Jewish power. But this is utterly bogus. While David Duke, Don Black (the neo-Nazi founder of Stormfront), and others have managed to build entire careers out of spurious and hateful accusations, we at Moment dedicate our work to recognizing and reporting on the Jewish community. As independent journalists, we find the story of Jewish campaign contributions especially worth reporting during this election year. Continue reading

Thank you and please continue to vote!

In the past couple of weeks we have received a mountain of votes! Thank you to all our readers for taking part in this Moment Presidential Poll.

Please continue voting by sending an email to vote@momentmag.com.

A couple of sites have already linked to the poll, including the National Jewish Democratic Council’s blog.
-Mark Abramson

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The Google Seder

By Nadine Epstein

The e-mail invitation came at the last minute. Not that Google didn’t know Passover was on its way, but apparently it would have been un-Google-like to plan too far in advance. So the message arrived just a few days ahead of the special evening: “I would like to formally announce this year’s Google seder, affectionately known as Koogle@Google 2008.”

“Google? seder? Google seder?” you might ask. Not many companies (I can’t think of any others) have an official corporate seder. We’re not talking a Hanukkah or Christmas party but a full-fledged Exodus commemorative night at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, a few miles south of Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Continue reading