The Egyptian man who ripped down the Israeli flag from the embassy in Cairo has been rewarded for his act.
Los Angeles and Jewish officials announced today that the reward for information about last week's firebombing attacks on The New JCC at Milken and the West Valley residence of a Jewish family has been increased to $95,000.
We've come to expect that anything authentically Jewish must be hard, painful, difficult. No chrain, no gain.
This is the second year The Jewish Journal has compiled a list of our "Top Ten Mensches." Let other magazines slobber over the 50 Sexiest or the 400 Richest or the 20 Most Influential. Rich, sexy and powerful are easy. Mensch is hard.
"It is not in our hands to explain the prosperity of the wicked or even the sufferings of the righteous." So said Rabbi Yannai in the Mishna some 2,000 years ago. The Talmud (Kiddushin 39b) insists "there is no reward for mitzvot in this world." We have had a long time to read and understand the Book of Job, and we know that the calculus of reward and punishment is more perplexing and agonizing than we can know.
Than we can know, but not, apparently, than Rav Ovadiah Yosef, a former chief rabbi of Israel, can know. Rav Ovadiah is an ilui, a genius of halacha.
His memory is astonishing, his range remarkable. Unfortunately, his theology is appalling.
On the wall of philanthropist and humanitarian Richard Gunther's office hangs a photo of a man triumphantly standing atop a Western Nepal mountain peak.