Over the next few weeks, US courts will find themselves in the unenviable position of having to adjudicate challenges to the integrity of the presidential election process, a matter fraught with immense political and civic controversy.
Allegations of widespread voter fraud will be put to the test as President Donald J. Trump and former vice president Joseph Biden, as well as the rest of the country, seek some finality to the outcome of the balloting.
Regardless of how it plays out, this would seem to be a fitting time to look back at what the Trump administration has accomplished in the Middle East over the past four years. Simply put, it is nothing short of extraordinary.
One hundred years ago this week, an unsung champion of the Zionist cause who has not received his due won a landslide victory in the race for the White House. And since his important contribution to the eventual establishment of the modern State of Israel has largely been overlooked, now would seem to be a fitting time to recall with gratitude what Warren G. Harding did for the Jewish people.
This Shabbat marks 36 years since I began my journey to Orthodoxy, embracing Sabbath observance as a teenager with all the idealism and verve of youth.
I still remember walking briskly to synagogue on that beautiful autumn morning in the suburbs north of New York somewhat unsure about where exactly this theological trek might lead me. Watching as my friends gleefully drove by only served to add to the slight bewilderment that accompanied my decision.
Having been raised in a traditional Conservative Jewish home and educated at Jewish day schools made the transition relatively easier, as I was familiar with the laws and lore as well as the rites and responsibilities that being a Jew entails.
In a year quite unlike any other, it is hardly surprising that the High Holy Days have gotten off to an unparalleled start.
All the usual trappings, such as packed synagogues on Rosh Hashanah or large gatherings of family and friends, were markedly and painfully absent.
And even as socializing has devolved into social distancing, and politics into pugilism, Israelis now face the prospect of an increasingly restrictive lockdown in advance of Sukkot.
This is not how it was supposed to be.
Or is it?
If the coronavirus crisis has taught us anything, it is that the assumptions we make, whether consciously or not, shape much of how we experience the world.
In a stunning reversal of policy last week, Israel yielded to American pressure and formally recognized the Serbian province of Kosovo as an independent state.
While much of the media greeted this development with excitement and even a bit of glee, we shouldn't allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking that it was a wise decision. It most assuredly was not. By recognizing Kosovo, Israel has committed a major Balkan blunder, one that is not only an affront to history, justice and common sense, but which also undermines the Jewish state's own national interests and is likely to boomerang against us.