Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Hayim Leiter


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  • Get off our backs!

    Rav Hayim Leiter|May 24, 2024

    (JNS) — Growing up, I was not one of the cool kids and was bullied a fair amount of the time. In middle school, one such bully used to incessantly pick on me. He was the weakest of the tough kids, so he had to make an example out of someone, so he chose the 60-pound sack of skin and bones that I happened to be in those days. “You better stop it, Jeff,” I warned him one day, as he kicked me. “Oh yeah, what are you going to do about it, wimp?” Something inside me snapped. I hauled off and punched him in the face. I remember the line of blood dri...

  • Why is the world morally blind to Israel?

    Rav Hayim Leiter|Apr 19, 2024

    (JNS) — Can you see the hypocrisy? I see it all day, every day. It’s hard to live in Israel, no matter how you feel about the war, and not see it. When you live in this region, it’s like the rest of the world is upside down. It’s like you’re looking at a bizarro universe that exists on a different plane—a universe so devoid of logic and morality that it no longer feels like your own. The Israel Defense Forces made a monumental mistake. It was an error almost no one wanted. The accidental drone strike that killed seven World Central Kitchen hum...

  • Starring down the barrel of a gun 

    Rav Hayim Leiter|Jan 12, 2024

    (JNS) — I have a secret that I’ve never told anyone before. For more than 20 years, it’s been too embarrassing and traumatic to revisit. But the time has come to share the story. Believe it or not, the whole situation arose because I was completing a college assignment. I studied at the University of Rhode Island and, for the most part, loved every minute of it. The education was classically liberal, although it seemed that the student body was not as politically motivated as, say, the Ivy League schools. In my senior year, I took a commu...

  • Wake up, Diaspora Jewry! Your fate is bound to Israel's

    Hayim Leiter|Nov 3, 2023

    (JNS) — A few days ago, I was finally able to speak to my friend Akiva. Like so many other reservists, he was called into active duty on Simchat Torah when the war broke out. “I need the things in my car,” he told me. Prior to our conversation, his battalion was transferred from Netanya to outside of Beersheva. Due to the rush, he was unable to collect his belongings before they left. “I’ll get it for you,” I replied, unsure how it would become a reality. In addition to the contents of his car, Akiva sent me a list of things his platoon nee...