Viva Hammer


Martin Ginsburg, Who Found A Good Job, Along With His Wife

By Viva Hammer

“No one would give my wife a job,” Marty Ginsburg announced, with fresh outrage, at our first meeting.

That wife was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had graduated law school 50 years earlier without a job, and had become a U.S. Supreme Court judge 15 years before the day her husband and I met. And as fresh as his indignation at the bigots who had refused to employ the top-rated graduate because of her gender was his glee at the final reckoning: Who among those chauvinist men had reached her exalted post?Read More


Blessed With Children?

By Viva Hammer

The story is told of an Orthodox man who stepped onto a bus in Jerusalem, eight children in tow. The bus driver, frustrated by all the chaos, barked out at him, “Why didn’t you just leave half your kids at home?” The man paused and then answered, “I did.”It may seem that the Orthodox have been blessed with high fertility since timeRead More


The Land of the Free, for Better and for Worse

By Viva Hammer

Ten years ago, as a recent Australian immigrant, I was initiated into the American rite of Thanksgiving. How outraged I was! Here we were, comfortable Modern Orthodox-ish Jews, sitting down to a turkey repast in a kind of latter-day American Christmas. My hosts were defensive, and confused at my reaction. This wasn’t a Christian holiday,Read More






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    • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
    • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
    • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
    • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
    • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
    • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
    • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
    • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
    • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
    • What do you think?
    • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
    • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
    • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
    • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
    • Backstreet's...not back.
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