GOOD CATCH: Jason Mesnick, with (from left) Stephanie, Raquel and Natalie, is the first Jewish bachelor on the reality TV show.

Jewish ‘Bachelor’ On Prime Time

Vying for the affection of heartthrob Jason Mesnick, the 25 lady singletons on ABC’s “The Bachelor” went to great lengths to get his attention on the show’s January 5 season premiere. Raquel busted out salsa steps, but Molly cut in. Stacia, Renee and Stephanie played the single mom card, empathizing with the difficulties Mesnick faces in raising a young son alone. Kari read her cringe-inducing poem, “Is There Such Thing as Love at First Sight?” while Shannon eerily flashed her veneers. The husband-hungry gals certainly studied up on their man’s likes and dislikes, with one fan going so far as to recite Mesnick’s MySpace page verbatim (not stalker-ish at all!). But none of the women thought to appeal to Mesnick’s spiritual side — his Jewish roots. The Cleveland-born hunk, who is the show’s first Jewish bachelor, became a man at age 13 and celebrates the High Holy Days with his family. But he has claimed that religion does not inform his relationship decisions.

Rockets From Lebanon Hit Israeli Border Town

Israelis started the day with news that three Katyusha rockets had been fired over the Israel-Lebanon border, landing in the coastal town of Nahariya. One of the rockets hit a nursing home, leaving one resident with a broken leg, one with bruises, and others in shock

Israel’s Stark Choice in Gaza: Cease-Fire or Regime Change?

It was on the third and fourth days of its retaliatory air offensive in Gaza that the fork in the road for Israel became clear: another cease-fire agreement, or regime change.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING: The vice president?s former chief of staff, Lewis ?Scooter? Libby, is among the prominent Jews who may receive a pardon from President Bush.

As Bush Exits, Four High-Profile Felons Hope For Pardons

Even the naughtiest Jews know the commandments against breaking the law. But for those who just couldn’t help themselves, the road to redemption — for the next three weeks, anyway — leads straight through the Oval Office.

A Murder in Yemen Stirs a Tiny Remnant

Unlike many of his more isolated countrymen, Moshe Yaish Nahari, a Yemeni Jew, spent years studying abroad, then returned to act as a leader of Yemen’s ancient but tiny Jewish community. Now, however, the recent murder of Nahari has thrown the fate of Yemen’s Jewish population into doubt.