Fast Forward


DER YIDDISH-VINKL July 18, 2003

A recurrent feature in the Forverts is titled “Mishpokhe Khendlekh,” which may be roughly translated as “Household Humor.” In other words, it is humor fit for the mishpokhe. Indirectly, it makes a point: One can be funny without being smutty.What follows are two such delightful stories. (The column is edited by Rukhl Schaechter.) TheRead More


Confronting In-Law’s Mean Streak

By Wendy Belzberg

I converted to Judaism 12 years ago when I married my husband. Still, my mother-in-law never misses an opportunity to refer to me as “the shiksa.” Enough is enough. How do I let her know that her remarks are hurtful and offensive?

— The convert’s lament If she weren’t your mother-in-law I might suggest responding in kind with aRead More


The Honor of Sacrifice

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Strains of the “Ma Tovu” — “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob; Thy dwellings, O Israel!” — filtered from the human synagogue to the nearby barn. The flock’s elder, a white ram, turned to the kids and lambs, bullocks, calves and colts sitting up front on the hay: “In this week’s parsha, Chukat, we learn how Moses disobeyed theRead More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL July 11, 2003

The columns in the Forverts titled “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry” observed the 65th anniversary of Abraham Liessin’s death. He was born in Minsk in 1872 and studied at several outstanding yeshivas. But he reached out to the secular world and to the young radicals who idolized him, secretly distributing his incendiary poems and articles from handRead More


The Raw Truth About Lox

This is the strange truth of the modern American brunch: On any given Sunday morning, the majority of people who purchase “lox” to accompany their bagels and cream cheese are not, in fact, getting lox. They may ask for lox, the product may even be labeled as lox and they very well think they are enjoying lox, but what they are getting,Read More


Meet the Man Who Brought Baseball Into the Strike Zone

By David Davis

Marvin Miller threw a curve ball into baseball history — and sports history — shifting the sport’s balance of power irrevocably. He made his entrée back in the days when baseball players were treated as chattel — making four-figure salaries, not eight — and labor unions had no place in sports. By the time he made his exit,Read More


Meet the Man Who Brought Baseball Into the Strike Zone

Secular summer holidays are great. You barbecue and watch fireworks. Jewish summer holidays, however, aren’t quite as much fun. You fast; you pray — bring on the good times.The first of them, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, is right around the corner, on July 17. For the three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av,Read More


A Lyrical Tribute at Songwriters Awards

By Masha Leon

“Let the world know who writes the songs!” proclaimed Hal David, chairman and CEO of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, at the June 12 Induction Ceremony & Awards Presentation of the National Academy of Popular Music.“Often the songwriters’ genius goes unrecognized by the public,” said Martin Bandier, chairman and CEO of EMI Music and…Read More


From Member of the Family To Member of the Tribe?

By Rachel Zuckerman

Burberry raincoats, designer biscuits, health insurance and therapy just aren’t enough for some canines. Fidos and Fifis are now bounding — or being dragged? — up the evolutionary ladder. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s leading whom.So why stop at “member of the family” when there’s “member of the tribe”?Enter the “BarkRead More


Girlfriend-Pianist’s Lovesong Needs Tuning

By Wendy Belzberg

— Looking for lessons

For the past six months I have been dating a woman I am seriously considering marrying. She is an accomplished pianist, and I spend many evenings at her house listening to her play while I read. I thought it would be nice if I also learned to play. My girlfriend has offered to teach me, but she wants to chargeRead More





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  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
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