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DER YIDDISH-VINKL June 20, 2003

If ever, dear reader, you are saddened by the state of the world and are looking for something to bring a smile to your face, Der Vinkl’s recommendation is to turn to any one of the several booklets of Yiddish humor compiled and edited by Ruth Levitan. As an example, what follows is a short, short tale drawn from her volume titled “Lakht aRead More


Not My Father’s Fathering: A Pledge

By Bruce Stockler

When I was a boy, my father was either absent or screaming, a lose-lose dialectic that forged my resolve to grow up to become a different kind of man. In the intervening decades, though, struggling to carve out my niche in the world, I rarely thought about fatherhood or children. But then, when I was 34, my son Asher was born, and, in a way,Read More


A Weighty Matter Strains a Father and Son’s Close Ties

By Max Gross

About a year ago an Israeli friend of mine called my parents’ house looking for me. “So what are you Israelis doing about the settlements?” demanded my father, a fervent believer in complete Israeli withdrawal from every last corner of the West Bank and Gaza.“I’m not doing anything,” my friend said.“Well, you should!” my fatherRead More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL June 13, 2003

Al Grand is well known to many readers for his Yiddish translation of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Grand’s works have been performed around the country by a troupe of which he is a chorus member. His attachment to the Savoyards, as Gilbert and Sullivan are often called, is so deep that his e-mail address is “Savoyid.”But,Read More


Mapping the World of Spices

Salt, of course, does not come from a plant (it is not vegetable but mineral) and so cannot be considered a spice; still, as the most prevalent seasoning agent the world over — among Jewish and non-Jewish cooks alike — it deserves at least a brief mention in this context. There are many varieties of salt, from sea salt to iodized table salt;Read More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL June 6, 2003

On the occasion of Israel’s celebration of its Independence Day, the Forverts devoted its “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry” page to several selections of poetry on the theme of the Israeli state. One of these was by H. Leivick who lived in Israel at the time of the historic Israeli Declaration of Independence. What follows is a transliteration ofRead More


JUDAIKITSCH

Shavuot is a great holiday. There’s no fasting and no scouring the house for crumbs. All of its customs are fun ones: You decorate with flowers, eat cheesecake and stay up past your bedtime. It’s sort of like Jewish graduation night, only without the spiked punch and bad DJ.That’s not to say it’s all frivolity. Shavuot marks the givingRead More


Floral Arrangements Make Shavuot Memorable

Mount Sinai Memo Board Good craft glue

16 x 20-inch cork bulletin board

16 x 20-inch piece of AstroTurf (available at hardware stores)

Push pins

12 silk flowers

12 straight pins 1. Spread lots of glue all over the cork surface of the bulletin board and the back of the AstroTurf.2. Place AstroTurf on bulletin board, pressingRead More


The Truth About Tatele: Fatherhood Is Very Sexy

By Marjorie Ingall

Jonathan owns bedtime. The ritual’s always the same. He holds Josie upside down so that she can pat the kitty good night. He changes her diaper and puts her clothes in the laundry bag. “What’s this?” he asks as he holds up her yogurt-stained shirt. She proudly yells, “Launny!” Then he puts eczema cream on her rashes and moisturizer…Read More


Soros Gets Boos for Using YIVO Stage as Political Platform

By Masha Leon

It was “Budapest at the Pierre [Hotel]” for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research’s May 13 benefit dinner honoring architect Moshe Safdie and Imre Kertész, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize for literature. As Hungarian musicians and dancers entertained, diplomats from Hungary, Austria and Lithuania and 470 YIVO guests (who raised $1 million…Read More





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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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