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DER YIDDISH-VINKL May 2, 2003

“Dos Naye Lid,” or “The New Song,” is the title of a poem by Abraham Reisen (1875-1953). When written, it did indeed represent a new mood — one of hope in circumstances that seemed hopeless.“The New Song” was also, in the light of human history, an old song. In ancient Greece, there was the myth about Pandora, whoRead More


Diplomats From 40 Nations Dine, Sing ‘Dayenu’ at Seder

By Masha Leon

“This is about as ecumenical as it gets,” master of ceremonies Alan King said at the April 4 festive Boys’ Town of Italy “Ball of the Year” at the Waldorf-Astoria.“They needed laughs, so they hired two Jews,” joshed King, referring to himself and gala chairman Billy Crystal. “I was present at Billy’s bris,” King…Read More


Azazel, the Scapegoat

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Jed stands with the Shabbos congregation, mutters the Amidah by heart while steeling himself for the upcoming Kaddish. He looks over at the Gutmans in the front row, their boy a bar mitzvah today. A good boy, who answered the rabbi’s questions correctly, recited the rules for laying our sins upon Azazel the goat, sending him off into theRead More


Southerners Up North: When ‘Shalom Y’all’ Meets ‘New Yawk City’

the seventh generation,” she said. “And it really struck me. It made me realize how connected I still am. Writing about it is one way that I maintain that connection. Sometimes it feels like I am there even when I’m not.” And even though she doesn’t want to move back, she said she can’t imagine anyplace else ever truly feeling likeRead More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL April 25, 2003

A recurrent feature in the Forverts runs under the title of “Mishpokhe Kheyndlekh” (“Household Humor”). The suggestion is that while sometimes the humor is nutty, it is never smutty. But occasionally there is a bit of borderline humor with a hint of sexual impropriety as in the first of the following selections. (The originalRead More


Mommy Dearest Departed

By Arlene Stein

Over the past 10 years, my brother and I watched our mother lose her mind. Slowly, steadily, the knots in her head expanded, eventually branching out to stem the flow of blood to her brain so that she could no longer walk, talk or fulfill the basic tasks of life.She died a couple of months ago at age 75, not terribly old by today’sRead More


Cooking Fried Chicken on the Upper West Side

By Alicia Zuckerman

When Eli Evans’s wife, Judith, gave birth to their son, Josh, at the New York University Medical Center, Eli held a vial filled with North Carolina dirt in one hand and Judith’s hand in the other. “I did not want him to be born altogether a Yankee. I wanted him to feel some sort of call on himself,” said Evans, author of “TheRead More


In War Time, Talking to Kids About the Shoah

By Aliza Phillips

In a meeting to discuss this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations, the staff psychologist of the Rashi School in Newton, Mass., told the Reform day school’s teachers to “remember that we are in a different world,” according to Shlomit Lipton, Rashi’s interim head.Talking to children about the Holocaust is never easy. ButRead More


Lost Birth Certificate Reveals David Ben-Gurion’s Twin

Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, had a twin brother who died soon after birth, according to a document recently found in Plonsk, Poland, his native town. The document — a birth certificate — was given last week to the head of Ramat Hanegev Regional Council, Shmuel Rifman.Rifman was visiting Plonsk with a youth delegation fromRead More


Rabbis’ Rules on Rice

By Wendy Belzberg

Every year as Passover approaches I wonder why there are so many different points of view about what is acceptable to eat over the holiday. This year I’m asking Wendy: Why can’t I eat rice on Passover? — Sorting the chaff

An accident of birth — or your ancestors’ birth, to be more precise — seems to separate you fromRead More





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