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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


Meet the Next Iman, Israel’s Hottest Model Citizen

By Aliza Phillips

In Israel, Esti Mamu stands out in a crowd — especially when the crowd is made up of the country’s top models. For while British-born Naomi Campbell and Somalia-native Iman long ago set a new standard of beauty in the American and European fashion industry, black models like Mamu are still largely invisible on the Israeli scene.Mamu, aRead 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


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





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  • "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
  • 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
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