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Dad: Separate Sections for Parents, Kids

By Wendy Belzberg

My husband and I are taking our three children to Italy this summer on a family vacation. My husband travels frequently on business and has accrued thousands of frequent flyer miles. He wants to use his miles to upgrade our tickets to first-class while our children fly coach. I am shocked that he could even come up with the idea, much less haveRead More


Loving Neighbors as Yourself

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Kedoshim, is a collection of injunctions, mainly ethical. In the JPS translation, Leviticus 19:18 reads: “Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”W. H. Auden, in an early poem, offers a sly critique of the problems posed by the attempt to put this commandment into practice: “You shall love your crookedRead More


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


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


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





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  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “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:
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