The Shmooze


Have a Lice Day

By Wendy Belzberg

My business partner and I work alone in a small consulting company. Our offices consist of two rooms side-by-side with a thin, common wall in between. I close my door whenever I place or receive telephone calls, but my partner listens in and comments as soon as I hang up. Recently he overheard a conversation I was having with a formerRead More


Israel-America Two-for-One Night in N.Y.

By Masha Leon

“In New York, two for one is a great deal,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the audience at the January 21 joint Israel Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic Orchestras’ gala benefit concert. “You got two conductors [Zubin Mehta and Lorin Maazel], two Mehtas [the conductor and his mother, Dehmi Mehta], two orchestras and two mayors,”…Read More


Sometimes a Gift Is Just a Gift

Judaism. “I’m kind of obsessed with Freud,” she said.Her Freud doll has become one of her favorite distractions; she dances with Freud to Destiny’s Child and treats Freud like a teddy bear — sleeping with it every night.“This sounds really insane,” Hernandez said. Yes, go on. “Freud has these felt pants…. Whenever I went to bedRead More


At 28, a Woman Finally Feels Like a Jewish Adult

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

Over the past two months, I’ve been in synagogue on Shabbat four times, way more than normal, because of back-to-back family bar and bat mitzvahs. I was asked to read from the Torah at two of the services, for the first time since my own bat mitzvah 15 years ago.It seems only fitting that I received my taped recordingRead More


No Need To Buy Parents Fancy-Shmancy Condo

By Wendy Belzberg

My parents asked me to buy them a condominium in a swank building. I can afford to do so (even though the amount is not pocket change to me), but I turned them down. My parents have saved up all of their lives and have put aside a sizeable nest egg. They have the financial wherewithal to purchase the apartment for themselves. Since I said no, IRead More


Moses and the Miracles Of Wood and Water

By Burton L. Visotzky

In memory of Martin Luther King Jr., who taught us how to go forward. Our rabbis teach us in a midrash that when God created trees, they were full of pride because of their towering stature. Then God created iron, and those trees that could foresee the axe trembled with fear. “Why do you tremble?” God asked. “No axe can be formed to cutRead More


Does Kiddush-Happy Hubby Need Intervention?

By Wendy Belzberg

On Shabbat my husband drinks almost an entire bottle of wine by himself. He makes kiddush and, after the rest of the family has had their obligatory taste, he polishes off the bottle. Does this mean he is an alcoholic? Should I be concerned? — Bottoms up By all means be concerned. As for whether your husband is an alcoholic, you would knowRead More


Tucking Away Childhood in a Pink Bag

By Sophie Glazer

When our daughters were young my family threw itself zestfully into Jewish observances. We lit candles on Friday nights and said Havdalah. We wrote our own Purim play and made magnificent Esther costumes. We baked Rosh Hashana challah and built a sukkah. The girls went to the temple nursery school, religious school and children’s services. OurRead More


Beware of the Hardening Heart

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Bo, describes the last three plagues: locusts, darkness and the slaying of all the firstborn of Egypt. Is it conceivable that Pharaoh’s stiff-necked, self-destructive behavior, so vividly portrayed in the story of the plagues, could be interpreted in such a way as to actually have lessons for ourselves? IRead More





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  • J.J. Goldberg doesn't usually respond to his critics. But this time, he just had to make an exception.
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