How do you sum up 500 years of Sephardic history in just a couple of illustrations? That’s the challenge Kurt Hoffman had to answer in the pages of the Forward.
Aristides Sousa Mendes is a man in search of his past. His grandfather is lionized for rescuing Jews from the Nazis in Portugal — but it wasn’t always that way.
Jewish day school graduates mostly want to study the Holocaust. A college lecturer asks if they should focus more on cultural empowerment, like their classmates from other groups.
Well, here it is, Saturday night. Some time around 8:30 I observe that Shabbes is over, so I crank up the old laptop to see what’s new and catch up with my Forward fan mail. My latest column on Palestinian statehood had some pretty lively back-and-forth going on as of Friday evening, and I’m eager to see what new pearls of Torah have been shared while I was off-line.
The news this week is chock-full of outrage over the Israeli naval action that Turkey and others are calling an act of naked piracy on the high seas. And in the week’s other top story, by incredible coincidence, the oil slick oozing across the Gulf of Mexico made its first major landfall Thursday at, of all places, Grand Isle in Barataria Bay at the mouth of the Mississippi, 15 miles south of New Orleans. Barataria and its three islets are probably best known as the place where a private kingdom was established around 1800 by the greatest Jewish pirate of them all, Jean Lafitte.