These stories instilled in Matthew a certain character - tough, brash - but not a sense of mission. Not a drive to fight for Israel.
One day in the summer of 1981, when I was still living in Brooklyn, I received a call from Dassie Marcus, a fervent supporter of Israel, the settlement movement, and Gush Emunim.
"All you do all day is threaten that there will be Katyusha rockets landing in Ashkelon.
We began with a website and publications to provide a clear picture of Modern Orthodox ideology.
Back then, our parents and grandparents marched in freezing snow for hours in uniforms and plastic slippers - and survived.
For most of my life, I lived a Clark Kent existence: that of a Jew residing in Manchester, England, intent on blending into the modern, secular world.
There would be Orthodox insiders cautioning, "Be quiet, don't make trouble. We have friends at Federation and we will make a deal."
While I like to flatter myself in thinking that this article was written in response to mine, it more likely took months of painstaking research and had nothing to do with me.
I was in New York on Thursday, May 25, when a banner front-page headline in that week's Forward caught my eye from the newspaper box on the Manhattan street-corner.
Intellectual communication marks the Gemini trait . . . and the green-colored emerald is the gemstone associated with this month.
Unchecked, the 2000 intifada against the Jews inevitably went global.
After Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer posted an anti-Israel polemic on the website of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government - styled as a "research" paper but containing virtually no original research and riddled with extraordinary scholarly lapses - the response of much of the mainstream media in America was admirable.
In 1924 Harry Fischel had occasion to visit the town of Eishishok in Lithuania.
In its turn, the Palestinian street sees in Hamas, the "liberators" of Gaza, the agents of final victory over Israel and votes them into power.
The Israeli election played out in the shadow of the Hamas victory and the creation of an armed Hamas-led fascist state and terrorist army positioned in the suburbs of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The "if in doubt throw it out" attitude that used to be applied to food products is now being applied to Jewish children.
Of course, there are those who say this is a perfectly reasonable system. After all, you don't have to send your children to a religious school.
Over the past four years, other free nations have risen in the broader Middle East. Across that region, the political dialogue has been transformed - and politicians, scholars, students, and men and women from every walk of life are talking about freedom, equal rights, and accountable institutions of government.
Paradoxically, Baruch Mordechai's physique was at odds with his state of mind. He was of tall and powerful build.
With elections less than a month away, many in Israel are concerned and even frightened over the likelihood that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be elected prime minister in his own right.