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God Bless America: A Response

13 Tammuz 5772 – July 3, 2012
A short response to Tzvi Fishman's (“Felafel on Rye”) recent blog posts on America and Jewish identity.

The Soul of the Stranger

11 Tammuz 5772 – July 1, 2012
From elected officials to people in the street, from the highly educated secular upper class to yeshiva students to the working poor, numerous Israelis seem to share a lexicon and intellectual framework which denigrates and dehumanizes Africans, belittles their suffering, and trivialized their plight.

Why The Newsroom is Good News for Republicans

6 Tammuz 5772 – June 26, 2012
The Newsroom is Aaron Sorkin's sad attempt to win an argument by rewriting history and coming up with all the comebacks that his side couldn't think of two years ago. It's the sad and pathetic spectacle of an ideology creating its own fantasy version of its reality in which it won the argument.

The Great Identity Crisis

17 Sivan 5772 – June 7, 2012
A values-based identity appears to be superior, but it is actually the product of an identity crisis. For example, Jewish assimilation dropped the 'peoplehood' aspect, leaving behind a values-based identity. When liberal Jews express their identity, it is values-based, built around "Tikkun Olam", or "Social Justice". That opens up a hole for someone like Peter Beinart to crawl in with a crisis of Liberal Zionism, a conflict between values-based identity and Jewish survival.

Guard Our Freedom

21 Adar 5772 – March 14, 2012
I oppose the proposed Biometric Law because of how easily it can chip away at a citizen's liberty, without him feeling a thing.

Police: Arab Attack on IDF Soldiers – Case of Mistaken Identity

3 Adar 5772 – February 26, 2012
Police investigating the violent assault on two soldiers on Shabbat in Haifa now believe the attack was not carried out for nationalist reasons, as they originally assumed, but resulted instead from mistaken identity. Still, the accounts of both victims about anti-Semitic slurs that accompanied the brutal blows cannot be brushed aside.

Jews, Mormons, Happiest, Atheists Grumpiest: Gallup

30 Shevat 5772 – February 23, 2012
Assuming 676,000 Gallup survey participants can't be wrong, it's now official: don your best yarmulke, tighten that lovely tichel, pour on those blintzes, kreplach and ponchikes, and trek out to hear the Torah reading every Shabbes – cuz that'll make you the happiest man or woman in America. Unless you belong to LDS, that works, too, apparently…

Youth Overcoming Challenges

14 Shevat 5772 – February 7, 2012
A few weeks ago in these pages you were introduced to Menifa - Leverage for Life, a nonprofit organization based in Israel that works with youth at risk who have dropped out of high school.

What’s In A Name? Everything!

29 Shevat 5771 – February 2, 2011
I once asked my parents why they had named me Chana Malka, and they responded: "We didn't, the rabbis named you." For the longest time, I chose to be content with that answer, but then again, for the longest time I chose to be content with my assumed religious identity, and never felt the need to examine either subject too closely. I am the daughter of two loving parents, a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father.

A Question Of Identity

5 Heshvan 5771 – October 13, 2010
My first visit to Israel in the summer of 1959 coincided to an extent with the trip by Rabbi Aharon Kotler, the great rosh yeshiva of Lakewood, who came to give shiurim at Yeshiva Eitz Chaim in Jerusalem and to campaign for Agudath Israel in the Knesset elections, as he had done previously in the decade.

Are We Ready To Die For Our Values? A Chat With Natan Sharansky

19 Iyyar 5769 – May 13, 2009
Natan Sharansky has been a hero of mine ever since I learned this courageous refusenik refused to be exchanged for two spies without the Book of Psalms he had treasured for nine torturous years in Soviet prisons.

‘Dead’ Mitzvah Acquires New Life

10 Shevat 5769 – February 4, 2009
Techeles, the blue strings the Torah requires Jews to wear on their ritual tzitzis garments, has long been thought of as a "dead" mitzvah. Sometime in the 7th century apparently (possibly due to the Arab conquest of Israel) Jews stopped producing techeles strings and the identity of the chilazon, from which the blue dye originates, was subsequently lost.

The Frog, the Demons, and the Jewish Star

2 Tishri 5769 – October 1, 2008
Perhaps upholding Leviticus 19:31, which insists, "Do not turn to those who worship Ob or to wizards; do not desire to become defiled by them,"

The Un-chosen Artist

13 Tishri 5768 – September 25, 2007
In a 1972 study, Stanley Milgram found that "familiar strangers" who share a repeated experience (like riding the same bus every day) are likelier to communicate when cast into an unfamiliar setting, than are two strangers with no such shared experience.

The Children’s Dynamic

21 Iyyar 5767 – May 9, 2007
As well spouses, we know the effect of chronic illness on ourselves. We know how it robs us of our dreams, our future, even our identity.

Jewperheroes!

2 Tammuz 5766 – June 28, 2006
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.

Self Portrait Of The Artist As A Jew, With A Los Angeles Dodgers Cap....

26 Adar II 5765 – April 6, 2005
There is something very Jewish about R. B. Kitaj's work.

Out-Fiddling The Fiddler ‘The Immigrant’ At Dodger Stages

18 Kislev 5765 – December 1, 2004
Even Alfred Molina's "Tevye" may have sounded more Jewish than Adam Heller's Haskell Harelik in "The Immigrant," but nevertheless, the characterization of Jewish life in this play succeeds with powerful impact.

Amnesia In Color And Line: Inez Storer’s Identity Paintings

29 Elul 5764 – September 15, 2004
Amid the rising action in Disney's "The Lion King," Simba - already a dashing mature lion - follows the monkey, Rafiki, through marshland, until arriving at a loch.

My America – The Long Road

28 Iyyar 5764 – May 19, 2004
The Jewish Museum has a story to tell in "My America: Art From The Jewish Museum Collection, 1900-1955."

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