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Two years ago Mrs. S. was divorced after an unhappy, childless marriage. Now in her mid-60s, she has no interest in finding a new husband. At this time, she told me, she is just beginning to discover herself as an independent adult, and she is reveling in the opportunity to make her own choices on everything from what to cook for dinner to what color to paint the bedroom.
At the end of April 2011, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas reached a formal reconciliation and unification agreement. At that time, Hamas leader Mahmoud Azhar carefully noted the still-unchanged Hamas platform - "no recognition of Israel, and no negotiation." To be sure, this refractory position will become the de jure and/or de facto position of Fatah as well.
There was a time in Israel when any yarmulka was a negative factor in attaining a senior position in a company. When I first arrived in Israel some 38 years ago, the situation for senior religious employees very much reminded me of my days in America when I was looking for a computer job 42 years ago in New York City.
For the past two weeks my column has been devoted to the plight of seniors who find themselves incapacitated and in the unfortunate situation of being placed against their will in nursing homes. For various reasons, their children are unable to care for them or engage proper help to safeguard their well being.
The scenario repeats itself over and over. You read a job listing and with each qualification they desire you become increasingly more excited - this one is in the bag. So you send off your resume and wait with hopeful anticipation that quickly morphs into self-doubting anxiety when that response fails to come. At times it may feel like your resume just sinks to the bottom of a never-ending pile, regardless of how perfect you are for the position. In actuality, however, your resume might not have even made it through the computerized screening process employers utilize, never reaching human eyes. And if it has, it may be one wrong word that landed yours in the recycle bin.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, can be a time of optimism. The observances of the holiday are actually quite therapeutic. Engaging in prayer, charity and repentance clears one's head, and sets us in a position to anticipate a clean slate. We hope for Hashem's blessings for a good year.
It was the first Sunday in April when my son called with the following query: "Abba," he asked. "What's the name of the '80s music group that rediscovered one of Bob Dylan's greatest hits?" I immediately answered him. As it turned out, my son was in a car at the time with a classmate's father and the father's friend.
During the 2006 war in Lebanon, I attended a rally in New York. We were standing in front of the embassy of a particular Middle Eastern nation, peacefully assembled, listening to speakers address the issue of the day. A few people had Israeli flags, maybe a homemade sign here or there. We were passionate about Israel, but we certainly did not constitute what one would call a rowdy crowd.
Instead of explaining its own position, Israel explains the position of its enemies. When is the last time you heard an official Israeli representative simply state that this is our land - without ifs, ands, and buts? Simply put, "The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish nation, period." Has the prime minister made such a statement? Any minister? Perhaps an ambassador?
Last month, Israel lost a very close friend in Alexander Haig. During his confirmation hearings in January 1981for the position of secretary of state, Haig reiterated his commitment to the existing U.S. policy of not dealing with the PLO or other Palestinians opposed to Israel's existence.
Special Note: The author of the following letter is well- known to me. He is a trustworthy young man who had an impressive secular education in the States and gave it all up when he became a ba'al teshuvah and decided to pursue a life of Torah learning in Jerusalem. His wife, who comes from a fine American family that made aliyah many years ago, is equally committed. I know them and can vouch for them. I also know for a fact that this young man is a serious, sincere "learner" whose parents experienced tremendous financial reversals and are not in a position to help in any way, shape or form.
In the world of Orthodox blogs, few are as popular as Hirhurim.blogspot.com, run by Rabbi Gil Student. Visited over four million times since its founding five years ago, Hirhurim - which the Jerusalem Post ranked as the "Best Jewish Religion Blog" in 2005 - features informative, intriguing, and sometimes controversial discussions on halacha, Jewish philosophy, biblical stories, and more.
Special Note: A young girl, struggling with the Angel of Death, wrote the following letter. At her request, the letter was sent to many rabbis and rebbetzinsin a position to disseminate her message among our people. Tragically, she is no longer here to see her letter published, but as we approach Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, her neshamah will surely have an aliyah in the knowledge that her request has been fulfilled and her message read and taken to heart by many.
She believes al Qaeda was an "obscure group" turned into a massive threat due to U.S. policies.
Before you begin preparing for an interview - a word of caution. If you went through this process easily in the past, don't expect a repeat performance. Moreover, if you're still following the advice of gurus like John Crystal and Jeff Allen; don't. Their advice is obsolete. In 2009 there is a new reality, and unless you are mentally and emotionally prepared for it, you're in for a rude awakening.
Years ago, when I was starting out in my chosen profession most people were able to keep the job they had trained for their whole lives. By the year 2000, the picture had changed and it was predicted that people just starting in the work force would change professions at least six times before they retired. They would not just change jobs, but they would have to completely learn something different from their original dream.
Question: Has it been difficult adjusting to American life as a Jewish immigrant?
As we study the Talmud, we come across the names of our great Sages, usually attached to a particular law or halachic position.