While randomly perusing some Jewish community newspapers this past week, I was struck by the press releases of several Jewish organizations crowing with excited pride about the significant monetary donations they made for victims of the Tsunami.
Hitler's destruction of the Jewish family continued long after the liberation.
Dear Readers: The Torah revolves around one simple concept - treating others in the way you would want to be treated. The following poem gives a glimpse as to why.
I remember a mishap years ago while in first grade and happily swinging on the playground swing during recess.
There are dissenting opinions by health experts globally, especially now, a year later, but it’s not that simple to uproot yourself and go to a less hysterical jurisdiction.
Many of us in North America, even in areas that are usually relatively toasty during the winter months - like Maryland and Washington, DC - are impatiently counting the days until spring and the promise of warmth and sunny days. Even rain is looking good these days.
Having been raised in a home where Yiddish was spoken as often as English, I can say with some confidence that I understand mamaloshen quite well. But I have to admit that the first time a friend, "Chaya" in a tentative, hushed voice, stated that a mutual acquaintance had "yene machlah," I was confused. I knew that she unfortunately had cancer, so why was "Chaya" saying in Yiddish, THAT illness? Why the reluctance to use the actual medical term for the disease. Why not just say it - like when someone has a stroke or a heart attack.
While in New York recently, I was invited to see a performance of "Waiting for Godot" – a multi-layered play on the human condition that I was introduced to in high school. What was fascinating and unique about this particular production was that this renowned play was being performed in Yiddish - with English and Russian subtitles beamed onto a screen for non-Yiddish speakers. (Staged by the New Yiddish Rep, at the Castillo Theatre, and directed by Moshe Yassur, it stars Shane Baker, David Mandelbaum, Rafael Goldwaser, Avi Hoffman and Nicholas Jenkins.)
As Jewish festivals go, Chanukah is one of our favorites – it is quite “user-friendly.” We get a rare green light to travel and cook with no restrictions. We can drive back and forth (no need for our hosts to find sleeping accommodations) and feast with family and friends as we gleefully celebrate the miracle of a rag-tag band of heroes beating the odds. We rejoice over the improbable reality that a few overcame the many; of a bit of burning oil lasting way beyond its “shelf-life.”
Within the last few days, with weeks of summer still ahead of us, I have read and seen news reports regarding very young children who tragically drowned in backyard swimming pools, despite being in relatively close proximity to parents and other adults.
Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.
From time to time, I am asked where I get ideas for my articles. The answer is simple. Just from getting up in the morning and experiencing life.
Back in the fall of 2002, nine years after my initial diagnosis of thyroid cancer - the last four of those being told that I was cured - my doctors discovered a tumor in the area where my thyroid used to be. (My malignant thyroid been removed via surgery.)
Dear Readers, Over the long stretch of Yom Tov, I spent a lot of time in the park (in three different states) while enjoying the antics - some of them hair-raising - of my grandchildren as they swung, slid, jumped and hid. As you can imagine, the park was full of heimishe men, women and children, happy for the opportunity, after three days of being indoors at shul and at the dining room table, to work off excess calories (the adults) and excess energy (the kids).
Every choice comes with potentially life damaging risks.
February/Adar is birthday month in the Kupfer family, with four out of five members born during this period.
The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.
In my previous column I mentioned that a matchmaking initiative called the NASI Project was generating an avalanche of discussions, debates and disagreements regarding its value in effectively dealing with what is referred to in Orthodox communities as the shidduch crisis.
There is an old joke that describes a passerby who sees a man repeatedly hitting his head against a wall. Each time his head hits the wall, the man yelps in pain. Concerned, the first man runs up to him and asks why he keeps banging his head when it obviously hurts when he does so. The man answers, "Because it feels so good when I stop."
When I was a camper way back in the previous century, there was a game we would play called "Capture the Flag".
As I eyed the delicious, calorie-rich dessert buffet at a singles event I recently attended, I surveyed the crowd surging around me, and contemplated what, in the scheme of things was harder to do - lose weight or set people up. Both are very challenging, require a lot of "will" power - combined with tons of resolve, patience - and most importantly, "pep" talking.
This summer there was a big hue and cry over the anti-Jewish rants uttered by a very drunk Mel Gibson after he was stopped by police for driving like a ...drunk - out of control, with an inability to think and judge clearly.
Jews the world over just celebrated our receipt of the Torah and our unconditional acceptance of its precepts.
I was at a recent fundraiser on behalf of Israel's Beit Halochem institutions. In Hebrew, beit halochem means the house of the warrior and that is what these centers are - a home away from home for disabled Israeli soldiers and wounded victims of Islamic terror and violence.
Some of you are looking at the title of my column and wondering two things - why I am writing about B'nai Brith Canada – arguably Canada’s version of the Anti-Defamation League and why would it be of interest to anyone who does not live in that country - as most of you don't.
One of the subjects I was taught as a young child in the excellent day school I attended in Toronto (at the time called Associated Hebrew Day Schools) was Tefillah.
During Yom Tov, the great majority of Jews are surrounded by family, friends and neighbors. Whether in shul or at the table, we share the holiness and festivities that define our holidays with the ones we love and are connected to. The hours fly as we daven, and later feast on a succulent variety of fish and meat dishes, kugels, salads and desserts. The day is full of warmth, color and noise as adult banter mingles with children's chatter.
I know Purim is over, but Megillat Esther is so rich with lessons on how people should live their lives - along with the consequences of not doing so - that I wish to share one of the many wisdoms that I have gleaned from reading it. I believe that the world wouldn't be in the mess it is in - economically, socially and spiritually - if people would only open their eyes to the megillah's masterful insights on how to behave.
In my book, all medical appointments take priority. But just as vital as going to your medical appointment is actually booking one (pun intended) in the first place.
You might think it odd talking about Yom Kippur just days before Purim. But actually that is exactly why I am thinking so fondly of our holy fast day.