Category: General

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The Power of a Place

Somewhere on earth there may be a more fractious, violent, convulsed and combative place than the Iraqi city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad. But it’s not likely. Currently, Fallujah is...

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Letter in the New York Times

The Opinion Pages | LETTER Single-Sex Swimming Pool JUNE 6, 2016 To the Editor: Re “Everybody Into the Pool” (editorial, June 1): Far from being “unmoored” from the Constitution, offering...

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Ferry Tale

Sitting among other commuters in the cavernous terminal, waiting for the next ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan, I sensed some commotion in my periphery. Looking up from my reading,...

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And the Winner Is…

“Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser,” the famous, and famously blunt, General George S. Patton declared in a 1944 speech. “When you were kids,” he explained,...

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From the Mouths of Mexicans

I’ll call him Pedro; maybe it’s even his name. He seems to be a custodian of some sort for a shul – though I have no idea where it might...

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Happy Meals, Jewish Style

There’s something – and something Jewish, as it happens – to be said for willfully denying ourselves foods, at least at times. An article I wrote for the excellent site...

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What We Build and What We Are

As the 93rd takes place, the 78th comes to mind. Agudath Israel of America’s national conventions, that is. The 93rd gathering is featuring a constellation of topics and speakers, include...

Pezibear / Pixabay

Buried Treasure in Tokyo

At a news conference last week, Satoshi Omura, a Japanese researcher and one of three scientists who had just won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, made a comment...

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

Govrov Selichos, 1939

This time of year in 1939, in a Polish town called Ruzhan, a 14-year-old boy had his plans rudely interrupted. The boy, who, fifteen years later, would become my father,...

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Atticus and the Yomim Nora’im

The American 1960 classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” was in the news this summer, the result of the publication of an earlier version of it, a sequel in reality, that...

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Spaced Out

“Are we alone?” asked the oversized headline of a full page ad in the New York Times last Tuesday. “Now is the time to find out,” it answered itself. The...

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In Judaism, Love Doesn’t Always Win

In their rejoicing over the recent Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision, various Jewish groups grievously misrepresented Judaism. An essay of mine about the Jewish religious tradition’s true take on homosexuality...

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Who’s In Charge?

Some of us can remember when taking a plane was a pleasant experience, even exhilarating. Those days, of course, are long gone. It used to be – if “good old...

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Appraising Children

The teaser headline on a Business Insider article — “The ultimate status symbol for millionaire moms on New York’s Upper East Side is not what you’d expect” — is explained...

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Bias Ne’eman

By now, with a couple of decades of monitoring media on behalf of Agudath Israel behind me, I really shouldn’t be surprised by examples of journalistic bias. But there are...