The Human Dreidel
When Mom and Dad have a really juicy tidbit to share that they don't want the kids to hear, they whisper it quietly. If the kids come in the room they change the topic to something boring. Kids pick up the trick. When they are playing with the sensational and forbidden, they keep something ...
Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus
Prisons are hopeless places. With colored TVs, weight piles and Congressional Fair Acts and such, prisons are hopeless places. Go back in time, then they were cellars, one small, barred window. Rats. Other prisoners: who fit in there fine. Who belonged ...
Old Age. Old Wine
Antique sells. Even faux antique sells. "Antiqued" furniture is scuffed and dinged at the end of the assembly line.
Brand-new pewter pitchers are being coated with green stuff called patina. Multi-million dollar homes are built to "have character". If you have no antique, ...
My son the doctor had a son:
he is now a neurosurgeon.
His son is a forest-ranger in Yosemite:
the girl he is not yet married to is not Jewish.
My son the lawyer had a daughter:
she is a senior analyst with Morgan Stanley:
she's forty-three and just met Mr. ...
My father was raised in the Old Country, in a place called Nujoisy, in the town of Elizabeth. His parents had come there from Israel, where he was born. They had come to Israel from Russia shortly before his birth: they had left Russia after my grandfather's father was murdered in a pogrom. My ...
A Torah Of Ink & Parchment & A Torah Of Blood
At twelve, I left Nashville for Pittsburgh's yeshiva. I lived in my grandparents' home; my grandfather was also my teacher.
He once called my class together at the foot of the stairway and started in his Yiddish-accent sing-song: "You know boys, when you are going down steps, you ...
No Hebrews Allowed
"No Hebrews Allowed." It’s the first reference that comes to my mind when I hear us called Hebrews. Okay, I know YMHA means the Jewish YMCA, and HIAS a Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, but still, Hebrew -- when talking about people, not our language – smacks of ...
Teddy Bear Or Eagle? America, What Are You?
This country was founded, settled, defined and furthered by people who left their homes for the unknown. Whether or not they were religious (in the conventional sense) is (and will be) debated by those with agendas. It is unarguable however, that the founders of this country were ...
How long since you had to look inside a math book? Because here's a question that might have got by you:
A down payment on a home costs $5,000.
Housing one brain-damaged man for a year costs $20,000.
How many families lose homes to mental retardation?
Why Are you Going to Yom Kippur Eve Services?
Kol Nidre. Certainly the most attended Jewish prayer of the year. Certainly the most awesome. But why?
The words are pretty mundane, a basic annulment for
misunderstood, haphazardly applied, ill-advised vows
a person may have taken upon themselves.