Chametz vs. Matzah
Matzah. Thin, flat bread: either identical, square-shaped crackers if they are machine-made, or round, varying personalities if they are baked in the original fashion.
If you want to gage an American Jewish community, Ben Gurion is purported to have said, don’t bother checking out their synagogues and centers. See if they have a kosher restaurant. He could have been talking about Pesach. Forget about what’s going on in shul or who is ...
My grandmother came to America -- from Russia with a four-year stopover in Israel -- around 1930. She, with her husband and two infant boys, settled in a Jewish neighborhood in New Jersey. The older boys in the neighborhood welcomed them by snatching their yarmulkes off their heads.
Why did Bubby always say that? And does it really have to do with the evil eye? Is this evil eye a cousin of walking under ladders with black cats on the Friday the thirteenth? The answers, in order, are: Because she loved you. Yes, but with an explanation. No.
Sleep is not a delicate or romantic. We slobber. We belch. We mess up freshly-pressed linen. We mutter senseless, groggy drivel. And all those contour pillows, satin duvets, imported headboards and lacey skirting -- try as they might -- can't hide the fact that we, thinking, ...
Why Jews Like Gold
Granted gold has some practical applications: photography, conducting electricity and other things we remember as vaguely vital. But that is not gold. That is not gold's worth, that is not why people have been gaga over it for as long as we can remember.
My Son the Doctor
"My Son the Doctor", and "Oh Doctor have I got a daughter for you", were the two most eligible bachelors in the American Jewish community for over half a century, from the old neighborhood and on over in the move out to the suburbs. Now we've heard so ...
The Bargain and the Jew
The story you are about to read is true. Some names have been changed to protect the guilty. Some names have been omitted to protect us from the grumpy. The story first started thousands of years ago, when the world was young. . .
Kobe, Brooklyn, and Egypt
"My grandson made a seder in Kobe!" "150 people!" "In Kobe Japan!" "My grandson!" I was on a trip back to Brooklyn several summers ago, and had met up with one of the elders of the Crown Heights community. A butcher by trade. Polish born. He had stopped me in ...
L'Chaim to Chutzpah!
Taking the Jews out of Egypt was the easy part for G-d; he's in the miracle business. Taking the Egypt out of the Jews, now that's hard. And Egypt was very into the Jews, the Pharaohs had enticing culture and entertainment (abomination in both sleazy and non-sleazy flavors); the Jews ...