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Daniel Gordis

Gentlemen, Bow Your Heads

October 25, 2007, by

“Gentlemen, bow your heads.” Thirty-five years after I used to hear that phrase in Assembly each eighth-grade morning, I still remember the scene clearly. Several hundred of us Middle School and High School students, boys more than gentlemen, in our coats and ties, beginning our day at the private school I attended for a couple

Where Are the Flags?

May 22, 2007, by

For a few days, I thought that perhaps I was misremembering. But as the days after Pesach continued to flow by, it was clear. Something was different. In years past, almost as soon as Pesach was over, the country would be festooned in blue and white. Flags fluttered from the windows of cars everywhere, and

This Place Called Hope

February 8, 2007, by

A couple of months ago, I had an appointment with a new doctor, just hours before I had to fly to the States. We didn’t know each other, this new doctor and I, but he seemed like a nice guy. I was in a rush, and needed to get back home to pack. All I

One Day Forgotten, Eight Worth Remembering

December 28, 2006, by

A street named for a date was pretty unusual in the neighborhood in which I grew up. In fact, it was unheard of. We had street names like Pimlico Road, Greenspring Avenue and Woodvalley Drive, but nothing that I can recall that contained a date. Not far from our apartment in Jerusalem, though, and adjacent

The First War, All Over Again

July 27, 2006, by

This is a different kind of war, and an old kind of war. In the last war, when they blew up buses and restaurants and sidewalks and cafes, Israelis were enraged, apoplectic with anger. This time, it’s different. Rage has given way to sadness. Disbelief has given way to recognition. Because we’ve been here before.

I’m Afraid It Will Be Like This

July 6, 2006, by

Early in the fall, I visited a high school in Sha’ar HaNegev, not far from Sderot and the Gaza border, to interview some students. A while into the conversation, I asked them two questions. “You’ll be middle aged when Israel’s 100 years old,” I told them. “So tell me. As you imagine the future, what