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David Bogner

Forgetting Jerusalem

May 21, 2009, by

At many Jewish weddings, the custom of breaking a glass is often accompanied by the recitation or singing of ‘Im Eshkachech’: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above

Man Plans and God Laughs… A multi-generational story

May 13, 2009, by

A young man, who had grown up in one of the more insular of Jerusalem’s Hassidic communities, had a plan. He planned to run away; away from the stifling sea of black… away from the rigid religious and cultural formalities… away from the country where he was born. He ran away to America and started

A Question of Loyalty

February 19, 2009, by

This essay may seem strange, coming as it does from an ex-pat American living in Israel who holds dual citizenship. In fact, there are many who make the assumption that Jews – even those who view Israel only as a tourist destination – hold dual loyalties (at best), or are outright disloyal citizens (at worst).

Filthy Jewish Blood

December 31, 2008, by

Here’s a purely hypothetical scenario: You are a soldier on a battlefield, and find yourself locked in hand-to-hand combat with an enemy soldier. During the struggle you manage to wound him badly, rendering him unconscious and in critical condition. Now that he is no longer a threat to you, his status changes such that you

Memories and Lessons From Mumbai

December 4, 2008, by

I returned from Mumbai only a few days before terrorists attacked the very hotel where I had been staying, as well as the Chabad House where I had eaten many meals. Since learning of my narrow escape, my mind has been trying – without success – to make sense of things. Why was I spared

The Many Paths Thanks Can Take

November 26, 2008, by

Many years ago I was in an airport magazine shop and needed something mindless for a flight. I wasn’t looking for anything too heavy… and I settled on a little soft-cover book called Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown. It was a collection of life wisdom that the author had compiled and written

Stumbling Blocks

October 30, 2008, by

One of the most significant stumbling blocks standing in the path of a Jew who is toying with the idea of becoming more religiously observant is embarrassment. Or more correctly, the fear of embarrassment. You see, when viewed from the outside (i.e. from a Ba’al T’shuvah-eye view), religious communities and their intricate customs and institutions

Long in the Tooth

September 4, 2008, by

The title of this essay is actually a folksy expression originally associated with horses. It seems that one of the best ways to get a sense of a horse’s age is to look in its mouth. As a horse gets older its gums recede, exposing more and more of the root… thus making its teeth

Let The Enemy Decide The Rules

July 17, 2008, by

By the time this article is posted the so-called ‘prisoner swap’ will have been completed. But we really need to be honest about this… it wasn’t really a prisoner swap. Prisoners are alive. Only monsters hold dead bodies for ransom…but we have only ourselves to blame for trading live prisoners for dead bodies. One can

The Incomplete Place Setting

July 10, 2008, by

It is disconcerting for a parent to watch as our kids rush headlong towards adulthood. But this weekend I looked around and it is as though someone hit the fast-forward button on all our lives! You see, this weekend is our daughter Ariella’s 12th Birthday, which according to Jewish Law is the date on which