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“You’re Going the Wrong Way!”

November 9, 2017, by

The Time magazine headline made me chuckle: “Runner Wins Marathon After Competitors Totally Ran the Wrong Way.” I had visions of silly marathoners paying the just price for their own foolishness but upon reading the article it turned out that such was not the case. Italian runner Eyob Faniel, took first place in the Venice

I’m a Jew and I’m Proud

November 9, 2017, by

Earlier this month a famous Jewish comedian was on television and made some very inappropriate jokes about Am Yisrael. While the media made a big deal regarding his belittling of The Holocaust, other parts of the act received less attention.  But the ones which I personally found to be the most obscene got the least

A Family’s Faith in the Face of Loss

November 8, 2017, by

For most of us, October 8 was a regular day. It was the Sunday of chol hamoed but otherwise unremarkable. That’s how it started out for the Rosenthal family of Santa Rosa, CA, whose day culminated with dinner in their succah. Little did they suspect that mere hours later, everything would change. It was 3:30

Celebrity Selfies on Shabbos

November 7, 2017, by

This article originally appeared on Torah Musings I. Celebrity Selfies This past Motza’ei Shabbos, Jewish social media was buzzing because a famous non-Jewish comedian posted a selfie with Jewish students walking in Manhattan, with a note that they could not take the picture themselves because of the Sabbath. We later learned that the picture was

Anne Frank vs. Italian Soccer

November 2, 2017, by

It was one of those news stories that makes you ask, “What year is this?” Last week, fans of the Italian soccer team called Lazio posted stickers around Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. The stickers depicted Anne Frank wearing the shirt of Lazio’s rivals, Roma, along with various anti-Semitic slogans. Calling the rival team Jews was not

The Shabbos Project: When One Candle Inspires Another

October 26, 2017, by

The Shabbos Project. Ever since I saw the video about how the South African Jewish community, most of whom are not observant, came together to try out a Shabbos, I’ve been gripped by the idea. The pictures of hundreds of Jewish women baking challah on the streets of Johannesburg and the thousands that attended the

Why We Circumcise

October 25, 2017, by

When I was in high school, I had a rebbe who told the following story. When Elvis was popular, someone told him, “You must be happy.” The reason was because the boys were all emulating the singer’s hairstyle, which included sideburns. The result was that the students in his classes weren’t cutting their payes, in

Famous First Words

October 25, 2017, by

Perhaps the most famous “first words” in literature are those of Ishmael, narrator of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick. “Call me Ishmael,” he said. Not terribly profound, perhaps, but somehow memorable in its simplicity. Let’s look at the first words by which some other famous characters have been introduced to the world. “Is the

54 in 1: Laining for the Cycle

October 24, 2017, by

As is the case with virtually every ba’al k’riyah with whom I have “talked shop,” I too began laining (reading the Torah) within a couple of months after my bar mitzvah, initially taking on one aliyah every week or two, until I worked my way up so that right before college, I was able to

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