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Top 10 Signs Your Rabbi Is Also A Boxer

Former Welterweight Champion Yuri Foreman, who gave up the title to Miguel Cotto on Saturday night, will now have more time to concentrate on his rabbinical studies at Iyun Institute in Brooklyn. He will eventually be the first boxing rabbi, but given the inspiration he’s provided to future pulpit pugilists, he won’t likely be the last.

Here are 10 signs that your rabbi may also be a prize fighter.

10. Last guy that walked out during his sermon wound up in a body cast.

Helen Thomas, Israel and a graduation speech that won't happen

Update: JTA is reporting that Thomas has retired, effective immediately.

Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD, a prosperous Washington suburb, had a graduation speaker all lined up for the June 14 event. But then the proposed speaker was caught on camera saying Israels should “get the hell out of Palestine” and maybe just go back where they came from – presumably places like Germany and Poland.

That was Helen Thomas, the Hearst Newspapers columnist and a member of the White House press corps for 60 years.  Her comments produced the predictable reaction, with some Jewish groups calling for Hearst to give her the ax because of her  blatant bias against the Jewish state and some Jewish Republicans trying to lay the controversy in the lap of the Obama administration.

Ambush By Angry Man: What's a Single Woman to Do?

It started out as a lovely Shabbat walk. Who could have anticipated the unexpected ambush?

But as my girlfriend and I rounded the bend I spotted a gentleman I know - albeit vaguely. I had met him and his wife soon after I arrived in Israel around a year ago and liked them both. I probably only saw him since then one or two more times.

So it was only natural that I introduce him not only to my friend, but also to my dog, who had joined us on the walk. “This is Trevor Pickus,” I said.

“That’s pathetic,” he spat. Then he repeated it. “That is so pathetic!” I can only assume that people who give their dogs their surnames are pathetic because it suggests we think they are fully human. Which Trevor is.

Pixies cancel Tel Aviv performance, Elton John still to come

 -The US alternative rock band "Pixies" decided to cancel their June 9 Tel Aviv performance, allegedly in response to the Flotilla incident

The Gaza blockade: what do you do when U.S. and Israel interests aren't in sync?

Update: the New York Times asks  whether talk about Israel as a strategic liability instead of asset is gaining traction in this "Week in Review" article.  It's the New York Times, so look for some strong reactions from pro-Israel leaders in the next few days - and some qu

The BP oil spill and the religion of big oil

A nice column today by the Washington Post's irrepressible Dana Milbank, who takes some pokes at the oil state politicians – mostly Republicans – who claim the BP oil spill was an “act of God,” so there's no point in punishing BP or poking the government's nose into their busi

Weakness Was Invitation: Israel's Appeasement of Turkey Brought The Flotilla

In light of the flotilla, here's an interesting piece looking at Turkish provocations and Israeli roll-overs, from last winter's Azure, "A State In Need Of A Spine." Israel didn't get "credit" or public relations points for appeasement, it got the flotilla disaster, and nothing that came before mattered.. Weakness was what Israel advertised and that worked as well as ever. A prescient piece from February.

An Israel Birthday Party?

This week my almost 7-year-old daughter, Ellie –— eager to keep up with her friend who is having a Greek mythology-themed birthday party —  decided she wants to have an Israel-themed birthday party.

Now I am not generally one for themed parties, mostly because of my utter lack of arts-and-crafts skills and my overall preference, as a busy mom, to eliminate unnecessarily time-consuming activities from my life.

Just Torpedo The Next Flotilla

The beauty of the almost unanimous international condemnation of Israel for attempting to stop the terrorist flotilla like gentlemen -- using paint guns? -- instead of using serious military force, should send a message to Jews: You can't win by being polite to terrorists who have a schoolyard bully mentality. Weakness brings out even more outrageous behavior in bullies.

'Write On For Israel’ Graduates A New Crop, Just In Time

Looking out at the more than 100 people gathered for the eighth graduation ceremony of The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel on Tuesday night, I confided that I never envisioned that the advocacy-through-journalism program for high school students would last this long.

At the outset, nine years ago, I envisioned Write On as an immediate response to the intifada, which was raging in Israel. I thought that the program could and would end when the terrorism and suicide bombing stopped. But I was wrong.

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