Politics & Jewish Values

Thursday, September 11th, 2008   The other day, Sen. Barack Obama’s Jewish outreach director, Dan Shapiro, said the Obama campaign will emphasize to Jewish voters that the Democratic Party’s values are “in sync” with “historic Jewish values,” while “John McCain’s values are not.”  

When Hair Was In My Head

 Friday, September 19th, 2008   “Hair,” this summer’s “Shakespeare Festival” productionat Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, closed just last week but there’s talk of it going back to Broadway. Better yet, it should stay in Central Park, rather than be indoors. Outside, “Hair’s” mood matched the open sky, like stumbling upon a cluster of old friends from 1968 under the moon in a clearing amidst the trees.  

Hair, Harry And Hindus

Sunday, September 28th, 2008   In the end, of course, “Hair” is a Broadway musical, a superficial story with superb songs that just happen to be about drugs, dropouts and draft dodging. Some teenagers, from a yeshiva, told an old man (me) that seeing  “Hair” made them wish that they were “activists,” too, like the kids in “Hair,” which is as connected to real life as wanting to be a nanny after seeing “Mary Poppins,” or a horse after “Equus.”  

Nothing ‘Rare’ About Holocaust Torahs

Friday, August 1st, 2008   I’ve been subscribing to a news alert for the word “Holocaust” (amazing how much news there is about something that ended 63 years ago) and a variation of one headline keeps coming up: “Jewish temple in New Bern receives rare Torah scroll restored after Holocaust.” (That from South Florida’s Sun Journal, July 18, 2008).  

First Draft Of A Love Story

Monday, August 4th, 2008 Let’s take a trip to Munkatch in March, 1933, five minutes to midnight .   First stop: The wedding of the Rabinowitz boy to Frime Chaye Rivke Shapira - daughter of the Munkatch rebbe, Eleazer Shapira. The bride was to become the mom of the present Munkatcher and Dinover Rebbes.  

When Oz Landed On Kansas

 Monday, August 18th, 2008   “Well I dreamed I saw A child of God, He was walking along the road…” - Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock”   Last weekend, Aug. 15-18, was the 39th anniversary of Woodstock, at Yasgur’s Farm on Hurd Road, right off Route 17B. I was in Camp Hili that summer, less than a mile away, across White Lake. One could hear Janis Joplin through the clouds in the night.

The Cossacks Are Coming

Friday, August 22nd, 2008 Call me nostalgic, but my favorite part of the Russian-Georgian war was the Cossacks.   In the end, you need your enemy. If the Dodgers disappeared from the face of the earth, Giants fans would be the sorrier. Many college football fans hate Notre Dame but everyone wants to see them play. I’d like to see the Cossacks, provided I’m not dressed like Motle Kamzoil when they come galloping by.  

The Latest Jerusalem Massacre

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008 I’m as sympathetic as the next guy to the idea of a “united” Jerusalem but I love Jews more than I love Arab neighborhoods and meaningless municipal boundaries that have zero historic validity. It’s time to keep those parts of Jerusalem that Jews actually live in and visit, and throw the rest overboard.  

Cooperstown, Carousels And Torah Arks

Sunday, July 6th, 2008 All good Americans, at some point, ought to visit Cooperstown,  a most beautiful village rightfully known for baseball’s Hall of Fame, but if you’re planning a visit, consider an excursion to Cooperstown’s Fenimore Art Museum, about a mile north of the Hall.  
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