Blogs
Posted: Thu, 07/10/2014 - 18:14 | Well Versed

As reported last week, a 1954 handwritten letter from Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog to the author of the book “Judaism in Islam” was offered at auction by Kestenbaum & Company. A private collector in Los Angeles, Alan Stern, bought the letter for $9000.

Posted: Thu, 07/10/2014 - 14:43 | The New Normal

Part One

Time:  About 2245 on the Jewish calendar (3500 years ago.)
Place:  Hebron, Israel

Poor Dan!

Eleven of Jacob’s twelve sons had two or more children.  Benjamin had ten!

The twelfth son, Dan, had one son, Chushim, who was deaf.  Like many parents today, Dan might have worried, “What will be the future of my disabled child?”
 
The phrase “special needs child” hadn’t been invented yet.  On his own, Chushim, trying to be ordinary, would communicate “What’s going on?” when he didn’t understand a situation.

Posted: Wed, 07/09/2014 - 16:56 | The New Normal

Much ado was made last November, when the rare overlapping of Thanksgiving and Channukah captured the fascination of the Jewish (and much of the secular) world.    Some of us soaked up every ounce of the hype, while others found it overwhelming but when it was over a certain remorse was felt over the fact that it would be 57 years before the two holidays would overlap again (and thousands of years before the two days would overlap in their entirety).

Far less heralded or noticed than Thanksgivukkah has been the quirk in the Jewish calendar that will make this Sabbath (July 12) a "last time for a generation" occurrence.   In most years, Parshat Pinchas falls during the three weeks leading up to the 9th of Av which means that the assigned Haftarah is superseded for a special seasonal reading.

Posted: Mon, 07/07/2014 - 17:13 | Well Versed

There are two things you should never discuss: politics and religion.

However, those are really the only two things worth talking about.

Posted: Mon, 07/07/2014 - 13:38 | Well Versed

I don’t often swoon in public, but the Morgan Library’s current exhibition “Marks of Genius: Treasures from the Bodleian Library” left me breathless.  It was dizzying, standing before 57 magnificent artifacts representing 2,000 years of intellectual and artistic accomplishment, from cultures, countries and religious traditions that ranged from around the world in place and time.  And among them are several of particular Jewish interest.

Posted: Fri, 07/04/2014 - 10:09 | Political Insider

Right now Speaker John Boehner's plans to sue President Obama for not enforcing the laws as the Republican leader thinks he should is a political ploy he may hope will serve to derail pressure in his caucus for impeachment, but it is one that can easily escalate because the inmates are running the asylum.