"Russell Stone is a rabbi at a poor synagogue in New York City. He is a devout man with a problem. Membership is way down and he lacks the funds to keep his synagogue open. Things are looking very bleak, and he has grown progressively more cynical and bitter with the passage of time. Just as he is on the verge of packing it all in, he receives some interesting news. A former member of his congregation has died and left the rabbi a significant amount of money. A blessing? Or the start of something far more sinister? Can Rabbi Stone just accept the money and move on? His conscience says no. Step into his shoes as he travels all over Manhattan in his attempt to uncover the truth."
Levi Aron, the Brooklyn store clerk who pleaded guilty to killing 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.
Aron, 37, was sentenced Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He did not address the court.
He pleaded guilty earlier this month to kidnapping, killing and dismembering Leiby near his home in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn in July 2011. Aron's attorney at first had attempted to pursue an insanity defense; Aron reportedly has a history of mental illness.
Much like my parents remember the day JFK was shot, I remember the day Tupac died. I grew up a hip-hop fan, and still am, and remember vividly my rapture with the Harlem-born, Los Angeles-based rapper. For me Tupac had all the qualities I still admire in poets, which have now only been transfigured on to more "respectable" literary models: defiance, brashness, charm, a temerity bordering on recklessness. So you can imagine how I felt when he was murdered in Las Vegas back in 1996.
Earlier this week the Israeli-Arab actor and peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis, 52, was shot dead, presumably by Palestinian militants. The New York Times had a moving story about the funeral for Mer Khamis held on Wednesday, reporting that the Israeli government allowed his coffin to be taken briefly to the edge of a West Bank checkpoint. They made the gesture so his Palestinian supporters could pay their respects, as they were not permitted to go to his burial inside Israel.
The horrific stories of children mass-murdering their classmates has, until now, arrived with postmarks from obscure towns ó Littleton, Colo., Pearl, Miss., Jonesboro, Ark., Springfield, Ore., Paducah, Ky. ó whose very names bespeak a psychological and geographic distance from our hometown Jewish schools.
But the fallout from the most recent school massacre has stimulated a discussion among Jewish teachers about whatís been happening ìout there,î and just how close is the madness, really?