As the story goes, a visitor to the Biblical Zoo in Israel was amazed when he approached the cage of the wolf and the lamb. There they were, peacefully resting near each other, calling to mind the prophecy of Isaiah, who imagined messianic times of peace.
“How is it possible to have a wolf and lamb live together?” the visitor asked the zookeeper.
“Simple,” the zookeeper said. “Every day a new lamb.”
And so it is in the Mideast, where appearances of stability give way to predators and daily bloodshed.
Yossele Rosenblatt was the most famous chazzan (or, cantor) of his era, known as “the Jewish Caruso.” After arriving in America from Europe a century ago, he not only led services around the country before settling in New York, but also earned large sums for concerts and sang in “The Jazz Singer,” the first talkie.
Until I was 10 or 11 years old, I didn’t realize you had to pay to go to the movies. That’s because our family didn’t.
As one of the perks of being a rabbi in a small town, my dad had a clergy pass for the family, allowing us to go to any of the three movie theaters in Annapolis, Md., any time. And since there wasn’t much for a kid to do in town in those days, I went often, seeing each of the movies playing at least once, and sometimes twice. Often with my brother or my friend, Michael, the son of the cantor, since his family, too, had a clergy pass.