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Editorial & Opinion | Jew By Voice

04/01/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Jew By Voice

You know the biblical saying, “There is no prophet in his own town?” It means that people never listen to experts in their own area. Sometimes it refers to geography, sometimes to philosophy. People don’t trust local experts because we know them already. Answers lie elsewhere. Outsiders can get an aerial view of a situation — the balcony perspective — because they are not dragged down by local politics or the invisible limitations that organizations and individuals put on themselves. There is wisdom in this view, of course, but our use of outside experts can also be an excuse for not doing enough to utilize the people around us.

03/04/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Jew By Voice

I went to the bakery to place an order for my bubbe’s birthday cake. The baker scribbled the date on his pad, “Whadya want on the cake?” “Something simple would be fine, like ‘Happy 100th Birthday.’” He looked up to see if I was serious. “We’ll make her something really nice.”

02/04/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Jew By Voice

Editor’s Note: A version of this essay appeared in The Jewish Week Gala Journal in December.

Rabbi Judah, a Talmud scholar and scribe was once asked by Rabbi Yishmael to name his profession. Rabbi Judah told him that he was a scribe. Rabbi Yishmael responded: “Son, be careful in your work for it is the work of Heaven. If you omit a single letter or add a letter, you destroy the whole world.”

12/31/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Jew By Voice

A few weeks ago, my housekeeper forgot to take her check on the kitchen counter. I called her frantically; perhaps she thought we forgot to pay her. She simply forgot. It was her problem. No, I said, it was our problem. “Justine, it says in the Bible that you have to pay someone on the day.”

12/03/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Jew By Voice

Mid-point in 5774, we are about to close 2013, so it’s a great time to look back on major and not-so major Jewish events and notables of the year past. Take a deep breath and sigh, and we will begin with Israeli elections in January of 2013. Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu surfaced as the largest coalition, and we welcomed some new faces to the 19th Knesset.

10/29/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Jew By Voice

Today’s airline industry has suspended reality as we know it. Some months ago, I was told that my wooden garden ornament was a weapon when it was actually a large wooden tulip with a stem. TSA would not let me through. I have to speak to the NRA about this.