Blogs
12/18/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

It is difficult, if not impossible, to walk into a store at this time of year without being subjected to mind-numbing Christmas Musack playing in the background, just soft enough that you can speak over it, but also just loud enough that you can’t help but hear it. I assume that the intention is to put shoppers in the “Christmas spirit,” and make them spend more. I doubt that it has any positive effect in that regard. The message, though, comes through loud and clear in ways both liminal and subliminal: “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute.”

12/16/2014 | | Staff Writer | Lens
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Chanukah, which began at sundown on Dec. 16, is considered a minor holiday in Judaism, but Israelis have adopted several traditions to make sure it is observed.

12/16/2014 | | Staff Writer | The JW Q&A
Itamar Marcus: Monitoring the Palestinian media indicates what will happen on the Palestinian “street.”

Itamar Marcus is director of Palestinian Media Watch, a nonprofit that examines Palestinian ideology and policy. He founded it in 1996, and three years later the Israeli government appointed him its representative in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on incitement. Born in New York and now a resident of Efrat on the West Bank, he was interviewed here while on a speaking tour for the pro-Israel group StandWithUs. This is an edited transcript.

12/16/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote
Elicia Brown

I can’t quite recall what I expected of middle age, but it didn’t involve endless worry: The precarious health of beloved relatives; the anxiety of maintaining our financial well being; the challenge of bringing shalom bayit to our nuclear family.

12/16/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel
The red rocks of the Senoran desert loom over Sedona.  Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago, when a series of health crises sent me into a whirl of alternative-medicine panaceas — meditation, chi gong, hypnosis — a friend laughed and told me, “Sounds like soon you will be living in Sedona.”

12/15/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person
Merri Ukraincik

Halloween was the furthest thing from my mind when I scheduled an appointment with the banjo repair guy for Oct. 31. As usual in our observant Jewish neighborhood, there was not a pumpkin or goblin in sight when the day arrived. No costumed revelers rang our bell in search of treats. But of course, I knew. 

12/12/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

My wife Robin and I are blessed with four children; as she is fond of saying, we have “one of each.” In raising them, we have come to understand the true miracle of creation.

12/11/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person
Merri Ukraincik

Halloween was the furthest thing from my mind when I scheduled an appointment with the banjo repair guy for Oct. 31. As usual in our observant Jewish neighborhood, there was not a pumpkin or goblin in sight when the day arrived. No costumed revelers rang our bell in search of treats. But of course, I knew. 

12/09/2014 | | Staff Writer | Lens
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The Israeli flag wasn’t raised at the World Swimming Championships in Qatar that ended this week — no Israeli athletes reached the medals stand.

12/09/2014 | | Staff Writer | The JW Q&A
Bruce Feiler: Brings his worldwide pilgrimages to PBS audience. Via Brucefeiler.com

Bestselling author, New York Times columnist, writer-host on PBS, Bruce Feiler is back at what he does best — traveling the world looking for a spiritual message, then sharing the results. “Sacred Journeys,” a six-part series that documents the paths of “contemporary pilgrims,” premieres on PBS on Dec. 16. Feiler spoke with The Jewish Week by email. This is an edited transcript of the interview.