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Idol Worship

When we were kids, I wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps. Now, as adults, I’m reminded why.


When I was 3, I had a 10-year-old brother, and deep in my heart I hoped that when I grew up, I’d be just like him.

Not that I stood a chance. My big brother had already skipped two grades and had an enviable understanding of everything, from atomic physics and computer programming to the Cyrillic alphabet. Around that time, my brother began to develop a serious concern about me. An article he read in Haaretz said that illiterate people are excluded from the job market, and it bothered him very much that his beloved 3-year-old brother would have a hard time finding work.

Twins and their older sister, bound for Israel, DP Camp Neue Freiman, Munich, Germany 1949. AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION

Editor’s Note


As the youngest of three sisters, I agree wholeheartedly with Miriam Arond, who writes in this issue that sisters are one of the great gifts of life. In these fall weeks when the cycle of Torah readings turns to the stories of Genesis, Text/Context investigates the deep and complicated relationships among siblings. In a terrific new book of essays, “Freud’s Blind Spot: Writers on Siblings” edited by Elisa Albert, novelist Nellie Herman writes, “The story of my siblings is the story of who I am.”

PHOTO BY MICHAEL DATIKASH. Danya and Kira, 2010.

Text Context October 2010: Siblings

How good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony.
— Psalms. 133: 1


“Am I my brother’s keeper?” is perhaps the best known line about siblings. This month, Text/Context investigates the deep bonds between sisters and brothers, how sharing parents can lead to friendship and love, rivalry and complications, high drama too. Our writers look to the Bible, to literary history and to personal experience.

Text/Context: Siblings

Breaking A Sweat, In Public

Israelis are flocking to outdoor fitness centers that have cropped up
in parks and beaches. Who needs a personal trainer?

Israel Correspondent

J erusalem — As it usually does during the intermediate days of Sukkot, Gan
Sacher, Jerusalem’s largest park, attracted large numbers of Israelis late last month. But they weren’t all picnicking and relaxing. Some were pumping iron. Others were logging miles on rowing machines and stationary bikes. Still others were
breaking a sweat on steppers and gliders. Throughout the holiday period, the park was
filled with families — secular, traditional and haredi Jews (the latter dressed

Municipalities all over Israel have installed public fitness centers in parks, community centers and beaches.

Rare Genetic Disease Didn’t Deter Family

Warburg-Walker Syndrome ‘blindsided’ Toronto Jewish couple
but Ashkenazi mutation also stiffened their resolve for children.

Special To The Jewish Week

Once Randi Chapnik Myers gave birth to a healthy son in 1996 and a healthy daughter in 1998, she and her husband, Rob, figured that the developmental defect that affected her pregnancy in 1995 was just a fluke. That fetus, a girl, was found to have severe hydrocephalus (water on the brain) at 20-weeks gestation, and the Myerses were told that she stood no chance of surviving beyond birth. They decided to terminate the pregnancy.

Randi Chapnik Myers with her husband and children.

House Resolution Aims To Help Holocaust Survivors

Staff Writer

(JTA) — The House of Representatives has introduced a resolution aimed at helping Holocaust survivors in the United States in need of in-home care.
U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a resolution Sept. 29 to raise awareness of the social service needs of Holocaust survivors — specifically the need for them to be able to age in place.

New Centers Open At Methodist Hospital

Staff Writer

A Comprehensive Back and Neck Pain Center has opened at New York Methodist Hospital. The center, which will offer diagnostic and treatment options for disorders of the spine, will emphasize such non-operative options and physical and occupational therapy, medication management, injections and bracing, as well as radiation therapy for metastatic cancer of the spine.
For information: (718) 369-BACK

Stronger Antibiotic Being Developed

Staff Writer

Dr. Micha Fridman of Tel Aviv University’s department of chemistry is developing what he calls the next generation of antibiotics, which will eb able to combat drug-resistant “superbugs.” The medication, whose research was conducted in collaboration with Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova of the University of Michigan, is based on turning antibiotics’ bacterial resistance against itself.

Hebrew U. Treatment Effective Against HIV Virus

Staff Writer

Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem may have “groundbreaking implications” for eradicating the HIV virus, according to the school’s research team, the university announced. The treatment, which destroys HIV-infected human cells in laboratory cultures, targets only infected cells without damaging adjacent healthy cells.

Advances In Kidney Disease Research

Staff Writer

Israeli researchers have isolated a genetic mutation, and genetic patterns in the ancestry of Jews from the Near East, which can be used to combat kidney disease. The work, led by nephrologists Karl Skorecki of the Rambam Medical Center, may lead to a treatment for people who now require dialysis.

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