Adam Dickter's Continuum

Ten Republican Questions For Kagan

 Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is scoring points for grace with her witty comeback during confirmation hearings to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's oddly non-sequitur question "Where were you last Christmas?"

To her credit, the solicitor general defused the situation by saying she was likely eating at a Chinese restaurant, to which Graham answered "Great answer."

She has also had to contend with questions that stress her Upper West Side origins and her admiration of an Israeli jurist.

Expect more fireworks.

Making Waves For Gilad Shalit

On Thursday, a small "flotilla" of boats will make their way down the Hudson River and up the East River to the U.N. to call attention to the plight of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier imprisoned by Hamas for what will soon be four years. What's the point, some people will ask. Is this the best way to help?

Lessons From The 16-Year-Old Sailor

Just after dealing with an outbreak of panic displayed by a 9-year-old son worried about his tonsils coming out next week, I looked at an article online about Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old determined to sail solo around the world, who ran into some difficulty with that task last week.

Jacob will eventually grow out of his fear of doctors and needles, just as his sister outgrew her fear of riding across bridges. But I hope and pray neither of them reach the level of courage and empowerment to do something as stupid as what Sunderland's parents let her do.

Did The Love Boat Boycott Israel?

The e-mail from one of the many shul-related lists I subscribe to caught my attention with its subject line: "Princess Cruise Line Boycotting Israeli Port."

"Say it aint so," was my reaction. "The Love Boat? Really?"

Abbas, And A Few Good Men

For public consumption, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Washington this week,  had to share the world's indignation about Israel's naughty behavior on that ship in not letting a band of Turkish brigands throw its soldiers into the sea.

"Unlawful, unacceptable," is how he described the incident. "Our main demand is how to end the blockade on Gaza and I believe the entire world stands with us." Right.

The Stupid Things We Say

I was once discussing a home improvement project with a potential contractor, when a date to start the job came up and I mentioned that it was Martin Luther King Day.

The contractor, who is white, then repeated the name of the holiday in an exasperated voice, and added “What will they think of next?”

In one small utterance, this man had given me a window into his soul, and it wasn’t pretty.

Top 10 Signs Your Rabbi Is Also A Boxer

Former Welterweight Champion Yuri Foreman, who gave up the title to Miguel Cotto on Saturday night, will now have more time to concentrate on his rabbinical studies at Iyun Institute in Brooklyn. He will eventually be the first boxing rabbi, but given the inspiration he’s provided to future pulpit pugilists, he won’t likely be the last.

Here are 10 signs that your rabbi may also be a prize fighter.

10. Last guy that walked out during his sermon wound up in a body cast.

How Charles Barron Can Help Himself

I have met Councilman Charles Barron and interviewed him many times. I do not believe, as some claim, that he is anti-Semitic. But he is unquestionably biased when it comes to Israel.

'A Deck Chair Is Not A Weapon'

Without knowing it, Edward Peck, a former US ambassador to Mauritania and one of the activists on those now-legendary Gaza boats, did Israel a favor Wednesday while telling his version of events on CNN.

Small Steps Toward Inclusion

For the second time in a month I found myself covering a program the other night on increasing inclusion for children with special needs in Jewish schools. Part of the reason this isn't a coincidence is that some of the same people were involved in the planning. But anecdotally, there also seems to be greater consciousness and emphasis on addressing the burdens of such families in the observant Jewish community, who face all the same pressures of affiliated life, and then some.

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