Adam Dickter's Continuum

Defending An 'Often Despicable' Hamas

I often agree with Andrew Sullivan, but was surpised by this stunningly misguided blog post on the Daily Beast, attacking Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin for retweeting an angry statement about what should happen to the Hamas captors of Gilad Shalit. It involves feeding the "death worshiping" culprits to the sharks, a fate too cruel for Sullivan.

The Swastika Dance

If you work in Jewish journalism long enough, certain stories begin to look like Mad Libs: Blocks of fixed text in which only the particulars are rearranged.

Examples: ______ calls for the release of Jonathan Pollard.   ________'s remarks about Hitler cause an uproar.

 _________'s  proposed budget cuts are a disaster for Jewish social service agencies. Mayor/Gov./Sen. _______ (or all of the above) to visit Israel as election nears. 

A 45 Percent Chance Of More Terror

Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman has a fascinating in-depth piece in today's New York Times Magazine exploring the notoriously lopsided Gilad Shalit/terrorist trade, suggesting that the painful questions raised by the deal aren't going away any time soon.

Catching Up With Lou Grant

Many Jewish celebrities tend to get more involved in Jewish causes as they get older, and that includes Ed Asner, who, at 81, was a co-host at Monday night’s benefit for the Jewish Partisans Education Foundation.

Ashrei: A Closer's Prayer

I'm keeping up pretty well with my obligation during the mourning period for my mother to pray with a minyan three times a day. But not so much with the tradition of leading the prayer service.

Maybe tradition is too liberal a word, since those in mourning are called "chiyuvim," or obligated ones, and are given priority to serve as chazan, except during Shabbat and holidays, when the service is more rejoicing.

Still Waiting For My Anti-Semitism Check

Wearing a yarmulke in New York City, as I did regularly as a kid and young adult, is not just an expression of pride and faith, but, as I often found, also an invitation for loudmouth anti-Semites to crawl out from under their rocks.

Growing up in Bensonhurst and later Flatbush, I was treated to some classic encounters: Being wished "Happy Hannukah" at all times of the year. A kid on a bicycle calling me and my brother a term that rhymes with "trucking blues." 

Guns and The Holocaust

Jewish Week online columnist  Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz has drawn extensive feedback from commenters on this week’s edition of “Street Torah,”  in which he deals with the highly controversial issue of gun control.

People who have guns and/or support the right to own them get very easily worked up whenever you broach the topic of taking them away through legislation. There is a reasonable argument to be made on both sides of this hot-button topic.

Top 10 Signs Of Shul Fatigue

A little post-holidays humor. (Very little, some would say.)

Top 10 Signs You've Spent Too Much Time In Shul

10. Show up to work with tallis on.

 9.  Before opening garage door, a voice in your head says “chai dollar psichin …”

 8. Punctuate coworkers' presentations with “baruch hu baruch shemo

 7. Mistakenly hand train conductor a dollar for the pushka.

 6. Instinctively start counting people when you enter room.

A Dream Come True, At A Terrible Price

There will be endless debates about whether it's right, or smart, to exchange more than 1,000 people who want to destroy Israel for the life of one Israeli soldier. Let those debates go on, once Gilad Shalit is home. Those of us who had no say in the painful decision should, God willing, enjoy the spectacle of this long-suffering pawn finally reuniting with his family and, at 25, trying to regain his life, as we have been praying for him to do for more than five years.

Pawn Star: Gilad Shalit

A Fascination With Redemption

It started with Sam Antar, cousin and accomplice of the infamous Crazy Eddie who defrauded the government and investors in a colossal electronics retail scam. Then came Melvyn Weiss, the disbarred lawyer who spent a year in jail for giving kickbacks to plaintiffs in his class action suits.

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