For the past six months that I've been saying Kaddish, my weekday mincha stop has been at Manhattan Judaica on West 45th Street, a few blocks away from The Jewish Week's office.
It's a quick, no-nonsense minyan where I often see people I know, including the owner, David Vesely, a friend since high school. Another advantage is that it's an opportunity to pick up occasional necessary items, like mezuzut, a talit bag cover or havdalah candle.
What would you do if you were a Shabbat observer on a delayed flight late Friday afternoon and it became increasingly unlikley you'd get to your destination before sundown? Ask to get off the plane, or stick it out and hope for the best?
Maybe you shouldn't have been on the flight in the first place.
Who would have figured that Ari Gold, the high-strung, foul-mouthed, Hollywood agent protrayed by Jeremy Piven on HBO's "The Entourage," would wind up offering us a lesson in priorities and family values? But that's what happened (SPOILER ALERT) in the series finale last night.
Every New Yorker has a 9/11 story, and mine is rather unremarkable.
I was driving my kids to school and turned on the usual pop radio station, but there was no music. A plane had struck the World Trade Center. By the time I dropped off my son Zack at school, the second plane had struck. By the time I dropped off my youngest, Jacob, then barely a year old, at my in-laws, the first tower fell. By the time I reached Yeshiva Of Flatbush to drop my daughter off, the world was in full-blown terror-attack panic.
The last time I was in Israel, two years ago this week, the streets of Jerusalem were being ripped up to embed track for the city's new light-rail transportation system. Light-rail, essentially what used to be called trolley cars, is a relatively cheap form of transportation, far easier to implementthan digging subway tunnels. Wiith traffic barred from those streets where they operate, the streamlined above-ground cars are far more efficient than buses that get caught in and cause traffic jams.
The Sunrise Highway separated my neighborhood from the area of Nassau County that was under an evacuation order last weekend (largely ignored, from what I have heard). But my wife and I briefly considered a voluntary, pre-emptive evacuation of our own as Hurricane (or tropical storm) Irene barreled toward the East Coast and weathermen predicted an event just short of the apocolypse.
Last month, the Iranian Speaker of the Parliament, Ali Larijani, called the assassination an Darioush Rezaie, an Iranian nuclear scientist an "American-Zionist act of terror." Rezaie was gunned down outside his Tehran home by a motorcyle-borne gunman. He was the fourth nuclear scientist in Iran to meet an untimely demise.
Yankel Rosenbaum would be 49 today, most likely surrounded by a large family and living in New York or in his native Melbourne. A twist of fate kept that from happening and Rosenbaum, whom I never met but feel as if knew him, happened to walk home down the wrong street on a hate-filled summer night two decades ago this week. For Rosenbaum, it was a perfect storm of bad luck and incompetence in city and police leadership and later in the emergency room at Kings County Hospital that lead to his death.