Short Takes

Kibbutznik Spots Leopard, Saves Pet

06/01/2007
Staff Writer
In Israel dog-bites-man is not news. But leopard-tries-to is. Arthur Du Mosch, a 49-year-old tour guide who made aliyah from Amsterdam 22 years ago, awoke early Monday morning to find a wild leopard in his bedroom in Sde Boker, a Negev kibbutz. Du Mosch says the feline, which was too old to seek prey in the wild, was part of a pack that had been hunting domestic dogs and cats in the area recently, chasing the family’s house cat, Zehava, through an open window.

Frozen Out?

06/01/2007
Staff Writer
There was mixed news for Benjamin Rubin, a Sabbath-observant hockey player in Canada’s top development league, at the end of his first season the other day. In a post-season talk with owner-coach Patrick Roy of the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Rubin, 18, heard that he is one of the team’s “most talented players.”

A Celebration Of Reunification

05/18/2007
Staff Writer
Forty years ago this week — on the Hebrew calendar — Jerusalem was nervous. The fighting that came to be known as the Six-Day War was still underway, and the extent of Israel’s lightning victory on three fronts was not yet fully known. Then Mordechai Gur uttered the words that still ring through the decades, “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” and with the capture of the holiest spot in the Old City, the celebrating began.

(Jewish) Mom’s

05/11/2007
Staff Writer
Search the amazon.com Web site for “Jewish mothers” and 6,075 hits come up. Including a related title, “Yiddishe Mamas: The Truth About the Jewish Mother.” That’s the new book by Marnie Winston-Macauley, a Flushing-born author who lives in Las Vegas and set out to investigate and shatter the often-unflattering stereotypes about the Jewish mother.

Lag b’Omer High In Israel

05/11/2007
Staff Writer
The mountaintop city of Meron, in northern Israel, is the country’s second-highest spot, but for one day each spring it is the highest in religious passion. On Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of the period between Passover and Shavuot, an estimated quarter-million people, from secular to haredi, ascend to the open grounds of the city that becomes Israel’s answer to the Kentucky Derby or the Indianapolis 500 — an annual Woodstock that attracts families instead of hippies. Pilgrims and tourists come days in advance, arriving by car and bus and van.

Conservative, Reform To Train Together

05/04/2007
Staff Writer
For the first time, rabbinical students at the leading American Reform and Conservative seminaries soon will be studying together in a formal program stressing the interfaith aspects of Jewish life they will encounter in their pulpits.

Passover, Samaritan Style

05/04/2007
Staff Writer
Mount Gerizim, in the northern West Bank halfway between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, holds a special place in Jewish tradition. It was the site where half of the biblical tribes were commanded to pronounce the blessings upon the Children of Israel after Joshua led them into the Promised Land. In Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim holds the highest position of honor.

Mourning Online

04/27/2007
Staff Writer
A few dozen friends of an elderly Jewish woman who died in February were not able to come to her funeral service at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel on the Upper West Side, but they joined the mourners, virtually, via the Internet. In cities across the United States and Europe, were the first people to take part in a new service: funerals carried live, or archived, on the Internet’s broadcasting, aka “streaming,” technology.

Remembering The Six Million

04/20/2007
Staff Writer
On Monday time stood still in Israel. For two minutes the sirens sounded, traffic stopped, and heads were bowed in memory of the Six Million martyrs of the Holocaust. Every year Yom HaShoah is marked by public displays of mourning and private recollections of loved ones who perished in occupied Europe. The theme of Yom HaShoah this year was “bearing witness,” a recognition of the diminishing numbers of Holocaust survivors. About 250,000 of them live in Israel, and 10 percent of that group dies each year.
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