If the current administration in Washington is sincere in its stated goal of working aggressively to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the days and months ahead will be even more difficult and confusing than the past few weeks have been.
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
Special to the Jewish Week
Following last week's somber ceremonies marking Yom Hashoa, Israel will, on this coming Monday, observe its annual Yom Hazikaron, a solemn memorial day for her fallen soldiers. Rare is the family in Israel that does not know someone who has died in Israel's defense, or have a family member who has. And then, on Monday evening, the celebration of Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israel's Independence Day, will begin.
"I'm glad I caught you. I wanted to tell you a story about your kids," began the principal of my third-grade twins' Solomon Schechter school. And despite her casual tone, I suddenly stood erect, sucked in my stomach (as if that would help), and readied myself to hear an account that would require "a little chat" at home.
"So, Jacob and Sophie were playing basketball at recess together," she began.
Abride prays at the Kotel, seen from behind, in a poufy white dress and cascading veil; someone with tzitzit hanging out of a pair of jeans stands next to a Jewish memorial stone in Chalkida, Greece; a brick side of a building in disrepair includes the sign “Synagoga.”
Polish-born Frank Blaichman, a member of a Jewish resistance unit during World War II, was the only member of his immediate family who survived the Holocaust. A teen when the war started, he obtained arms by posing as a Polish policeman, traveling through the countryside by bike, committing acts of sabotage against the Nazis, refusing to wear the yellow Jewish star.
You know that little sign most hotels now put in the bathroom — the one that urges you to re-use your towel to save energy costs?
I don’t know about you, but this sign always makes me feel guilty and annoyed. At home, I would never use a towel once and toss it on the floor. But I confess that wantonly throwing about towels in hotel rooms has long been a guilty pleasure for me, a reminder that I am on vacation and therefore not subject to the workday practicalities of home.
Cabernet Franc is the perfect complement to the season.
Special To The Jewish Week
After a rather nasty winter, spring (and even a taste of summer) has come to the city. Indeed, temperate weather such as this calls for a truly special wine, and when it comes to springtime drinking, one of my favorite wines has always been Cabernet Franc.
Q. My boss has decided to give me a big bonus for something I only helped with; another worker deserves it more than I do. But I need the money, and she is pretty well off. What's the right thing to do?
A. Maybe your contribution was more integral to the success of the project than you realize. But, regardless, you should be forthcoming. Not only does our tradition demand honesty in how we conduct business, but it's really the most practical professional decision you can make.
‘Douglas is out of town again,” I tell my mother with a sigh. “I am so proud of him, really, winning the MacArthur ‘genius’ grant and then spending the free time he doesn’t have in Haiti, but still ... even geniuses need to spend some time with their girlfriends!”
“I wish I could meet this Douglas, I have heard so much about him,” is my mother’s reply.