First Person

Becoming A Man In Zagreb

02/17/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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It was, at first glance, a scene out of a Yiddish folktale, transposed from the Old World shtetl to modern-day Zagreb. There were rabbis and healers, plot twists and turns, a small miracle, even the requisite chickens. And just when I thought it would remain a vision from the pages of my imagination, the pictures that flashed on my iPhone confirmed it was real. 

Merri Ukraincik

Jews, Muslims And A Hamsa

02/10/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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I wear a necklace with a hand-shaped charm that’s called a hamsa as a point of Jewish pride. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris in January, I was asked at a gathering in Manhattan if I wore it because I was Muslim. 

Diane Cole

How Green Was My Wadi

01/27/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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We will soon be celebrating Tu b’Shvat, the day that marks the new year for trees, and while it is cold and grim in New York, the plant world is awakening in Israel and the agricultural year is coming to life. Think of it as the beginning of the magic that leads to the harvest festival of Sukkot.

Sura Jeselsohn

College Football: The Great Escape

01/13/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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Birmingham, Ala. — On Thanksgiving at my son’s house, I found myself at the end of a long dinner table, some in-town family members on my left. They were chatting about college football, especially the Alabama-Auburn game that would be played two nights later.

Richard Friedman

A Banjo’s Soul

12/15/2014
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Halloween was the furthest thing from my mind when I scheduled an appointment with the banjo repair guy for Oct. 31. As usual in our observant Jewish neighborhood, there was not a pumpkin or goblin in sight when the day arrived. No costumed revelers rang our bell in search of treats. But of course, I knew. 

Merri Ukraincik

A Banjo’s Soul

12/11/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Halloween was the furthest thing from my mind when I scheduled an appointment with the banjo repair guy for Oct. 31. As usual in our observant Jewish neighborhood, there was not a pumpkin or goblin in sight when the day arrived. No costumed revelers rang our bell in search of treats. But of course, I knew. 

Merri Ukraincik

Yom Kippur In The Big House

11/18/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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‘For the sin which we have committed before You under duress or willingly. And for the sin which we have committed before You by hard-heartedness.”

Akiva Lichtenberg

The Spirit Of Shabbat

10/28/2014
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With a borscht-curdling geshrei, Halloween this year falls on Shabbat. On Friday night, trick-or-treaters, even Jewish ones, will be knocking.

A dark and spooky night. Via wikpedia.org

Why I Am Going To Germany

10/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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When I accepted the invitation to spend 10 weeks in Germany this fall, it was with a sense of joyful anticipation. As the summer of Gaza unfolded, the resurgence of anti-Semitism across Europe tempered my joy but never weakened my resolve.

Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs

Rosh HaShanah In East Germany

09/16/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Leipzig was a flourishing German city before World War II. In 1964, as part of communist East Germany, it was a desolate place, bomb damage still not repaired, store shelves bare and streets dimly lit. It was not a tourist destination.

Myron Kandel
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