Blogs

This Jew Hath Eyes

"The Merchant of Venice," like many of Shakespeare’s middle “comedies,” is often considered a problem play: the language is dense, the final courtroom scene fraught with near-tragedy, and for even the most casual observer, the language is steeped with anti-Semitic vitriol.

Joseph Menino as Shylock and Imani Jade Powers as Jessica in “The Merchant of Venice.”  Allison Stock

The Truths My Father Taught Me--A Father's Day Tribute (Part 2)

Editor's Note: In honor of Father's day, Rabbi Michael Levy shares this loving tribute to his father. Click here to read Part 1, which ends with a doctor's discovery of a spot on his father's lung.

My parents tried to cover up this health crisis like all the medical problems of the past.  This was especially so because my wife Chavi and I were expecting.

In September, all four of our parents helped with our "big Sunday." We moved and arranged furniture from morning until evening.  The file cabinet made its way from the "second bedroom" into ours. A bed disappeared downstairs into the storage area. 

A big empty space appeared along one wall of the second bedroom, waiting for a crib. I didn't see my mother's tears when my mother-in-law caught her off guard with the question "How's Aaron?"

I learned about the spot on Dad’s lung only as they were preparing him for the operation. The bicycle ride of so many years ago came to mind. The collision had happened. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

The Truths My Father Taught Me--A Father's Day Tribute (Part 1)

Editor's Note: In honor of Father's day, Rabbi Michael Levy shares his moving tribute to his father. Part two will be posted on Sunday.

"Look, a two-headed bike!" said a kid passing by. This confirmed for me that Dad and I, on our tandem bicycle, were invincible.

Riding on the two-seated bicycle with Dad, I didn't think about being blind. I did what everybody else did on the back seat of a tandem, no steering, just pedaling.

Doing what everybody else did. That’s the kind of childhood my parents gave me. If you feel included and valued by your family, then no future obstacles in your path will deter you.

Painting By Letter

“The beauty, meaning and form of Hebrew letters are the source of inspiration for Ric Pliego’s “Gematria” series, now on exhibit at El Taller Latino Americano.  Based on the Hebrew numerological system, the Gematria paintings are a sequence of brightly-colored oils, depicting the Hebrew letters “aleph” through “tet” with simple but beautifully rendered pictograms. 

Ric Pliego, “Bet.” Courtesy of El Taller Latino Americano

Looking Ahead: My Son's (And My) Future

My eight-year-old daughter has a clear vision of her life as an adult: she’s going to be a singer-songwriter and live part of the year in Paris, where she will own a boutique selling the accessories that she designs. She said that I could have a job there, putting the merchandise carefully into soft paper bags lined with tissue, if I promise to be very careful.

She’s a highly creative, energetic kid with a natural sense of rhythm, pitch and fashion, and my husband and I encourage all of her dreams, knowing that if she hits a rough patch breaking into the music or fashion industry, we can encourage education or other career choices that allow her to use her gifts.

As for her mom, I just had my forty-third birthday and enjoyed a beautiful, laidback day with family and friends, a hike with our yellow lab on a new trail and dinner on the porch of a neighborhood BYOB restaurant. I am grateful for exactly where I am in my life, and do my best to stay present, but had a flash, just for a moment, that when (God willing) I turn fifty-three, my daughter will be eighteen and ready to go off to college, a gap year or a waitressing job and apartment with friends; our two-year-old lab will probably not be able to endure a two-hour hike on steep trails and my eleven-year-old son, who has autism and intellectual disabilities, will be twenty-one, at the end of his tenure in the school system, also ready to transition to what’s next for him.

Cantor Trounced In Historic Upset

 

As the Obama administration was trying to resuscitate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in late 2010, Republican Rep. Eric Cantor met privately with Benjamin Netanyahu in a New York hotel room with an unprecedented offer:  the incoming majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives offered to side with the prime minister of Israel against the President of the United States on critical foreign policy issues.

Ten Tips For Your Child's Transition To Summer

As the end of the school year approaches us, here are some tips for parents of children with autism (or any child who needs support with transitions) when trying to support their son or daughter move from school to summer.

1. Preview - Talk to your kids beforehand about what changes they can expect. Show them pictures of new places and people, like camp counselors. Visit any new locations with your child ahead of time so nothing is a surprise. Skype with friends and family to see where you'll be staying when you go on summertime visits. Check out the websites of summer camp facilities, hotels, attractions or city going to visit. Tour summer day or sleep away camp grounds ahead of time. If that's not possible, you may want to contact places to see if they have any DVDs that depict their facilities. 

Dr. Frances Victory

Could GOP Lose Its Only Jew In Congress?

The only Jewish Republican in the U.S. Congress -- and the man who wants to be the first Jewish Speaker of the House -- is facing an unusual primary challenge to hang on to his seat in Tuesday's Virginia primary.

If Rep. Eric Cantor, 51, the House majority leader, wins on Tuesday he becomes a leading candidate to succeed Speaker John Boehner if the Ohio congressman is defeated either in November by constituents or by colleagues in the GOP caucus who say he isn't conservative enough for their tastes.

Does Israel Have A Culture Of Corruption?

Israel is beginning to look like old time Chicago politics.  The previous governor of Illinois, a former Chicago congressman, is in jail, home to four of the last seven governors of Illinois, and another popular former Chicago congressman is in jail now, with his wife, a former city alderman, going in when he gets out.  They’re only the latest in a long list of former Chicago area politicians to go to prison for corruption.

Blocking An Iran Deal Could Backfire

The Republican demand for a Congressional vote on any nuclear deal with Iran could come back and bite them on election day. 

In the intensely polarized political atmosphere engulfing Washington these days, it is unlikely Republicans would approve anything Barack Obama negotiated, even if it was a total unconditional Iranian surrender. 

The Congress can hold hearings about on executive agreement with Iran, but unlike a treaty, it does not require Senate approval. 

Syndicate content