Blogs

Pollard for a settlement moratorium? Don't count on it.

I was intrigued by this week's Internet buzz about reports talks are underway about a possible trade: convicted spy Jonathan Pollard for a three month extension of Israel's West Bank settlement moratorium. Mostly, I was intrigued because people actually believe this silliness.

The New york Times, citing an Israel reported on Monday that the idea was one of many floated by officials in Prime Minister Netanyahu's office, but some Internet news and blog sites immediately began churning out copy suggesting the “deal” was under serious consideration.

For The Sin Of Not Fasting

In going through my litany of shortcomings each Yom Kippur, it’s generally hard to avoid a biggie: my failure to fast.

Now, before you dash off a comment about how, after intermarriage, I’m the single greatest threat to Jewish continuity, let it be known that I do not completely neglect the rites of Judaism’s holiest day. I do go to synagogue all day and, while I am not a hard-core “not one morsel of food or even a drop of water for 25 hours” type, I’m also not one of those people who spends Yom Kippur gorging on bacon and lobster while I sneer condescendingly at the primitive folks who are so stupid and superstitious as to believe in God.

Does Franzen's "Freedom" Suck?

I do not know about you, but I've been riveted by the debates surrounding Jonathan Franzen's latest novel, "Freedom".  In the new issue of The Atlantic, B.R. Myers strikes a devasting blow against a book that has been otherwise roundly praised.

When Technology & Shabbat Collide, Give the Benefit of the Doubt

This past Sunday, the president of New York University issued a mass e-mail apology to students and staff. The day after Yom Kippur might sound like a sensible day for issuing apologies, but the question is whether John Sexton actually needed to make a Mea Culpa.

Still more bad news for Sen. Russ Feingold

The bad news keeps coming for Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), the most liberal member of the Jewish delegation in the Senate.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, GOP challenger and political neophyte Ron Johnson now enjoys a seven point lead over the two-term incumbent less than two months from the November election.

Worrying About Another Kind Of 'Climate Control'

There is a great deal of talk about climate control these days, based on the deep concern that the earth’s atmosphere is heating up, with dire consequences predicted for future generations.

I share those worries, but have some more immediate ones as well. I’m thinking of the cultural environment, not just the natural environment.

Stop With All the Love Stories

It was a mistake to read the Vows’ column.

I mean, it’s hard enough keeping up morale in this dating morass and here the Times has to up and feature as its central love story yet another Cinderalla tale.

This time the bride, who happens to be the great-granddaughter of a famous American oil magnate - with the last name to prove it - was chosen and pursued by a young man until she finally said yes.

Clicking Against Ahmadinejad

There will be no community-wide Jewish protest rally near the United Nations this year on the day Iranian President Ahmadinejad addresses the General Assembly. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In part, there will be no public demonstration Sept. 23, when Ahmadinejad delivers his annual diatribe against Israel, because it is the first day of Sukkot. And in part, it may well be because the organizers of the rally for the past three years recognize that it was becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

Heroes, Outreach And Other News From Fooderation (er, Federation -- Got Fasting on The Brain)

My friend Ed Case of Interfaithfamily.com is becoming Mr. Jewish Federation!

In November, he’s on the roster of speakers at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans, appearing in a panel entitled “Can We Encourage In-Marriage and Welcome Interfaith Families?” He’ll be debating none other than Steven “Intermarriage=Single Greatest Threat” M. Cohen: I’m hoping they live stream or at least videotape this exchange, in which case I’ll of course embed it here, if I can figure out how!

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