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The Other Roth; or Why Does Henry Roth Always Get Screwed?

My apoloogies for not posting this New York Times story from yesterday, yesterday.  I was busy writing my story (my deadline's Monday night), and didn't get the time to post it.

It's back: the Israel-South Africa connection and allegations of an offer to sell nuclear weapons

This week's headlines alleging that Israel offered to sell nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1975, reported in a new book and a report in The Guardian, come at a particularly bad time for the Jewish state.

Bad Blogger, Good Jew?

I’ve been a very bad blogger recently (a whole week without posting), but a very good Jew: in the past 10 days, I’ve gone to services at three congregations, and attended a Storahtelling event. Plus, this Saturday morning I’ll be in shul (a fourth one!) yet again, for my niece’s bat mitzvah.

Those who pray three times a day, or are at least weekly shul-goers, may laugh at such modest accomplishments. Indeed, I’m sure someone will send me a nasty e-mail or post a comment saying this (along with being intermarried) is further evidence of my moral laxity. Nonetheless, for me, four synagogues in two weeks — not during the High Holidays — is something of a record.

Who Was – And, More Disturbingly, Wasn’t – At The Israel Day Parade

Walking along the route of the Israel Day Parade yesterday, from 72nd Street down to 59th Street along Fifth Avenue, I was reminded once again, and in dramatic fashion, how the expression of Zionism in American has become increasingly the purview of the Modern Orthodox community.

The crowd appeared to be made up primarily of relatives and friends of the marchers – many of the large contingents were day school children – and other observant Jews.

Washington Post: Democrats scaling back faith-based political outreach

Remember the 2008 election, when then-Sen. Barack Obama talked a lot about his religious faith and the Democratic Party seemed determined to show voters it could do religion as well as the Republicans?

Cinderella Stories

My friend sent out an article to her single and (ahem!) aging girlfriends as a show of solidarity. So it's not her fault that I'm a total cranky pants. Plus, why would she suspect that an article about having a baby alone would make me go so ballistic?

The BP oil spill, President Obama, Jewish environmentalists - and mixed-up voters

Isn't the disaster that's still unfolding down in the Gulf of Mexico an almost perfect illustration of what's wrong with American politics?

Everybody's complaining about the lax federal response – including those factions that want to cut government until it's small enough to drown it in the bathtub, to use one of their popular expressions.

A Mosque In Our Monticello

The old Catskills town, once the capital of the mountains, has changed and is changing still. No village or hamlet in the mountains has changed more, has seen its crime rate spiral higher, has a greater sense of desolation when driving down its Broadway, past the boarded-up Rialto. Who could have imagined, long ago, that our Bedford Falls could turn into Pottersville?

'Lost' Faith

So, "Lost" is over and it turns out all the characters are dead, and have been for some time. Did they die in the initial plane crash or at some point later on?

That's one of the many unanswered questions we're left with after a six-year investment in ABC's suspense thriller, a disappointment to those who have shown an almost religious devotion to the show. I've heard more people question their faith in God during the show's run than doubt that "Lost" would eventually deliver a satisying conclusion to all the mysteries on that bizarre island.

What's with those Texans and their "Christian nation" educators?

Those Texas Christians, whose influence over the nation's textbooks is enormous because of their activism and the state's buying power, sure don't want any lousy ACLU or ADL pushing them around.

Thanks to the Texas Freedom Network, a group that dares advocate for church-state separation in the wild-west state of Texas, we have the video, below, of the opening prayer at a State Board of Education Meeting called to discuss what school children will learn about church-state separation.

Some evangelicals now tone their talk about America as a “Christian nation,” or even couch their arguments in terms of “Judeo-Christian values.”

Not board member Cynthia Dunbar, a Republican. She makes it clear: America is a Christian nation, and its laws and government should be based on the Christian Bible.

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