Blogs

A Brief History of God’s Mailbox

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 An interesting footnote to Obama’s letter in the Kotel is not only how relatively new the custom is, beginning in the 1700s, but how dramatically the concept of the Kotel has changed in that time period.

The Invulnerable Amazing Grace

Sunday, June 1st, 2008 Not that long ago, we were talking with Sherwood Goffin (see story here), the wonderful chazzan at Lincoln Square Synagogue, about the problem of amateurs who, when leading services, freely staple niggunim (spiritual melodies), or beautiful popular Israeli songs, such as Erev Shel Shoshanim, or even Puff The Magic Dragon, to verses of the davening without any regard to how appropriate the particular tune might be to the verse.

RFK - 1968 And 1948

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 Regarding the previous post, “Sympathy for the Devil,” here’s a good piece in The Boston Globe that looks at the increasing awareness - 40 years late - of Bobby Kennedy as America’s first victim of Palestinian terror.

Sholom Aleichem’s Phone Number

Friday, June 13th, 2008   The other week, a local Jewish elementary school put on a heckuva production of “Fiddler On The Roof,” but totally corrupted the ending, having Tevye and his family move from Anatevka to Israel, rather than to America. Now isn’t that Zionist of the school; Zionism being so noble that even a creaky old musical must corrupt itself as homage to corruption in Olmert’s government.  

A Community Raw And Unformed

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 There will be hundreds of articles still to be published in Jewish newspapers and magazines in the next six months, but I have already identified one that is surely to be one of the most ridiculous of 2008. The new issue of the very glossy “Jewish Living (June/July) has a big cover story, “Where We Live Now: Top Ten Neighborhoods” in North America to “raise a family, get involved, meet a mate, score a great nosh.”

Fenway, Crosley And 770

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

For a number of years, cynics would get a good laugh out of the fact that Kfar Chabad, the Lubavitch town in Israel, built a duplicate of the rebbe’s headquarters, 770 Eastern Parkway .

The duplicate 770 was said to be indicative of how crazy and messianist the Chabadniks were, they must have been expecting the rebbe to drop in, pretty funny. Only a chasid could be so nuts, right?

AIDS and Insincerity

Friday, June 27th, 2008 My uncle, Milton Samuel Mark, died of AIDS a while back, from a blood transfusion given to him in a Bronx hospital, so I take the AIDS issue seriously and with some measure of resentment.

A Strained Clash: Palestinian Rockets “Strain” Israel-Hamas Truce

Sunday, June 29th, 2008 Just hours, really, into the Hamas-Israel truce, rockets flew out of Gaza and landed in Israel. “Gaza truce strained by rocket fire,” headlined Reuters (June 28). Strained? Sending rockets into another country is an act of war. What would the Palestinians of Gaza have to do to advance this beyond strained?

Tania Grossinger’s Book and the Real Catskills

Monday, June 30th, 2008 Summer’s here and there’s a new book in the bookstores, “Growing Up At Grossinger’s” (Skyhorse Publishing), by Tania Grossinger that turns out to be an old book, a reprint of what she first published in 1976, that has almost nothing to do with the hotel that many of us remember and miss. Considering that the hotel closed after the original publication, one could have hoped for a serious autopsy, but that would be hoping for too much.
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