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Reflections

What makes Jewish time tick?

I grew up in a home where time was always a stressful issue. Mom was usually dressed and ready to go to a party at least 24 hours before it started.

Before any vacation, you could find her suitcase sitting proudly by the back door — at least two days before we were scheduled to leave.

Then there was Dad, who had this annoying habit of sauntering into the house after a sweaty game of tennis about five minutes before company was expected. Before any car trip, you would find Dad poring over road maps while we waited in the hot car, crammed into the back seat with bags of food and melting crayons.

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What death can teach

By her own account, my mother is not a religious woman. She does not read the Bible, know Hebrew or put much stock in Jewish observance. She has been known to comment on my own degree of commitment to Judaism in anxious, hushed tones, the kind she uses when someone in our family is seriously ill. My brother once told me she told him about the “weird tent with hanging fruit” in our backyard (our sukkah) and the cleaning frenzy I engage in before Passover as evidence that I’ve gone off the ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:48 )

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Countering racial slurs with clarity

I was ecstatic when our dear friends Barry and Bonnie called to tell us they were coming for a visit. Like most people, my husband and I rarely make time to do the wonderful “touristy” things in Tucson that others travel thousands of miles to see. So I immediately rushed to the phone to reserve a spot for the four of us for a tour at the world-renown caves located in southern Arizona. It was a glorious day and as we waited on the patio for the tour group to gather, our guide asked each of...
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A deeper way to honor our parents

America is big on holidays, especially those that relate to family. There’s a holiday for mothers in May, a special day for dads in June and a grandparents day in September that usually includes a pancake breakfast at pre-school. But what inspires these holidays is more than a positive earnings statement for Hallmark. We honor our parents and grandparents because they have given us life. The Jewish tradition teaches that there are three partners in the creation of a human being: G-d, a fathe...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 May 2014 03:32 )

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The day my mother stopped playing G-d

“MY dear friend Helene died last week,” my mother informed me sadly as if consoling us both. “I’ll miss her terribly. She really changed my life and the way I viewed the world.” I turned and looked into my mother’s face, aged not so much by years as by the losses and disappointments she has endured. She is not prone to “waxing philosophical” so her statement intrigued me. “What do you mean, mom?” I asked, quietly taking her hand. “Do you remember when you told me that yo...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Politicians criticize Lapid for Shabbat news conference

Marcy Oster Politicians from the left and Orthodox parties criticized Finance Minister Yair Lapid for calling a news conference on Shabbat. ... [Link]

Posters telling women where to walk removed from haredi London neighborhood

Marcy Oster Posters in English and Yiddish telling women which side of the road they can walk on were removed from a haredi Orthodox neighborhood in London. ... [Link]

U.N. Security Council reiterates support for Golan peacekeepers

Marcy Oster The United Nations Security Council called on armed groups to leave neutral areas of the Syrian Golan Heights and to return U.N. peacekeepers” equipment. ... [Link]

Israel, Palestinians to resume cease-fire talks in Cairo

Marcy Oster Indirect cease-fire talks between Israel and the Palestinians will resume this week. ... [Link]

New Zealand’s Key wins third term as prime minister

Marcy Oster New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, the son of a Jewish refugee from Europe, was returned for a third term as leader of the South Pacific island nation. ... [Link]

From the Archive: Suriname’s Jewish settlement and non-settlement

Raffi Wineburg In 1948, Suriname — then a Dutch colony in South America — backed out of a plan to settle 30,000 European Jewish displaced persons. ... [Link]

South African president vows to fight anti-Semitism

Cnaan Liphshiz Representatives of South Africa’s Jewish community commended President Jacob Zuma’s pledge to combat anti-Semitism. ... [Link]

House unanimously approves anti-Semitism condemnation

Ron Kampeas A bipartisan congressional resolution urging increased action by the United States and other countries to address resurgent anti-Semitism passed unanimously. ... [Link]

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