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Reflections

The mitzvah of giving to others

WHEN I was growing up, money meant AUTHORITY. Dad made the money so he also made the decisions. Our family lived by the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, rules.

We were told at an early age that it wasn’t “polite” to talk about money, but it sure seemed to be the subtext of most conversations.

What things cost, rising inflation, salaries, who drove what type of car, where people shopped and where to get the best deal were dinner table topics served along with the meatloaf and potatoes.

And back when dessert was a Good Humor Bar that cost a nickel, I knew that my family was definitely happier when we had more money, not less.

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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 roa...
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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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Shabbat Times

JTA News

AMIT to launch matriculation program in Israel with $6 million endowment

Marcy Oster The grant from the estate of the late board member Ellen Koplow is the largest single gift in the religious Zionist group’s 90-year history, AMIT said. ... [Link]

Sweden recognizes Palestine, following up on new prime minister’s vow

Marcy Oster Its foreign minister said the country’s traditionally close ties with Israel “are now complemented by an equal relationship to the other party.” ... [Link]

Museum turns Nazi-looted painting to wall to raise money for restitution

Marcy Oster The Wiesbaden Museum has hung the 19th century painting backwards, in a bid to raise public awareness and also the $118,000 it needs to buy the painting from its rightful heirs, ... [Link]

Israel Police kill suspected gunman in shooting of Temple Mount activist

Marcy Oster The suspect, identified as an operative for the Islamic Jihad terror group, was killed at his eastern Jerusalem home in a shootout. ... [Link]

Israel closes Temple Mount to Muslims, Jews after attempted assassination

Marcy Oster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the closure of the holy site hours after Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot in Jerusalem a “declaration of war.” ... [Link]

Israeli, U.S. national security advisers meeting amid tensions

Ron Kampeas The announcement of the meeting came as tension continued to simmer over an anonymous Obama administration’s official personal attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ... [Link]

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai giving $50K to Gaza school reconstruction

Anthony Weiss The Pakistani teen will donate money from winning the World Children’s Prize to a U.N. agency’s effort to repair schools damaged by this summer’s fighting in Gaza. ... [Link]

Presidents Conference wants Netanyahu attacker ‘held to account’

Ron Kampeas The White House condemnation of the anonymous U.S. official who slurred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closes the matter, the Anti-Defamation League said. ... [Link]

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