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View from Central Park

The target was The Jew

It’s never a good time to hear about a painful senseless act of hate and violence against our people. But there is something additionally poignant about it that punches you in the gut as you are immersed in preparing some new Haggadah thoughts for the seder, and up to your neck in Passover cooking with Yonatan Razel’s “Vehi She’amdah” playing in the background.

I will never forget the first newscast after the Passover holiday was over in Israel, when the Park Hotel in Netanya Israel was bombed on seder night.

A somber newscaster opened with, “It seems that in every generation they really do want to destroy us” — the first half of the  “Vehi She’amdah” passage.

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Happy Birthday, Aviv(a)

PASSOVER 5774 EDITIONSECTION C PAGE 24 Every year, my niece Aviva has the longest birthday party in the world. She was born seder night. And boy is it fun milking her birthday for all you can. The years we share seder with her, she is the centerpiece of the evening. Clearly, in her honor, dessert for Seder night calls for a kosher for Passover birthday cake, a joyous culinary challenge to come up with. Of course, since her birthday is seder night, her actual party with her peers is after Passo...

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:50 )

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Foods from generation to generation

I confess: Come the holidays, and I am definitely a sentimental cook and eater. Proust’s famous tea-soaked madeleine that arrested time, transporting him to his childhood. That’s me. Granted, when it comes to matzah, it might be a bit tough. The original food-evoking item might actually need to have a flavor in the first place in order to evoke one a generation later, but let’s just chalk matzah up as an exception. It might not be madeleines, but for each of us there is a food or two who...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 April 2014 01:57 )

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One day at a time

One day at a timeI RECEIVED a very touching, very moving children’s book in the mail last week. Painfully, it is a book I wish the need for did not exist. It is called, The Cancer That Wouldn't Go Away: A Story for Kids about Metastatic Cancer, by Hadassa Field, illustrated by Christina G. Smith. As the title suggests, it is a book geared to helping children cope with the profound psychological effects of their changed life under the impact of the serious illness of a parent. It is unlike other children’s ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 28 March 2014 06:03 )

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Each generation has its story

What constitutes a generation? Robert Wohl probes this question in his book, The Generation of 1914. Through observing the mostly middle class of five European nations, the French, German, British, Spanish and Italian, Wohl raises awareness about the complexity and consciousness of what makes a generation. There is a famous debate between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon ben Azzai. Which verse in the Torah is the guiding principle of Judaism? According to Rabbi Akiva it is the golden rule:” Love ...
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