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View from Central Park

The power of a promise

WHEN we are all sitting in shul on Yom Kippur night ?. . . when we arrive in white and the ark is opened . . . all the Torahs are taken out . . . and the ba’al tefilla, our emissary for this day wrapped by his tallis, leading the davening begins . . . “Kol Nidre, all vows . . . ”

Something about that melody, that hallowed, whispered but then crescendoed, lulled and then thundered prayer echoing through the chambers of the shul, really does echo through and shakes up my heart. Oh, that melody! That haunting melody — more than anything else, Kol Nidre, to me is the feeling of . . . I am here again. It is Yom Kippur. Another Yom Kippur.

As the third utterance of Kol Nidre ricochets through the shul, I can practically touch the emotion, the holiness and humbleness in the silent, pregnant air.

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:06 )

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Conservative Lens

Transforming America, right and left

THE giveaway regarding presidential candidate Barack Obama’s plans for America was his repeated use of the words “fundamentally transform.” Some of us instinctively reacted negatively — in fact, with horror — at the thought of fundamentally transforming America. The “us” are conservatives. One unbridgeable divide between left and right is how each views alternatives to present-day America. Those on the left imagine an ideal society that has never existed and therefore seek to ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:06 )

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View From Denver

The toughest part of a favor: asking for it

For most people, and most of the time, there’s something a lot harder than doing a favor, or a chesed. That’s accepting a favor. Rightly and repeatedly, we are told about the centrality of chesed — of putting oneself out for others. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Judaism is built on doing favors for and helping others. You especially hear it in this season of the High Holidays, when all of us are looking for one more merit, one more good deed, one more mit...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 07:18 )

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View From Denver

Mosque at Ground Zero? Makes as much sense as . . .

I AM in favor of the Cordoba House being built at Ground Zero, because, you know, there is no context, no emotion, no meaning, no memory that attaches to a place where something very dramatic happened. Of course, it is totally appropriate for something else — anything at all — to happen there. So, just as I am in favor of the mosque at Ground Zero, I am also in favor of: The John F. Kennedy School of Government, relocating to the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. The US Chamber of C...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 07:18 )

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View from Central Park

Secret garden

READER, I recently discovered a secret garden. Ready with my camera, I decided to take a stroll down my street and capture some of the beautiful summer blooms. Slowly making my way I found and captured the most perfect wine-colored and white dahlia, feminine ruffled petaled hot pink roses, a creamy white rose with a gold eye in its center and raining petals at its side, as well as almost vintage-like tiny very pale clusters of blushing ballerina pink rosettes. Some were belllike, super tall, ju...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:08 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Alan Pollack, activist for Israel, dies at 77

Marcy Oster Pollack, a leading Zionist activist from the 1960s to the 1980s, joined the JTA board in 1979. ... [Link]

Haredi Orthodox neighborhood has NYC’s highest birth rate

Julie Wiener Borough Park, an area in Brooklyn known for its sizable Orthodox Jewish population, has 27.9 births per 1,000 residents, making it “easily the city’s baby capital.” ... [Link]

Holocaust survivor criticized for urging end to prosecution of SS officers

Julie Wiener Eva Mozes Kor, who had been one of 50 Auschwitz survivors bringing charges against Oskar Groening, made her remarks on German television. ... [Link]

Nicki Minaj made this kid’s bar mitzvah legendary

Gabe Friedman What was the famous hip-hop artist doing at a bar mitzvah? ... [Link]

The world’s smallest Bible, now on view at the Israel Museum

Gabe Friedman You’ve never seen the Bible like this before. That is, if you can actually see this version. ... [Link]

Why Israeli couples have surrogate pregnancies in Nepal

Ben Sales Israeli couples unable to get pregnant are choosing surrogacy abroad. For same-sex couples, Nepal is one of the only options. ... [Link]

Berlin police apologize for making soccer fans put away Israeli flag

Julie Wiener An Israeli playing for the Ingolstadt club reportedly tweeted in Hebrew after the incident that a stadium marshal told the fans “no Jew-flags” were allowed. ... [Link]

Kitchen employee stabbed by former co-worker at Philly-area day school

Julie Wiener The victim in the incident at Barrack Hebrew Academy was stabbed in the head and neck and is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. ... [Link]

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