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Building sandcastles, a relationship with G-d

ON a hot August day in 1959, I sat cramped in the back seat of our Thunderbird between suitcases, pillows and my annoying 13-year-old brother for what seemed like the longest trip of my life. Amid melting crayons, half-eaten sandwiches and bouts of car-sickness, I whined for most of the eight hours it took to get to our destination.

But the moment we drove up to our little cabin, nestled among pine trees and within walking distance of Cape Cod Bay, my attitude changed. For the next two weeks, I spent every waking moment running up and down the sand dunes, building castles on the beach and finding all sorts of magical things, like starfish and sea glass, in the sand at low tide.

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:17 )

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Books

Class distinctions

I NEVER thought much about Bombay, India, until I read Thrity Umrigar’s most recent novel, The Space Between Us. When I was done, I couldn’t help but realize that while she infuses her book with the real Bombay, in all of its color and contrasts — the red hot chili peppers and squalid water running through the streets, the dark slums and the gleaming luxury buildings — in truth Umrigar really wants to take the reader past her native city to a mental space we all occupy, the space we put ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:17 )

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View from Central Park

Rav Amital of blessed memory

SOMETIMES you hear about someone’s passing and you just wish you knew this person in the flesh, panim el panim — in person, in their lifetime. That is how I feel about Rav Yehuda Amital. I wish I had known him. And just like with the famous Talmudic teachers — study partners, chavrutah pairs — throughout our Jewish history, Rava and Abaye, Rav and Shmuel, Reish Lakish and Rav Yochanan, it is hard to think of Rav Amital of blessed memory without thinking of, to distinguish the living fro...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:18 )

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View From Denver

The Prime Ministers: from agony to humor to insight

The Prime Ministers: from agony to humor to insightNO one in the world knows, save a few pilots, Israel’s very top military brass, its prime minister and a few other ministers. No one in Israel knows, no one outside Israel knows. The Jewish people is shuddering in fear. The Psalms flow in anguish and abundance around the world. Also: imagine this pre-cell phone, pre-email world. This is 1967. June 5, 1967, to be exact, the day of the beginning of the Six Day War. Nobody has the instant scoop. The beginning was the destruction of the entire E...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:19 )

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View From Denver

Did an Israeli Ashkenazi school bar Sephardi students?

DID a chasidic Ashkenazi school in the town of Emmanuel, Israel  bar Sephardi students? Based on some of the reporting and on the Internet banter on the question, one could come to this open-and-shut conclusion: The discrimination in the chasidic school in Emmanuel is so pronounced that when ordered to accept Sephardi girls by the High Court of Israel (its Supreme Court), the Ashkenazi parents decided to withdraw their children, make their own school (and make it exclusively Ashkenazi) — and...

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 November 2010 09:20 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Study: Global anti-Semitism reaches seven-year high

Julie Wiener In the 77 countries in which Jews were harassed, Jews were “much more likely to be harassed by individuals or groups in society than by governments.” ... [Link]

‘Kosher Soul’ plays on stereotypes — amusing some, angering others

Anthony Weiss A reality show on a black-Jewish couple examines what it describes as a culture clash in, ahem, black and white, without too many intervening shades of gray. ... [Link]

Palestinian arrested in West Bank stabbing attempt of soldier

Marcy Oster The attack, in which no one was hurt, occurred at the same junction where an Israeli man was stabbed by a Palestinian woman in December. ... [Link]

Israel and Jordan sign water, Dead Sea agreement

Marcy Oster The agreement implements the first stage of the Seas Canal project, including the construction of a desalination plant north of Aqaba to supply water to both nations. ... [Link]

Katy Perry visits Auschwitz

Marcy Oster The singer posted a photo of the prisoner barracks on Instagram with the caption, “My heart was heavy today.” ... [Link]

Susan Rice, Samantha Power to speak at AIPAC conference

Ron Kampeas Susan Rice, the U.S. national security adviser who has said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress has been “destructive” to the relationship, will speak at the A... [Link]

U.C. Berkeley student government condemns anti-Semitism

Marcy Oster The bill calls for the student government to take immediate action against anti-Semitism and forms an ad-doc committee on anti-Semitism. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: What we’d like to hear from Netanyahu on Iran

Ben Harris Two leaders of the progressive Zionist group Ameinu write that the Israeli prime minister’s insistence on addressing Congress is an attempt to gain an edge in upcoming Israeli elections. ... [Link]

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