April 2008: Haman, Pharaoh and the Chief Rabbinate…

You have all heard the joke.  It goes something like this:

“Most Jewish holidays can be described the same way:  They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”  

This punch line also serves as the refrain in “Passover Song,” a song touted by the New Jersey Jewish Standard as “a hilariously inaccurate account of the Passover story.” Having reviewed the lyrics myself, I’m not sure that I would call the song “hilarious,” though it certainly is inaccurate. (more…)


Honest Reporting on Gaza

    Special Report: Gaza - Israel Responds to Hamas's Escalation A look at the context behind Israel's military ops in Gaza.     Loss of human life in a conflict is invariably an ugly situation and one that creates intense media interest. Such is the case of Israel's military operations in Gaza that are currently making international headline news. However, the focus on Palestinian casualties ignores the context behind Israel's actions and only tells a part of the real story. HAMAS FIRES KATYUSHAS AT ASHKELON Sderot and the western Negev region have been under constant attack from Qassam missiles and mortars. Palestinian terrorists have deliberately set out to kill and maim innocent Israeli civilians making life unbearable for those within missile range. Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in mid-June 2007, over 800 rockets and over 900 mortar bombs have been fired. Since Thursday 28 February alone, over 100 rockets have been launched at southern Israel. At the…


March 2008: Memoirs of a Ga-Ga Champion…

It turns out that Ga-Ga may not be a 40 year-old man’s sport.  Make no mistake:  I took on all challengers and emerged victorious at the TBS First Annual Winter Shabbaton Ga-Ga Tournament.  But as I write this, I must admit that my muscles are a bit sore.  I suspect that the dozen or so other contestants, ranging in age from 5 to 15, probably feel fine.  Sore or not, though, we all had a great time. (more…)


Doris Arotsky Katz – Devorah bat Layzer ve-Shayna – February 29, 2008

Doris Katz was a beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother and a cherished friend. Doris has fought for a long time and the last five weeks were just terrible. Doris was a certain kind of person who didn’t want to draw attention to herself and didn’t want to complain. It was her last act of kindness and love: She didn’t want her loved ones to be more upset than they already were and so she didn’t show how much pain she was in. Every person has the right to be herself. I think of this as a person’s integrity as a person. If I can find any comfort in these last weeks, it is that Doris was herself right to the end. (more…)


IM Issue 12 – March 2008


At the February 10th cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said there will be no peace between Israelis and Palestinians as long as Gaza terrorists continue launching rockets at Israeli towns. “There is no hope for any kind of peace or the vision of the Pales-tinian state which includes the Gaza Strip without real change on the ground,” Livni told reporters.


A Modest Proposal for Middle East Peace

The U.N. need only take five simple steps.By Victor Davis HansonThere seems to be a growing renewed animus against Israel lately. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the purported humanist Mahatma Gandhi, thinks Israel and Jews in general are prone to, and singularly responsible for, most of the world’s violence. The Oxford Union is taking up the question of whether Israel even has a right to continue to exist. Our generation no longer speaks of a “Palestinian problem,” but rather of an “Israeli problem.” So perhaps it is time for a new global approach to deal with Israel and its occupation.Perhaps we ought to broaden our multinational and multicultural horizons by transcending the old comprehensive settlements, roadmaps, and Quartet when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, a dispute which originated with the creation of Israel. Why not simply hold an international conference on all of these issues — albeit in a far more…


How True by George Carlin (sorry, not quite!)

Mea culpa ... As it was pointed out by one of our members, the following was attributed to George Carlin by an urban legend. While the sentiment is commendable, the actual author was a rather unsavory pastor as can be read here . As I, perhaps the name George Carlin made you read this?                    The paradox of our time inhistory is that we have taller buildings but shortertempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. Wespend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoyless. We have bigger houses and smaller families,more conveniences, but less time. We have moredegrees but less sense, more knowledge, but lessjudgment, more experts, yet more problems, moremedicine, but less wellness.                    We drink too much, smoke toomuch, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drivetoo fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get uptoo tired, read too little, watch TV too much, andpray too seldom.                    We have multiplied…