Loving Israel at the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War
Jun04

Loving Israel at the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War

Unbelievably, June 5 is the 50th anniversary of Israel’s lightning victory over the gathered Arab nations in the Six Day War of June 5-11, 1967.  The Jewish state paid a heavy price to survive; the rest of us need to pay tribute. We were now Hebrews; the gallant, nimble disciples of Joshua and Deborah. When we were children were living there some sixty years ago, it was still morning in Israel.  There was no West Bank, no Gaza (they...

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John F. Kennedy would have been 100 on May 29
May27

John F. Kennedy would have been 100 on May 29

LOS ANGELES–“God’s work on earth must truly be our own,” he declared in those thick Bostonian tones at the close of his renowned Inaugural Address on the bitter cold morning of January 20, 1961.  A flawed man with impeccable charm and poise, a legend larger than himself, he remains the eternally young icon of our national wistfulness. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, as American “doughboys” were being deployed...

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The Cineplex will never replace the memories
May01

The Cineplex will never replace the memories

These are the springtime festival days of Israel—Holocaust Remembrance Day last week, Israel Independence Day tomorrow, Jerusalem Day soon. I remember when, several years ago, it was reported in the international media that a huge, luxury Cineplex was being constructed in the suburban Israeli community of Kfar-Saba.  I retain some sensibilities regarding this matter–I was born in that one-time hamlet. What happened to the...

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My departed father still leads the Seder
Apr09

My departed father still leads the Seder

I remember: only weeks after my father died in 1976, our family convened at the house for the annual Seder—the festive banquet of Passover.   My father had always proudly led and meticulously directed the ceremonial meal, holding, reading, and chanting from the Haggadah –the book of blessings and folk-songs that also includes the grand narrative of the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt.  Like a provincial king, he raised his...

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When King directed his own funeral and taught us about life
Apr04

When King directed his own funeral and taught us about life

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 49 years ago today, April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.  He was standing on the balcony just outside Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel.  It was 6:01 PM and he had just leaned over the railing and was speaking to a gospel choir leader named Ben Branch—who was going to perform later that evening at a civil rights rally. “I don’t want a long funeral…tell them not to talk too long.” “Ben, you know...

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