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Even before the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicked off, the tournament already had a hero: the former captain of the Iranian national team, Ali Daei. Now retired and working as a coach, Daei is … more
During a hearing last Thursday of the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, House Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J. Fifth District) posed a question, … more
Once my bar mitzvah was behind me, I was free to choose my own Jewish path. My parents, children of immigrants from Russia and Romania, exemplified assimilation. They neither denied their Jewish … more
As much as anything, Jews are the people of the joke. In his 1981 book, Funny People, Steve Allen estimated that 80 percent of American comics were Jewish. That shouldn’t shock anyone. As … more
Why didn’t Sigmund Freud leave Vienna until it was almost too late? He knew what was happening to his Jewish colleagues in Germany after the Nazis took power. Nevertheless, the great man … more
One of the fun exercises I like to employ when studying Chumash is to attribute vague or ambiguous statements to the less obvious person. Let us read two familiar verses in Chapter 27. We’ll … more
The beginning of our parasha, Toldos, focuses on Yitzchak and Rivka. Unfortunately, like Sarah and Rachel, Rivka was initially unable to conceive: And Yitzchak prayed to … more
Once, in the midst of a class, I noticed a student’s eyes begin to water. We were having a discussion about identity, and how we tap into who we really are. In tears, he explained how he had … more
The professor was wrong. But in his field of expertise he was always right. His name was Dr. Dennis Wrong, and his surname made him the object of much teasing, at least during his childhood. He … more
In this week’s sedra, Toldos, we see Isaac as the parent of two very different sons. The boys grew up. Esau became a skilful hunter, a man of the outdoors; but Jacob was a mild man who … more
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