Living Through Terror

Fire from Below

August 23, 2014

With our nerves already on edge from the air raid sirens and the heartbreaking mounting death toll as Operation Protective Edge raged on last month, the thick black smoke billowing out of our parking garage did not bode well. I was about to jump in the shower when my son burst in and told me […]

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A Prayer Skeptic Confronts Facebook

July 11, 2014

A rabbi friend of mine had major surgery last month. Thankfully, he made it through OK and has now begun a long recovery process. Before, during and after the surgery, my Facebook Wall was flooded with posts asking me to pray for my friend. Impromptu minyans were formed online as well as at his congregation […]

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Working through War

November 20, 2012

Are we at war? Because, if so, then I have a valid excuse to miss my deadlines. If not, if this is still an “operation,” then I’m just a procrastinator with a short attention span. Such are the realities of being a news junky, a passionate defender of Israel, a father of two children in […]

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Escape from Novogrodek

September 7, 2012

Jack Kagan has one of the most breathtaking – and little known – stories of heroism and escape during the Holocaust. Kagan was one of 250 Jews forced into a “work camp” near Novogrodek, Belasrus. I say “work” camp because it was clear that their fate would ultimately be the same as the 15,000 Jews […]

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An Encounter in Beit Jalla

November 30, 2011

The last time I even thought about Beit Jalla, it was when rockets were being fired from that Palestinian village towards the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Israeli helicopter gunships would regularly fly over our home on their way to fire at terrorist targets. I would wake up at night afraid – that is if […]

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Sweating the Small Stuff Too

August 23, 2011

While it’s the big news that gets all the headlines, sometimes it’s the small stuff that’s the hardest to sweat. Last week, terrorists attacked along the Israel-Egypt border just north of Eilat. The ensuing days have been filled with IDF strikes and Gazan counterattacks. More people have died. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, the seminal rap-rock band […]

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Gaza: a Rock and Roll Response

July 14, 2010

With another ship of questionable humanitarian aid and activists on its way to Gaza this week, I thought I’d take a look back at what my wife Jody and I did during the original “Free Gaza flotilla” and near lynching of Israeli troops six weeks ago: we went to a concert. Not just any concert, […]

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Gilad, Amir and Marla

December 2, 2009

With negotiations heating up over the release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for up to 1,000 hardened Palestinian prisoners, debate on the merits of the deal have been all over the news for days, as well as in discussions within our own family. Two recent events have made it particularly personal. The crux of the […]

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Free Phone Calls Courtesy of Israel’s PokeTalk

January 15, 2009

Residents of the southern part of Israel in range of missiles from Gaza can now make phone calls up to 30 minutes to their friends and relatives entirely for free, thanks to a new Israeli startup called PokeTalk. The service, which is already operational in 60 countries around the world, is good for any calls […]

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War in Gaza: Which Way Will the Dreidel Fall?

January 4, 2009

Our friend Joan called last night just as the news broke that the IDF had begun its ground operation in Gaza. Joan was panicked. She knew a number of families in our neighborhood who had boys in combat units. “Why are we doing this?” she said. “Can’t we pull them all out now?” My first […]

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