The Old Country

The eternal optimist

November 19, 2022

I was devastated with the results of our fifth election in four years. But there are, in fact, several reasons to be optimistic.

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Toss that word salad

October 23, 2022

When did we lose the ability to laugh at the linguistic changes coming at us at an ever-increasing pace? A look at modern-day “woke” euphemisms.

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Repurposing old camps, malls and leper asylums

October 9, 2022

El Rancho Navarro is an unlikely name for a Jewish summer camp. But it’s where I came of age Jewishly. What’s happened there in the 40 years since?

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New Year’s predictions from the past

September 25, 2022

When I was a teenager, every New Year’s Day, my family would gather together to make predictions about what the coming year might bring.

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Embracing the empty nest

August 27, 2022

On the day we took our son, Aviv, to Ben-Gurion Airport to begin his new life as a music student in New York, we couldn’t stop crying.

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The legacy of Marla’s babies

July 31, 2022

Twenty years ago, our cousin Marla was killed in a suicide bombing at Hebrew University. Since then, more than 25 babies have been named after her.

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Can the Talmud save us from structural stupidity?

July 3, 2022

American social psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University Jonathan Haidt published an alarming article in the Atlantic magazine earlier this year that has since gone viral.  In the piece, Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid, he asked provocatively: Is social media compatible with democracy? His somber conclusion: […]

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What was your most unique Pesach Seder?

April 24, 2022

What was your most memorable Passover Seder? Ours was in Kathmandu with 1,000 people at Chabad. Here are 10 more stories.

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Playing Space Invaders with my eyes

February 14, 2022

Dr. Scott Geller is playing Space Invaders with my vision, aiming a high powered laser beam into my eyes to “pulverize” my floaters.

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Bari Weiss is my hero

January 15, 2022

Bari Weiss’s political outlook is not one with which I normally identify. But the more I’ve been reading her newsletter, the more I find myself nodding in agreement.

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