Comedy for Koby Mea Culpa

December 7, 2012

My post earlier this week about the Comedy for Koby show that recently toured Israel set off a storm of criticism. I was pilloried by readers who were shocked by my denunciation of two of the original comics on the program who backed out when Operation Pillar of Defense began. “I don’t expect people to risk their […]

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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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First Siren

November 19, 2012

When I was growing up in California, I had a terrible fear of being caught in the shower when an earthquake hit. What would I do, stressed my pre-teen self; would I run out into the street stark naked in order to save myself? How would I live down the embarrassment? Or would I risk […]

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Ambivalence on Jerusalem Day

May 21, 2012

Yom Yerushalayim was yesterday, but this post on Israelity generated so much comment, I’m reprinting it here on This Normal Life. I’m never quite sure what to think of Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day in English. The day commemorates the reunification of the city following the Six Day War in 1967 – 45 years ago […]

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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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Land Grab

February 1, 2011

UPDATE: The Attorney General has decided not to defend Galant. Crime, it seems, will not be rewarded in this case! One of the most frustrating parts of living in Israel is when people think they’re above the law. You see it on the highways (speeding, not yielding the right of way in a traffic circle) […]

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Tisha B’av with Helicopters

July 20, 2010

Every year on Tisha B’av, there are pundits who write in the local newspapers that we should stop fasting and start celebrating. Tisha B’av – the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av (which always falls somewhere in super-heated July or August) – commemorates various tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people, first and […]

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Prediction Tradition

January 4, 2010

Growing up, our family had an annual tradition on New Year’s Day. My father, my brother and I would gather around the family room table and put down in writing our predictions for the upcoming year. We would then open the envelope that had been sealed “upon pain of death” from the previous year. Our […]

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Iran as Psychotherapy

January 4, 2007

I was interviewed this week by Michele Chabin, a reporter from the New York Jewish Week, and asked to give an “average Israeli’s” opinion on the threat from Iran. How did it make us feel? Were we afraid? Did we have thoughts of leaving? Was the world community’s response comforting or confounding? The interview came […]

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