Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday that fits right in with Jewish values: blessing God communally for getting you through hard times.
This year for the first and only time I can remember, Thanksgiving comes out on the first day of Hanukka.
When we got off the plane in 1971, wanting so much to be Israelis, we never gave much thought to hanging on to the American in us. But just by chance, my husband’s birthday and our anniversary were just a day apart in the last week in November. So, from the very beginning, we decided to give thanks for both those occasions by enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner.
At first, it was only the two of us, so we looked around for a hotel that would be roasting turkeys for tourists. We found these amazing buffets at eye-watering prices at …
…continue reading Thanksgivings
Friends, here is a report from Friday’s English language edition of Haaretz, Israel’s most respected newspaper, explaining what the Supreme Court ruling in my favor really means.
Writer Ragen vindicated in plagiarism court deal by Maya Sela
A compromise agreement that represented an almost total victory for best-selling author Naomi Ragen was reached in the Supreme Court copyright violation suit against her. Then Jerusalem District Court Judge Joseph Shapira [now State Comptroller] had found in favor of author Sarah Shapiro, ruling that Ragen had violated Shapiro’s copyright. Ragen then appealed to the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, however, both women accepted a compromise suggested by the Supreme Court. Under the deal, the District Court’s verdict will be annulled and Shapiro will have to return the NIS 97,000 in compensation that the lower court ordered Ragen to pay her. Ragen, for her …
…continue reading Naomi Ragen Vindicated in “Almost Total Victory”
Yesterday I went to the Supreme Court of Israel with the hope that finally justice would be done and District Court Judge Yosef Shapira’s insulting, ugly, and false judgment against me for copyright infringement (which he called “literary theft” – something which simply does not exist) would be overturned, as was his previous judgment against me in another case.
I had hardly entered the courtroom when Chief Justices Naor, Chayot and Hendel immediately suggested throwing out Judge Shapira’s judgment, calling it “problematic,” and requiring my accuser Sarah Shapiro to pay back all the money she’d received as compensation.
They called it a compromise.
This is, as I said, the second time the Supreme Court overturned a ruling against me by the same judge. Details of the first time are here and …continue reading Naomi Ragen Wins A Second Plagiarism Suit in the Supreme Court
The road to J Street might be paved with good intentions. But as we saw with Oslo, this kind of delusional thinking inevitably ends up covering our streets in Israel with blood.
When an idea is thoroughly debunked by the facts, wouldn’t you think that intelligent people would change their minds? The world, we now know, isn’t flat. The planet actually revolves around the sun, and not the opposite.
Or so we thought.
But when it comes to “peace” activists, nothing, but nothing, seems to alter their conceptions: not the bloodbath that drenched Israel ushered in by the Oslo “Peace” Accords, and not the hell on earth that happened to communities in range of rocket fire from the disengaged Gaza – the final straw that debunked the land for peace delusion.
J Street, a virulently anti-Israel and anti-Zionist propaganda machine, …
…continue reading My Street, Your Street and J Street
To find a partner in life, to take care of them, put up with them, become one with them during a long, eventful marriage in which both of you are tested to the limits of your being, is to be shown the true mirror of your own character.
The other night, quite belatedly I admit, I watched the 2001 movie “Prozac Nation,” based on the 1994 bestseller by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that a pointless tale about a mean-spirited, completely self-absorbed brat with an excuse note from her parents (yes, yes, they are both certifiable and poor little Lizzy had to excel to please her crazy mother, resulting in a scholarship to Harvard…real child abuse. Discuss it with the Tiger Mother). Elizabeth feels she has a right to be co-dependently crazy.
Afterward, I wondered what …
…continue reading The Joys of the Grown-Up Life
In the recent past, such goings-on would have been greeted with violent haredi demonstrations, particularly during the summer months when idle yeshiva boys are traditionally kept busy with such work.
Never do I remember more post-election excitement and upheaval in Israel, on the civilian front, than in the last few months. Swept into the government by an unprecedented populist tide, big winner Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid [There is a Future] Party opened the floodgates of hope that, after 65 years of stifling stalemate and rising fury, the increasingly grating and fraught divide between secular Israelis and their ultra-Orthodox brothers and sisters was in for a vast change. We crossed our fingers; election promises can melt and disappear like ice in spring rain. But this time, we have not been disappointed.
Lapid, appointed minister of finance, heralded the change …
…continue reading The Decline of Ultra-Orthodox Power
May we always be able to provide a home, a life, a future for all those distant members of our far-flung family who, for whatever reason, have joined us in our old/new land. And, like ancient Israel, may we continue to have our separate tribes, each with its own disparate cultural heritage and talents, all of them adding so much color, variety and joy to our collective lives.
I’m feeling nostalgic this week, maybe because the old year is over and the new one is about to begin.
Or maybe it’s because as I get older, the years get so much shorter.
Like the age we live in, where clicking your finger on a button or swiping it across a screen changes the view instantaneously, it feels like there are fewer than seven days in a week and that the …
…continue reading Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
The time has come for a courageous, widely based consensus of truly pious rabbinical scholars to reassert their leadership in instituting halakhic changes to address the needs crying out to be met in Jewish law and custom of our own miraculous age in all walks of Orthodox life.
My path to Orthodoxy was unorthodox, and that has made all the difference, I think, in what I hope for and expect as part of Orthodox Jewry.
I was the child of an American-born mother from a religious home and an immigrant father whose family had fled the pogroms of the Ukraine in the early 1900s. While my mother’s father was a devout Jew from Poland who took up house painting as a profession when he realized most other jobs in New York would force him to work on the Sabbath, …
…continue reading Finding Orthodoxy