My husband quit and then started again and then quit again and finally took to smoking out of sight. Or so he thought. One day my very healthy athletic son-in-law came up to me in the garden and said in an ominous whisper , “Do you know that Herman is smoking? I saw him out the window.” “Yes,” I said. “I know.” A look of disgust came across his face. “He’ll die,” he said. “Yes,” I said. So will you, I thought but didn’t say. I also didn’t say that Herman had started smoking when he was in the Army on a troop ship headed for England in 1941 when he was eighteen. He smoked his way across the channel and landed on day two on a Normandy beach. He smoked all the way through the battle of the Bulge and up to entrance of Dachau. He and four other G.I.’s were in charge of a truck-sized decoding machine. They stood in the trenches and sent word back to the Generals of progress or disaster. All he ever said about the war was that he was dry because they had to keep the machine dry and also that he and his group carried a duffel bag of books with them. It contained Thomas Mann, Jane Austen, Dostoyevsky, Marx, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Albert Payson Terhune’s dog stories.
Herman smoked through medical school and internship and through a dozen personal hard things that made him sad but also made him strong. It wasn’t so easy to quit. He was not lacking in will power. He made it to college and became a physician out of grit despite an impoverished, difficult immigrant family that had been evicted onto the streets when he was 15. He learned to speak without a Brooklyn mixed Yiddish accent from the Saturday afternoon movies he watched each week. When I met him he spoke English like Clark Gable, and he was still in love with Katherine Hepburn. He supported his own family and sent his children all to school and graduate school. He cared intensely about his patients. He just had a hard time giving up the comfort of cigarettes.
The sites sell the Hungarian edition of a book by a Swedish author that denies that the Nazis committed genocide and makes excerpts available to read on-line.
Ben Stein, a lifelong Republican, former speechwriter for Richard Nixon and the teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” really doesn’t like either candidate for president.
Alan Grayson, the explosive, left-wing, Jewish Congressman from Central Florida, crashed and burned Tuesday in Florida’s Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. He leaves a typically problematic legacy for the national party leaders who came to despise him.
The immediate effect of Grayson’s scorched-earth campaign is likely to jeopardize the Democrats’ chances of winning control of the Senate in November. Palm Beach Congressman Patrick Murphy, the Senate primary winner, has been so damaged by Grayson that only a Hillary Clinton landslide is likely to enable him to take the seat from in-again incumbent Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
As Donald Trump travels to Mexico Wednesday to meet with the nation’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, the country’s small Jewish community is keeping a close eye on the U.S. presidential hopeful.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed the reconciliation agreement with Israel restoring diplomatic ties after a six-year freeze.
“Donald Trump Jr retweeting Kevin MacDonald will send some (((people))) bananas. Cheers!” replied @Harampepe.
Has anyone in American politics had a more frustrating past couple years than Debbie Wasserman-Schultz? Obviously Jeb Bush hasn’t fared so well, and in some alternate universe Marco Rubio is within plausible striking distance of the White House.
But spare a thought for the Florida congresswoman and former head of the Democratic National Committee. Since mid-2014, she’s annoyed the right wing of her constituency in supporting the Iran nuclear deal, had a protracted falling out with Barack Obama, faced a plot to oust her as DNC chair, enraged left-wingers across the country for allegedly stacking the Democratic presidential primary process against Bernie Sanders, and was forced to resign as DNC head after Russian hackers’ published internal party emails the week before the Democratic convention, at which she was subsequently booed offstage.
Iris Apfel has some choice fashion advice for older women.
The semi-serious data-driven magazine Improbable Research has released a study empirically assessing (with tongue firmly in cheek) just how famous Donald Trump is.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that someone would research this. Growing up, as huge sports fans and as Jews, we were definitely aware of the few professional athletes who were Jewish. It was just common knowledge. Something you discover about a player because . . . well, there just aren’t that many of us in the world of professional sports. According to the U.S. Census, Jews make up about 2.2 percent of the U.S. population. Assuming that metric is accurate, Jews as a demographic group are underrepresented in pro sports. That fact leads to a joke every Jewish kid knows: What’s the shortest book ever written? Jewish Sports Legends.
PRAGUE (JTA) — A school atlas that labels Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will no longer be used in Czech schools, following a complaint by the Palestinian ambassador in Prague to the Czech Education Ministry. The atlas, first published by the Czech firm Shocart in 2004, was approved by the ministry for use in…
Apparently, everything old is new again — again. In recent months, fast fashion retailers Old Navy and H&M both made waves on social media by selling items that looked remarkably like a tallit, or traditional Jewish prayer shawl. And now, high-end hipster label rag & bone is hawking its “Ines Poncho,” a wool-blend garment adorned with fringe…
Reading the newspaper recently about the latest Trumpism, I had the urge to call my father, a longtime Republican, to talk about it. The only problem is that my dad died 35 years ago.
Moments like this keep the wound of loss fresh. What makes it worse is that my father died in September, so the anniversary usually coincides with the High Holidays, a time when I’m already balancing my ambivalence about religion with my desire to hear the Kol Nidre.
There has been a suspicious spike in “Jewish” prisoners at Glenochil Prison — and it has to do with the food.
The Israeli chapter of the U.S. Republican Party is getting out the vote for Donald Trump, with a special focus on West Bank settlers.
Vice’s recent publication of Mayan Toledano’s photographs of female Israeli soldiers didn’t celebrate their womanhood, it fetishized it.
Donald Trump’s head scratch-inducing trip to Mexico to meet with the country’s president, whom he’s very excited to talk with, feels like a tough pill to swallow. (Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has invited Clinton, as well.) And then there’ll be the “highly anticipated” speech about immigration following his visit, a media spectacle you won’t want to miss. And who knows what he’ll say.
It’s nearly autumn, and we’ve been downing Trump’s jagged hypocrisy for months now, but his political rhetoric still goes down like a tall glass of tacks. Trump, a clown who incites hatred, has maligned Mexicans, calling some of them rapists and criminals and drug runners and killers. He wants to deport America’s illegal immigrants, some 11 million of them. He wants Mexico to pay for a wall. Oh, but then there are reports he’s softening his stances on said deportations, leaving Trump “caught between appeasing his staunchest supporters and attempting to appeal to moderate Republicans and independent voters with a softer stance,” reports The Washington Post.
Real patriotism means criticizing America when it needs criticizing, Lana Adler argues.
Women of the Wall, the group agitating for women’s prayer rights at the Western Wall, said it feared a violent encounter with ultra-Orthodox protesters at its upcoming regular monthly prayer service after it was told that the group’s protection falls not to the police but to the ushers who help administer the site.