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In January 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, at the behest of his boss, Heinrich Himmler, convened a conference in a villa in Wansee, a suburb of Berlin. Some of the top hierarchy of the Nazi party and … more
Our parasha, Vaera, contains five instances of the term, “taida — that you know,” as found in the context of the eser makkot (10 Plagues). The Ramban (Nachmanides, 1194-1270) … more
Parshat Vayera opens with one of the most famous scenes in the Bible: Abraham’s meeting with three enigmatic strangers. The text calls them men. We later discover that they were in fact … more
There was a time when I was fascinated by the great psychoanalytic thinkers, chief among them Sigmund Freud, whose attitude towards his Jewish origins piqued my curiosity. Although … more
For centuries, anti-Semites have fetishized Jewish appearance. Using tedious racist tropes — be it smell, hooked noses, curly hair or traditional garb — anti-Semites labeled Jews as … more
The JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran was a big topic during last week’s Democratic debate in Iowa. The candidates praised the agreement, said Iran was following it, and blamed President … more
It’s a study in contradictions: The extremist progressive youth of the American university and the extremist progressive youth of the Iranian university. Living in that university milieu … more
In his 1989 book “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, “Israel is becoming Yad Vashem with an Air Force.” That line represents the kind of … more
One of the most difficult questions we face when looking at the narrative of the plagues in this week’s parsha, Vaera, in understanding verse 3 in chapter 7. In explaining how the plagues … more
It is winter and my doctor just told me to concentrate my fruit eating on blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries for the best nutritional value with the fewest calories … more
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