Taking Aim At Gun Violence

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Halacha (Jewish law), just like the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, states the right for citizens to own weapons for use in self-protection and to maintain public safety. In the case of Jewish law, however, it also mandates safe and responsible use with regard to ownership for the public good. “Safe and responsible”… Read More

Vertigo: The Real Thing

The psychological thriller “Vertigo” is considered an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece, filled with suspense and intrigue. In that classic film, life starts to unravel for a police officer who develops vertigo, a feeling of debilitating dizziness, after a terrifying incident. The movie is fiction, but the condition of vertigo is very real for about 70 million… Read More

Gene-ious

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A new study on the genetics behind schizophrenia and bipolar disorder has found that a tiny genetic difference can increase the risk of being afflicted with the diseases, a difference only found thanks to the unique genetics of Ashkenazi Jews. “I’ve always known we have a unique demographic history,” said study team leader Dr. Todd… Read More

Start Your Ovens!

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The iconic Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest keeps going strong. I attended this year’s event at the stunning new Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. This truly American competition started in 1949: No-knead water-rising twists (a nut sweet roll raised under water) won the grand prize, and Eleanor Roosevelt attended as a guest. The contest keeps evolving to… Read More

Chesed Starts At Home

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Some people find performing chesed, kindness, an easy task. As Jews, we perform chesed for people in the following order: 1.people who are closest to us, 2. our neighbors and 3. the rest of the world. We are blessed to live in a community that encourages chesed. I interviewed two rabbis, Rabbi Menachem Goldberger, of… Read More

Nurturing Spirituality

We have just returned home after the wedding of our youngest. There is this rare sense of completion, seeing all our children launched on their spiritual paths along with their soul mates. In unimagined and wondrous ways, it actually got done. I want to savor this joy so the glow will linger. But my new… Read More

New Orleans Jazz Lives On

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Ben Jaffe practically learned how to crawl and walk at Preservation Hall. The legendary New Orleans venue, located in the city’s French Quarter, was transformed into an integrated jazz club in 1961 by Jaffe’s parents, Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The couple was instrumental in putting the first form of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on… Read More

Review: Well Done

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It merits a place of honor in the waiting room of every therapist’s office, in yoga studios, at meditation centers and on bookshelves in homes everywhere. And in every place where those of us who are no longer children seek comfort, insight, faith and meaning. Jean-Pierre Weill’s new illustrated book, “The Well of Being: A… Read More

Sing-A-Long

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The Jewish community of Howard County got into the spirit of Chanukah last week with a communitywide Zimriyah (sing-a-long). The Nov. 24 event, which was led by Howard County community cantors, brought Jews of all ages and affiliations out to Temple Isaiah in Fulton, Md. Aside from all the singing fun, families brought new pairs… Read More

Music, Puppets Connect With Seniors

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Yenta, Gita, Yunkle and Antiochus all walk into a senior assisted-living community. Does it sound like quite the story? In this case, they were all puppets, but the human connection was very real for the residents of Emeritus Senior Living in Pikesville, thanks to the Beth Tfiloh Puppeteers. Anita Knisbacher has combined her background in… Read More