People of the Book The Unwinding - A History of the Distant Present

The world is 7 billion stories waiting to be told. America is perhaps the only nation conceived on the principle that individual stories are worth telling, but in this era of foreclosure, it’s the nation most likely to walk back its promise to tell them. No matter what America ever aspired to be, we’ve never come… Read More

People of the Book Der Rosenkavalier: 2017 in 3/4 Time

Excepting sex, comic opera’s the best thing in the world. The reason is simple, comic opera isn’t funny, it’s just opera without grand airs. All it does is imitate life’s flowing moods. Mozart’s its great master, every phrase of his operas simultaneously capturing all life’s moods. He’s the ph7 of expression. Composers tried to bring… Read More

The Case for a Smaller City Council

Baltimore City faces an understaffed police force, an underfunded public school system and an underpopulated city that is at its lowest in 100 years. The oversized and expensive Baltimore City Council is always brainstorming to find solutions to its never-ending problem of the city’s budget shortfall in revenue. On Nov. 6, 2018, Baltimore City voters… Read More

College Doesn’t Turn Jews from Judaism

In a recent analysis of U.S. religious groups, the Pew Research Center reported that the most educated American Jews are also the least religious. In considering these findings, it’s tempting to think that secular education leads to assimilation among American Jews. The reason this might make sense: In a diverse, open society, education can draw… Read More

People of the Book Chekhov Aleichem

In interviews, Amos Oz often talks about the revelations Chekhov gave him. When he first read Chekhov, he realized he could write about the people he knew — their disappointments, failures, thwarted aspirations (and Chekhov, the great poet of the disappointing life, knew how to write differently about all three). Chekhov writes about rural Russia, but… Read More

Can Trump Survive Abbas?

There was something of a motivational speaker about President Donald Trump as he welcomed Mahmoud Abbas, the geronto-crat at the helm of the Palestinian Authority for the last 12 years, to the White House on May 3. At their joint appearance, Trump was confident and beaming. Abbas, in turn, came across as eager and respectful…. Read More

Proud, Strong Israel — Forever

As I write this, it is 10 a.m. Krakow time (4 a.m. in Baltimore), on Friday, April 28, and we are aboard IAF 002, our flight from Krakow to Tel Nof Air Force Base in  Israel. IAF stands for Israel Air Force. We will be the very first civilian group of passengers ever to fly… Read More