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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Features

Social Security: Don’t Be in a Rush

A popular expression goes “good things come to those who wait.” Undoubtedly, whoever coined that phrase did not have Social Security benefits in mind, but the saying certainly applies very well to them. As opined below, most people are better off deferring their Social Security retirement date until at least age 66, and probably to age

Who Needs a Rabbi?

My wife’s grandfather, a Hasid who was trapped behind the Iron Curtain for decades before moving to Brooklyn, used to enjoy being asked who his rebbe was. After all, every good Hasid needs a rebbe. He would say that God is his rebbe, not any man. He answered to God and only God. That was a nice personal statement but, in reality, he took

The Missing Question: How Do We Experience Authority?

This past fall, the Orthodox/halachic community experienced the most honest public conversation about itself that I think I’ve ever seen. The arrest and investigation of Rabbi Barry Freundel opened up a series of powerful conversations. Husbands and wives talked about gender roles in Jewish law; friends talked about their feelings about

An Appreciation of That Much-Missed Contrarian, Hitch

As I reluctantly welcome the cold heart of another winter, I recall that three years have passed since my favorite thinker and writer departed this earth.  I would have recalled Christopher Hitchens’ death after precisely three years, on December 15th, but my patience was to be tested, as The Jewish Link’s official

I Always Knew My Mother’s Heart

Ever since the time I went to Sheepshead Bay to watch the people catch fish off of the piers, I kept in very close contact with my mother. You might say that it was a bit eccentric for a young boy to keep such a closeness with his mother, but I was 10 years old and there was a good reason for it. It had nothing to do with me. I

No News Is Good News

I love getting feedback about my columns. If you like them, if you don’t like them, it’s all good. I am a middle child and I can take anything you throw at me. People who usually don’t even say hello to me feel they can put their two cents in and I totally enjoy hearing their comments (and their actual voices; who knew they

Honk! Honk!

This week, I am going to be writing about and delving into a very sensitive subject. Some of you are too old for this; some of you have yet to begin on this journey. The rest of us are involved in different aspects of this topic. So without further babbling, I would like to discuss the issue of carpooling (insert dramatic music

Ya Dassn’t Do That!

I must have been 11 as I think back and remember Julius, who was a kind-hearted man who cared about me and the kids in the neighborhood. Julius was the husband of Molly, my mother’s best girlfriend from the old country. He would always talk to us, giving us advice, teaching us things, especially the stuff that we shouldn’t be

Cars: Then and Now

Goober. To some of you, a goober is a delicious chocolate-covered peanut snack. Apparently a “goober” is also a west coast nickname for someone who is a weirdo, but in a good way. To me, Goober will always be the name of my first and beloved car. Goober, of blessed memory, was a 1980 four-door Cadillac Sedan Deville. He had a

Consistency & Routines

“Okay kids, bedtime…,” time for the nightly routine of whisking our children into bed.

I turn to our 3-year-old, “Avi, what CD do you want to listen to tonight?”

I know the answer, but I ask anyway to humor myself. He wants to listen to the same CD

Holding Our Breaths Through Flu Season

I know you aren’t going to believe this, but I have something in common with Kelly Ripa. In case you don’t know who she is, she is the talk show hostess from ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael (formerly Live with Regis and Kathie Lee). She was also on the soap opera All My Children. Kelly is a blonde wisp of

A Mother’s Love

There are things that happen in life that take maybe a few minutes of time and yet leave an impression for a lifetime. A wonderful thing such as that happened to me one morning after I drove my wife to the train station for her commute to Manhattan.

Let me back up a little. When I first came