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Monica Osborne

Monica Osborne

Essays reflect modern age in classic texts

That books form the core of Jewish culture is not a new idea. Adam Kirsch reminds us, in the preface to his recently published “The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature,” that books are the “binding force” that has sustained a civilization and culture.

Up close and personal with the TSA

Recent days have been full of continually unfolding reports about a new intercepted underwear bomb intended to be carried aboard a U.S.-bound plane by an al-Qaida agent. That agent, said to be British, turned out to be working simultaneously with Saudi and U.S. intelligence, and the bomb never got near a plane. But as I prepared last week to board a flight to Alaska, where I would be participating in a conference devoted to the ethical work of Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, I couldn’t help but wonder what role this newly acquired knowledge will play in upcoming discussions about airport security and the effectiveness of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

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