December 12, 2002

Many Angry Voices

The old joke says, \”For every two Jews, you have three opinions.\” So is it possible that, as members of the Jewish political left complained in an ad on the back page of this newspaper on Nov. 22, \”In the name of unity in a time of crisis, the great Jewish tradition of vibrant and open debate has given way to a single voice\”?

One of the main organizers of that \”One Community, Many Voices\” statement, UCLA professor David N. Myers, said of current Jewish political discourse that \”the default assumption is that you support the present policies of the Israeli government, and hold Israel free of responsibility for the situation, or you\’re against us.\”

The Truth About Lotty

Fans of Sara Paretsky\’s V.I. Warshawski detective novels are used to following the hard-edged but soft-hearted Chicago private investigator unravel interlocking stories of white-collar crime and corruption.

While there\’s plenty of crime and corruption in \”Total Recall\” (Dell, $7.99) the V.I. Warshawski novel recently released in paperback, there\’s also something new: the story of Lotty Herschel\’s flight from Austria on the eve of the war. Lotty was a young Jewish child living in Vienna when Hitler rose to power. At 9, she fled to London through the Kindertransport — the British rescue mission that saved thousands of Jewish children just before war broke out. She is now haunted by memories of her family that died, and does her best to suppress them.

Composer’s Score Has a Unique ‘Ring’

Nineteenth century composer and notorious anti-Semite Richard Wagner believed that a Jewish composer could never successfully treat serious mythical subject matter in music. But Wagner never anticipated Howard Shore.

Bust a Jewish Rhyme

Urban poetry slams around the world, like this one at the Workmen\’s Circle, allow different groups and ethnicities to mine their cultural issues.\n\nThe Workmen\’s Circle slam is also a way to bring younger people to this nearly century-old bastion of Jewish culture and social activism, said Assistant Director Jenni Person, who has been at the circle since September, and serves as the event\’s slam master or host.

Hijinks ‘n’ Hilarity Mark Wit’s Career

Irving Brecher, my 88-year-old writing partner, stood onstage at the Arclight Cinemas on Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street after screening "Meet Me in St. Louis." Irv wrote this classic in 1944, one of seven MGM musicals he did.

A Chanukah in the ‘People’s House’

The invitation to the White House was completely unexpected. It arrived in a caligraphied envelope, with a Chanukah stamp in the corner and a menorah showing through.

A Chanukah card, I thought, but I was wrong. There was a gold presidential seal at the top of the card and a few lines of black engraving: \”President and Mrs. Bush request the pleasure of your company at a Hanukah reception to be held at the White House. Six o\’clock. Wednesday, December 6. East Entrance.\”

Not bad from a man whom most of my friends thought I was crazy to vote for, because he was a member of the \”religious right.\”

Ask Wendy

Ask Wendy, readers\’ questions and get answers.

Up a Tree Looking for a Home

My family and I are eager to move to Los Angeles from Seattle, but I\’ve got a problem: We are Orthodox and we like trees.

The Sadat Legacy: 25 Years Later

Throughout last month, the Israeli people commemorated the 25th anniversary of the historic visit to Israel by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and the resulting peace accord between Israel and Egypt.

Ninth Circuit Misses on Iran

I once appeared in court to ask that three additional defendants be held liable on a judgment.

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Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.