Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This Just In

(1) JTS Chancellor Arnold "Arnie" Eisen spent the day with President Bush yesterday as part of the President's annual flesh-press with the Jews. The focus of the meeting was higher education and the invitees were a veritable who's who of the Jewish ed world: Karen Bacon, Dean of Stern College at Yeshiva U; Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, President of RRC ; Rabbi David H. Ellenson, President of HUC; Rabbi Zalman Gifter, President and Dean of Rabbinical College of Telshe in Ohio; Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University; Bernard Lander, Founder and President of Touro College; Julian Sandler, Chairman of the Board of Hillel; Rabbi Menachem Schmidt, Founder of Lubavitch House in Philadelphia; and Dr. Bob Wexler, President of UJ. I am sure it was a productive meeting that will lead the President to make serious changes in his approach to higher education, particularly in its funding. I am also sure that being sick yesterday made me delirious.

(2) Monday night, I lit candles with my Aunt, my Grandma, and my three beautiful and brilliant little cousins. I was given the honor of lighting the candles and as I went to light left to right, one of my cousins (who's 10) piped up: "You're doing it wrong! I learned in Hebrew School that you're supposed to light right to left." Well, far be it from me to contradict my cousin, although I was pretty sure I was right; the wisdom of a ten year old can cause anyone to question their knowledge. So I lit right to left and everyone was happy. Today, I double-checked with my halakhic authority, Annie, who assured me that I had, in fact, been correct. She also noted that the halakhic way to tie one's shoes is to put on the right shoe, then the left shoe, then tie the left shoe then the right (just like putting in the Hanukkah candles right to left and lighting them left to right). I balked, but she defended the rabbis: "What? They had a lot of time on their hands while we were being persecuted."

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