February 1, 2015 / 12th of Shvat, 5775
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Dan Brosgol

  • In the 1997 movie “Contact,” when S.R. Hadden reveals to Ellie Arroway that a second secret launch facility has been built on Hokkaido Island, he delivers one of my favorite lines in movie history, which I have been using variations of ever since:

    “Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?”

    In the case of Super Bowl XLIX, or, as I’ve been referring to it, the last roman-numeraled/romanly-numeraled Super Bowl, why should the Patriots have ...

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  • When the Israelites stood at Mount Sinai, legend tells us that God sounded the shofar Himself to call the world to attention. The noise was so loud, so powerful, and so awesome that the world trembled. All eyes and ears turned to the mountain to behold the revelation, and as ear-splitting as the blast of the horn was, it was matched by the deafening silence that followed as the universe waited with baited breath for God to continue.

    Absent divinely-blown shofarot, it is impossible to find such...

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  • Many of you have no doubt heard this classic folk tale, or a variation of it.

    The story takes place in the 19th century and involves a poor Jewish baker named Yosef, who lives in a small town near Prague. After living in poverty his whole life, on his 40th birthday he has a dream about going to the city and finding a treasure under the palace bridge. After the third time he has the same dream, Yosef sets out for Prague. When he gets to the bridge, he sees that it is guarded all ...

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  • Some weeks are darker than others.

    This week appears to be one of them.

    On top of the fact that the violence in Donetsk and eastern Ukraine continues to flare up, beyond the carnage of Boko Haram in Nigeria, and in addition to the appalling images out of ISIS territory over the weekend, there’s a lot of bad stuff going on.

    On Sunday morning, the lead investigator who was about to blow the lid off of an alleged  cover-up by the Argentinian government regarding the investigation...

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  • Maccabi Tel Aviv on ESPN3

    As they continue their quest to win back-to-back Euroleague titles, Israeli basketball powerhouse Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv has begun Euroleague Top 16 play in recent weeks. After qualifying for this third-to-last stage in the competition, they will play 14 games from now until April, aiming to make the top 8 for the early-April playoff round, which will feature home-and-home contests between the remaining teams. The winner of that penultimate stage will...

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  • This morning was the first opportunity to get a look at the new non-stop Boston-Tel Aviv airfares on El Al. After years of lobbying, El Al added three non-stop flights per week to Israel from Logan, with flights beginning in June. Outgoing flights leave Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 9:00 pm, arriving in Tel Aviv at 3:10 the next afternoon, and inbound flights depart Tel Aviv at 12:30 am, arriving in Boston at 5:45 am the same day.

    For travelers weary of early dawn sleepwalkin...

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  • After an opening eight weeks that found Maccabi Haifa near the Ligat Ha’Al basement with a measly 2-0-6 record, the Greens have gone a league-best 4-1-1 over their past six games, steadily climbing into fourth place. Haifa drew against Bnei Sakhnin 1:1 on Saturday, and will be hoping for a good result on Saturday when they host Beitar Yerushalayim at the Sammy Ofer.

    Haifa grabbed the lead at Doha Stadium in Sakhnin on Saturday in the 71st minute, as Bosnian defender Edin C...

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  • To open one of my classes a few weeks ago, I asked my students to comment on the following list of female performers: Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift.

    The feedback was interesting, not entirely surprising, and questionably representative of the overall teen perspective on these women. I will share that a fair number of the kids had no idea who Kelly Clarkson was, that Ariana Grande was viewed as a little annoying, and that Taylor was, well, fabulous. I’ll forgive the kids...

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  • It’s 5:00 somewhere.

    This week that timeless phrase means two things- it’s time to light the Chanukah candles, and time to grab a drink after a long day.

    In that spirit, after (or perhaps before) you belt out Mi Yimalel in a round, here are this year’s suggestions to amplify the enjoyment of boisterous driedel games with some 21+ refreshment.


    For the first time ever, this year an Israeli wine, Recanati Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee, made Wine Spectat...

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  • Like many of you I spend a lot of time in my car. My normal commute isn’t terrible, only about 18 miles door-to-door, but there are times when I end up spending 90 minutes driving home from whichever locus of Jewish life I’m working at that day. With that in mind, and a recent traffic nightmare fresh in my memory, here’s my take on the most awful traffic and driving situations around Jewish Boston this roving Jewish professional finds himself in when work calls fo...

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