Thursday, July 31, 2008

What to read today

-- Ha’aretz is carrying an excerpt of an interview, which will be published in full over the weekend, with the son of one of the leading Hamas men on the West Bank. He has converted to Christianity, moved to LA, and has some very nice - yes, nice - things to say about Israel.

-- Haim Watzman reveals the best advice he ever received as a soldier - shouted at him by his company commander. It’s not what you might think:

“No matter how little time you have to sleep, no matter how miserable you are, don’t shut your eyes until you’ve washed yourself and changed your underwear. It’s not just hygiene – it’s to remind yourself that you are human being, not an animal.”

I really hate to think what brought on that advice.

-- The Israeli government has charged a family of American olim for towing away their car - which was damaged in a bulldozer terrorist attack last month. Their daughter was also lightly hurt. Was that really necessary?

-- Meanwhile, a factory owner in Sderot is giving pay rises to workers who become more observant.

Since the offer was made, many of the factory's employees have indeed become more religious, organizing groups who break for morning and noon prayers and Torah studies.

Apart from any financial incentive, all these examples involve taking time off work. Is it any wonder “many” employees have taken the bribe? Personally, I think pay rises should be based on merit - not on mitzvah points.

-- What is it with Britney Spears and Jews? First there’s her Kabbalah obsession. Then there was boyfriend Isaac Cohen. Now she is apparently dating her new minder - “a former Israeli soldier”, according to the Sun. I don't know what he did in the army, but I'm guessing that whatever it was, it was easier than dealing with Ms Spears.

-- The Times interviews comedian Josh Howie, who aims to be “the Jewish Woody Allen” - and who has written a piece in this week’s JC.

-- Cute(-ish) Milton Friedman anecdote.

-- Thinking of making aliyah? Read Chayyei Sarah first.

-- And finally, reading material for a (very) long Shabbat: Dr Elliot Cosgrove has just finished his dissertation (University of Chicago), titled “The Insoluble contradictions in the life and thought of Louis Jacobs”. It can be downloaded in two volumes, here and here. Review, anyone?

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