I believed Daniel Pearl was dead all along.
Weeks before the U.S. government confirmed his death, I thought it unlikely he would return alive. I returned in December from reporting for the Village Voice from Pakistan, exhausted from being stoned, punched and chased by Islamic fundamentalists. I was burned out -- and burned literally -- from being pushed into one too many burning George Bush effigies, weary from having to repeatedly explain that Americans do not hate Muslims, and that "no, it's not true that we enjoy seeing dead Afghan children on television."
It used to be said that kabbalah should only be studied by the very old or very learned, otherwise it could inspire madness. In his book "Practical Kabbalah: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom in Everyday Life," Rabbi Laibl Wolf attempts both to dispel the mythology surrounding this ancient, mystical teaching and to demonstrate its necessity for those of us living in the modern world.