My son Zack, 17, is celebrating Shabbat dinner tonight at the Bohema Restaurant in Krakow, Poland.
In fact, not only is he celebrating Shabbat, but he and his group -- 15 students from Milken Community High School in Los Angeles and 140 students from Tichon Chadash High School in Tel Aviv, plus teachers and parent chaperones (including my husband, Larry) -- are practically doubling Krakow's Jewish population, estimated at 200. It is a population that, at its height in the late 1930s, numbered more than 60,000.
"Fish is meat," announces Danny, my 9-year-old vegetarian son.
"Fish is fish," responds Larry, my 50-something pescetarian husband.
Judaism backs up Larry, classifying fish as pareve, neither dairy nor meat, and telling us that fish first appeared almost 6,000 years ago, on the fifth day of creation, when God commanded, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures" (Genesis 1:20). God later elaborated, "anything in water, whether in the seas or in the streams, that has fins and scales -- these you may eat" (Leviticus 11:9).
Judaism commands us to be kind to animals.
One would think that a Barnes & Noble store would be the last place someone would be encouraged to close a book, yet that is exactly what Barnes & Noble Booksellers, along with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Scholastic Books, wants children to do.
There are a thousand stories in the naked city of Los Angeles, but when it comes to nannies, there are at least a million - nannies who have a free reign of the household, nannies who make good salaries, nannies who get help from their employers to buy cars or put a down payment on a house. But there are the other stories as well - the nanny who works long hours for little pay, with no holidays, no sick days, no breaks. "I knew when I was here without papers, I didn't deserve to be here," says nanny Carmen Davis, "but still, that didn't mean I deserved to be treated without respect."