At the center of the 9/11 attacks against the United States by Islamofascist terror, an unlikely hero played a largely unknown role. He sacrificed his life in an attempt to stop the hijacking of one of the planes that later crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He was an Israeli-American and his role has remained largely ignored and unacknowledged.
My 4-year-old son is obsessed with superheroes, dressing up at every opportunity as the superhero du jour to do battle with the bad guys lurking around the corner. (My 2-year-old daughter is just as enthusiastic, but at her age all she can really muster is a “meanie” face.)
When Libby was not around, the young women of Shalva often had to be coaxed in order to reveal their insecurities or to talk about sensitive issues. But with Libby, it was the opposite.
t is true that Gunter Grass has brought much good into the world by his writings. It is also true that his late-in-life revelation calls into question or, depending on your point of view, entirely invalidates his right to the high moral ground he has for so long occupied. But in doing so, he has proven to those of us who have followed his life and career what he says he learned as a POW after the war: That no truth is ever entirely true, that what we revere today may become indefensible tomorrow, that the wisest path through life is to distrust certainty and instead to walk, in Grass' own words, "the long route, paved with doubts."
What never fails to amaze me is that there were one, or 36, or tens of thousands of the just and righteous, who stood solitarily against the terror, who defied the cautious "wisdom" of their fellow citizens. Let us reserve the once honorable word "hero" for such men and women, even though, ironically, they may be the first to reject the honor.
Irony. In a book or a movie, it's the writer's way of giving the observer a slap in the face. People attempt to expect the unexpected, but when it actually happens no one is prepared.
We all instinctively identify and label the heroes and villains in our lives, and Judaism supports the need for iconic heroes.
"Barney Ross" by Douglas Century.
It's not surprising that my husband is the first in line at one of the earliest "Kong" press screenings. He's loved the giant simian since he first watched the 1933 classic film on TV when he was 7.
Next Friday, as Tibor Rubin enters the White House, generals will stand at rigid attention. The president of the United States also will rise and then drape the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for gallantry in combat, around the neck of the 76-year-old Holocaust survivor and Korean War veteran.
Rubin and a legion of supporters have waited almost 55 years for this triumph of camaraderie and persistence over both bureaucratic lethargy and the prejudice endured by so many old-time Jewish GIs.
When British actress Sophie Okonedo portrayed the wife of a hotel manager who saved more than 1,200 people during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, she worked with 10,000 extras -- including Rwandan refugees living in Johannesburg.
Years ago I wrote a novel. I don't remember how many years ago, but I began it on a typewriter, so you do the math.
A poster of Moshe Dayan hung in my childhood bedroom. Growing up in the light of the Six-Day War, I adored this new Jewish hero -- tough, cocky, a Jew without fear.
Michael and his wife went to a kibbutz in British-ruled Palestine in the 1930s. He joined the navy when war broke out and later ended up teaching French and metal shop at a London high school. It was there that he accepted a challenge that changed his life.
Today, I struggle with my grief for Ramon as the "international hero" and for Ramon as the man who my family and I were privileged to meet, break bread with and get to know personally.
Yuval Rotem, Israeli consul general for the Western United States, delivered these remarks at a Feb. 1 dinner for Pressman Academy,
honoring him and his wife, Miri, at the Airport Westin Hotel.
As an aerospace writer, I have watched 87 crews slip the bonds of Earth's gravity and rocket away into space.
There were a lot of moments of silence this week. There was the one early Saturday morning when you first heard the news of the space shuttle Columbia's disappearance.
The bombs that ripped through crowds of Israelis and foreign workers in Tel Aviv this weekend may have saved Yasser Arafat from making some tough decisions.
Internal and external pressures have been building on Arafat to allow comprehensive reforms of the Palestinian Authority -- reforms that effectively would undermine the PA president's grip on power.
But after Sunday's deadly attack by the Al-Aksa Brigade, a terrorist group from Arafat's own Fatah movement, Israel refused to allow Palestinian officials to attend a conference on PA reform in London or congregate in Ramallah to consider a draft of a Palestinian constitution.
Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that there is no need for Palestinian officials to travel abroad to conferences when they have the power at home to end terrorist attacks, but don't use it.
Unintentionally, however, the Israeli moves may have allowed Arafat to dodge a political bullet, at least temporarily.
At one point in Jonathan Kesselman's "Jewish exploitation" comedy, "The Hebrew Hammer," Mordechai Jefferson Carver strides into a seedy skinhead bar wearing a long leather coat, a black fedora, pais, a tallit and an oversized gold chai. A chalkboard advertises beer on tap such as Old Adolf, but the titular superhero orders "Manischewitz, straight up." Then he crashes a bottle over the bartender's head, whips out two sawed-off shotguns and shouts, "Shabbat Shalom, Motherf------s!"
In this outrageous world of the Hammer (Adam Goldberg), the Orthodox Jewish hero must battle the evil son of Santa (Andy Dick) to save Chanukah.
As The Journal went to press last week, word came that terrorist kidnappers in Pakistan had brutally murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
The old truism about any two people on earth being connected by six degrees of separation seems to be insufficient when a tragedy of this magnitude strikes.
It is a long ride from the shattered peace of Bergen County, N.J., to the mournful solitude of Wyndham, N.Y., the upstate ski resort where a memorial service was held Sunday for Jeremy Glick, 31.
Who needs Halloween or Mardi Gras? On Purim, the masquerade of characters is lively and intriguing: Spangled Vashtis, bearded Mordechais, snarling Hamans, bejeweled Esthers, silk-robed Ahasueruses.