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Tag: Rob Eshman

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  • Again

    By Rob Eshman

    March 28, 2012 | 6:02 pm

    Many, many years ago I sat down at my computer and decided to write a fictional story about what would happen if “Never Again!” became “Again.”

    My story took place in a Los Angeles of the not-too-distant-future, sometime between now and “Blade Runner.” As I imagined it,...

  • Syrians need us

    By Rob Eshman

    March 21, 2012 | 1:36 pm

    It’s time for us to act for Syria.

    It’s been one year since the start of the Syrian revolution, and the organized Jewish community is still sitting on its collective thumbs, acting as if the turmoil is not its issue, and in any case, we can do nothing.

    It is, and we can.

    The...

  • Bad religion

    By Rob Eshman

    March 7, 2012 | 5:54 pm

    Religion should take election years off.

    As soon as the presidential campaigns get under way, religion should just go to Cancun and wait them out.

    Otherwise, inevitably, it gets used.

    These past few weeks have provided textbook examples of how faith can be manipulated to score...

  • President Jacobs

    By Rob Eshman

    February 22, 2012 | 2:56 pm

    For many years now, a central narrative of American Jewish life has been the resurgence of Orthodoxy. Surveys show booming populations. Orthodox adults are nudging Jewish voting patterns to the right. In Israel, black-hat baby-making is as productive as a Chinese iPad factory. As...

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  • Dream big, y’all

    By Rob Eshman

    February 15, 2012 | 1:09 pm

    In synagogue last Friday night, just after her sermon, the rabbi announced she had invited a special guest in honor of Jewish Disabilities Month.

    The woman next to me leaned over and whispered. “What’s Jewish Disabilities Month?”

    “That’s for Jews who get B’s in...

  • The embrace

    By Rob Eshman

    February 8, 2012 | 3:27 pm

    At the end of Shabbat services last Saturday, I watched a 7-year-old boy recite the blessing over the wine, the Kiddush. His voice was pure, the Hebrew, a learned language for him, flowed fast and flawlessly from his mouth. His face shone.

    I couldn’t take my eyes off the boy,...

  • Opinion: Save Los Encinos

    By Rob Eshman

    February 1, 2012 | 11:41 am

    Things change; I get it.

    My favorite diner — Benice, in Venice — closed this week after 24 years in business. Life goes on. They pave paradise. Joni Mitchell is 67, for Pete’s sake.

    So why does the impending closure of Los Encinos State Historic Park rankle so many people, me...

  • Bridge to empathy

    By Rob Eshman

    January 25, 2012 | 1:10 pm

    If you like your satire dark, I mean jet black, you probably love the scene from episode four, season four of “Weeds,” in which Len Botwin, played by Albert Brooks, gives a history lesson to his young nephew Shane.

    “Listen, genocide can happen again if we’re not vigilant,”...

  • Opinion: History lessons

    By Rob Eshman

    January 18, 2012 | 10:58 am

    Imagine you are a developing country in the heart of the Middle East. The entire world suspects you are starting to build nuclear weapons, but you deny it. The one country in the world that has the diplomatic, economic and military might to stop you — the United States of America...

  • Opinion: Stop the Stalinists

    By Rob Eshman

    January 11, 2012 | 3:46 pm

    First, can we all just acknowledge the obvious hypocrisy? 

    Imagine that over the past year Israel had slaughtered 5,000 Palestinians. The Arab reaction would be massive street protests, suspension of all diplomatic ties, demands for expulsion from the United Nations, calls for...

  • Opinion: Lord Shmuley?

    By Rob Eshman

    January 4, 2012 | 3:45 pm

    The first time I met Shmuley Boteach, it was 2 p.m. on a Thursday; he was sitting in the lobby of the Luxe Beverly Hills, and he asked me if I wanted to go outside for a beer and a cigar.

    My kind of rabbi, I thought.

    This was four years ago. Until then, I’d kept my distance. The...

  • The Shtarker

    By Rob Eshman

    December 21, 2011 | 12:35 pm

    Of all the eulogies and essays about Christopher Hitchens that have appeared following his death Dec. 15 at age 62, one is particularly pernicious.

    “The Trouble With Hitchens,” by Benjamin Kerstein, surfaced on a Web site called JewishIdeasDaily.com.  In it, he accuses Hitchens...

  • Opinion: Guilt trips

    By Rob Eshman

    December 14, 2011 | 11:59 am

    I wish I had gone out with Sofa Landver last Thursday night.

    Not for a hot date, but for a cold reality check.

    Landver is Israel’s minister of Immigrant Absorption. She’s a member of Knesset from the Yisrael Beiteinu Party who green-lit the now infamous series of billboards and...

  • Opinion: A Jewish vote?

    By Rob Eshman

    December 7, 2011 | 5:26 pm

    The election to replace the termed-out Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn’t until March 2013, but already candidates are out raising cash, taking meetings, locking up supporters. I’ve run into City Controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel at so many pro-Israel...

  • Rob Eshman: On Iran, one voice

    By Rob Eshman

    November 30, 2011 | 6:43 pm

    I don’t know who will win the presidential election in 2012, but I know whom I don’t want to win it: Iran.

    Yet I have a sickening sense that come next November, after two years of a nasty, slimy mud-wrestling match, the Democratic and Republican candidates will be left bruised...

  • Opinion: Proud bastards

    By Rob Eshman

    November 22, 2011 | 4:41 pm

    A few weeks ago we sent out one of our regular e-blasts with the following headline:

    “Poll: One in five Americans believes Jews have too much control of Wall Street.”

    The linked story details the results of an annual Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey of anti-Semitic attitudes...

  • Opinion: Like crazy

    By Rob Eshman

    November 15, 2011 | 6:17 pm

    Events over the past week provide a case study in extremism.

    In three off-year elections around the country, voters rejected candidates and initiatives that had staked out the most radical positions. In a recall election, Arizona voters tossed out the state’s Senate President...

  • Opinion: Poor sports

    By Rob Eshman

    November 9, 2011 | 5:18 pm

    Eventually, there is one thing every aspiring American political writer must do: write a long feature story about how Jews are turning Republican.

    Scroll back a decade or two through various election cycles, and there it always is, the portrait of a Jewish Republican moment,...

  • Opinion: My lunch with Lefsetz

    By Rob Eshman

    November 4, 2011 | 9:55 am

    Do you know about Bob Lefsetz? 

    He is a middle-age guru living in Santa Monica.  For 25 years, he’s been commenting on our culture in an idiosyncratic independent newsletter — first in hard copy, then in an e-mail newsletter and now in an online blog. 

    I first heard of him...

  • Letters to the Editor: Nissan Leaf, Israel’s economy, UN Bid

    November 2, 2011 | 2:51 pm

    Other Views on the Greening of America

    Rob Eshman’s open admission about a failed venture in green investment was a welcome change of pace from an editor who has generated some heated controversy among readers (“My 2011 Nissan Solyndra,” Oct. 28).

    “A fool and his ideology...

  • Opinion: Shalit.com

    By Rob Eshman

    October 17, 2011 | 6:13 pm

    What makes this prisoner swap different from all other prisoner swaps?

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to exchange Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier Gilad Shalit for more than 1,000 Arab prisoners instantly became the biggest story of the year out of Israel. It has...

  • Opinion: You and the UN

    By Rob Eshman

    October 12, 2011 | 3:50 pm

    If you care about Israel, you have one very clear assignment over the next two months.

    In about eight weeks, the U.N. Security Council could vote on whether to recognize Palestinian statehood.

    What’s your assignment? Let me give you a hint: It is not to oppose the resolution.

    ...
  • A Very Korean Sukkot [VIDEO + RECIPE]

    By Rob Eshman

    October 12, 2011 | 3:11 pm

    Last year, just before the High Holidays, a producer from TVK24,  Korean Broadcasting emailed me asking if I knew someone whom they could interview for a series about food and tradition in Jewish culture.

    Yes, I said, me.

    Jisung Bahng asked if she could film me in my kitchen.  I...

  • Opinion: Who’s sorry now?

    By Rob Eshman

    October 5, 2011 | 7:05 pm

    Some big Jewish ideas really get around.

    Over the past year, New York Times columnist David Brooks devoted one column to the value of Torah study, another to the big idea behind the word haimish. His colleague Roger Cohen weighed in on Aug. 11 with a column on Jewish identity, which...

  • Opinion: The big picture

    By Rob Eshman

    September 21, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    Patrick Goldstein writes “The Big Picture,” a column for the Los Angeles Times.

    A few years ago, after a mutual friend introduced us, Goldstein proceeded to tell me that he reads The Jewish Journal every week. He discovered it at Fromin’s Delicatessen in Santa Monica, one of...

  • Good year, good food

    By Rob Eshman

    September 21, 2011 | 12:38 pm

    Theodor Herzl understood the truth about food. When the founder of Zionism imagined the Jewish People reborn in a land of their own, he wrote of Jews tending their own orange orchards, vineyards and olive groves. In his novel “Altneuland” (“The Old New Land”), the fantasy...

  • Opinion: UN-vote

    By Rob Eshman

    September 14, 2011 | 1:07 pm

    The threatened U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood has pundits and politicians apoplectic.

    Me, not so much.

    The Palestinian Authority plans to bring its bid for statehood and membership in the United Nations to the 15-member Security Council when the U.N. opens its new session on...

  • Opinion: 9/11, 10 years later

    By Rob Eshman

    September 7, 2011 | 1:52 pm

    When I was in New York last week, I prowled Ground Zero. I couldn’t actually touch it — the entire site is now a massive construction zone, a concatenation of Shanghais, encircled in chain link, surrounded by uniformed officers of the New York City Police Department.

    I crossed...

  • Opinion: Face to face

    By Rob Eshman

    August 31, 2011 | 11:03 am

    I asked Aatekah Ahhmad Mir, a journalist from Lahore, Pakistan, and Emal Naweed Haidary, a journalist from Kabul, Afghanistan, what sights they wanted to see while in Los Angeles.

    I fully expected them to ask to go to Disneyland, Universal Studios … Venice Beach.

    “We want to...

  • Opinion: Count-less

    By Rob Eshman

    August 17, 2011 | 1:03 pm

    Here’s the dirty little secret about organized Jewish life in Los Angeles: We literally don’t know who we are.

    All the organizations and decision makers act as if they know, but, I am telling you — whether you are a major philanthropist, a volunteer or just Jew-curious —...

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