Memorial Day Parade on Raritan

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Anticipation, an empty street with onlookers: Finally, the parade begins: The Highland Park politicians march toward the front of the parade. The woman in the red hat is Mayor Meryl Frank. Elsie Foster-Dublin, a councilwoman, is wearing a red blazer and waving. Jon Erickson is on the far left. Padraic Millet is new to the […]

What’s a Doughboy?

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We have this statue down the street from our house. It’s referred to as the “Doughboy.” That’s where the Memorial Day parade today ends. American men who fought in World War I in France were called “doughboys.” It’s such a strange name, I decided to find out how the name came to be. The term […]

Proclaim Liberty

From Parshat Behar, Leviticus 25:10 “proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ לְכָל-יֹשְׁבֶיהָ The above phrase is written on the Liberty Bell. If you read it in the context of the Torah portion, you will realize that it is talking about freeing slaves. In the fiftieth year, one is […]

Two Celebratory Holidays

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This year Lag B’Omer and Memorial Day are three days apart. Interestingly, both holidays have similar themes: people died, let’s have a barbecue. Lag B’Omer is the anniversary of the death of Torah sage Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yohai. It also commemorates Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students who stopped dying from a mysterious plague on this day. (However, […]