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David Kersh

Entries by David Kersh

Tough Passover Questions: How Can We Accept Killing Innocent Lives to Attain Freedom?

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 11:03 AM

Leaving the Passover seder, I looked over at my oldest son sitting in the back seat as he was hooking himself up to his iPod and thought: If the two of us had been Egyptians during Pharaoh's reign, we would have been killed by God since we are first-born males....

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Biblical Tips for Getting your Kids to Pick up the Towel from the Floor

(3) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 12:50 PM

Is there anything in the Bible to help parents get their kids to pick up their towels from the floor after they take a bath or shower?

So far, my wife and I have done okay for ourselves without organized religious instruction for our three sons. We...

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Marx Brothers Guide to Fatherhood

(3) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 4:05 PM

If books based on traditional Chinese tiger mom tactics or chic French parenting styles are fetching the big bucks these days, why not make a go at it with a fatherhood book inspired by the timeless and home-grown wisdom of the Marx Brothers? They had a lively family life, so...

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Rebel Without a Cause (and the Kids)

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 9:45 AM

You say to yourself, upon watching a Rebel Without a Cause after so many years, this time around with your middle school sons, that there is no better way to convey coolness and compassion than those two scenes with Jim Stark (James Dean) and Plato (Sal Mineo): the one at...

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Harpo Marx and Roger Federer: An Awesome Match-Up

(2) Comments | Posted February 27, 2012 | 11:04 AM

Watching them in action, in their respective playing fields, Harpo Marx and Roger Federer take one to a higher place that feels much the same, at least to this humble spectator: a state of pure joy.

Some weeks back, while my wife and the kids were...

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Mohammad, the Imprisoned Iranian Translator

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2012 | 6:59 PM

So, one morning, a morning much like any other morning, you read an opinion piece in the newspaper regarding the imprisonment by Iranian authorites of a gentle translator, a man with the first name of Mohammad, who was taken from his house for doing nothing other than translating a funny...

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Mohammad and Kundera: On the Power of Humor and the Troubles of Translation

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2012 | 9:35 AM

A recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by Firoozeh Dumas, the author of Funny in Farsi, beautifully and chillingly depicts her interactions with Mohammad, her Farsi translator, and his imprisonment four weeks ago by the Iranian government for doing nothing other than translating her funny book.

Soon after...

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My Zionist Double

(4) Comments | Posted February 6, 2012 | 10:10 AM

The double, or doppelgänger, has been used by numerous writers (for example, Saramago, Nabokov, Dostoevsky, Borges, Edgar Allen Poe, Philip Roth, Stevenson) as a literary device to delve into our dual nature, the complexities of the soul, our darker hidden sides. From a much humbler position and with my limited...

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A Remedy to "Good Job!" and "Way to Go!"

(5) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 1:04 PM

If, for example, you have 3 Saturday kid soccer games, and each of your kid's teams has 9 players, and each parent says "good job!" around 6 times a game, by the time the day is over and you ditch the kids to grab a martini or the Heineken (or...

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Time-travel to Peru With My Son

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 7:06 PM

My eight year old son, right before going to sleep, says he wants to go on a trip to Lima, Peru -- the place I was born in and grew up before coming to Los Angeles -- so he can see me as a little kid.

What can I say?...

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God is Brazilian

(3) Comments | Posted January 27, 2012 | 4:26 PM

As a lover of Brazilian music, I wish I had come up with that title, but it is actually the name of a quirky comedy by Carlos Diegues, the same director who made the popular Bye Bye Brazil and the updated version of Black Orpheus.

I recently rented God...

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Recalling Parenting in Times of Bush

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 1:01 AM

The news regarding the criminal charges brought against John Kiriakou, a former CIA director of counterterrorism operations, for allegedly leaking to reporters information about CIA agents involved in torturing terrorism suspects, made me recall some words I had written during the Bush years:

It is a pleasant Sunday afternoon,...

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Harpo Marx's Holy Harp

(2) Comments | Posted January 23, 2012 | 3:15 PM

In one of my fictional lives (one of those born as I try to keep my cool during bumper to bumper morning traffic) I am a 40-something father, whose wife has dumped him the same week I am unfairly fired from my job; and the only consolation in this made...

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On Mitt Romney and Parenting

(2) Comments | Posted January 23, 2012 | 12:48 PM

It is to my great dismay that I have realized that Mitt Romney and I have something in common. It is not the 15 percent tax rate or the $374,000.00 speaking fees; nor, for that matter, do we wear the same brand of jeans or sport the same haircut. Neither...

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Recipe for Disaster

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2012 | 5:51 PM

At my kid's elementary school there was talk of putting together a cookbook of favorite family recipes as a way to raise funds. As a household composed of a Jewish-Peruvian-American father and a Spanish mother (with the resulting three hybrid sons), my wife and I debated over the paella, the...

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Half Jews? Modern Day Judaism as a Math Problem

(45) Comments | Posted January 13, 2012 | 8:22 AM

The other day, driving back from a family member's bar mitzvah, my eldest son wanted to know if he would get to have one someday.

I told him it was not going to happen and reminded him of his blessed half-Jewishness; I added, however, that though he did not...

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