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More than an Advice Column: A Bintel Brief

“My girlfriend and I are Russian revolutionists and freethinkers, but our parents want us to have a religious wedding—what should we do?” “Should I marry a woman with a dimple in her chin, when everyone says that people with dimples in their chins will lose their first husband or wife?” “I was a prosperous businessman […]

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The Avenger: The Jewish watchmaker who killed a Ukrainian despot

“Behind me stand hundreds of thousands of saints, a camp full of tortured victims staring silently at you and demanding justice. Not mercy – only justice. I stand before you here with them, with all my heart and soul.” If those lines sound familiar to you, you have a healthy grasp of history.  These words […]

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The Name Is Levin, Alter Levin: A Poet, an Insurance Agent – but Mainly a Spy

Long before the Israeli Mossad became the best espionage organization in the world, Jewish spies in Israel stripped off and donned disguises, crossed enemy lines and brought back quality intelligence – intelligence that did not come under the heading of “the public’s right to know.” Among the most important, least well known and most forgotten […]

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Who Is a Jew? Depends on Who’s Ben-Gurion’s Asking

“The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people,” declared Israel’s first prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on the stage at Beit Dizengoff, 71 years ago today. To avoid desecrating the imminent Shabbat, he scheduled the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel for Friday afternoon, several hours before the cancellation of […]