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Joseph Steinberg
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Telling stories,  letter by letter

Sofer Jay Greenspan’s work on display at the Tenafly JCC

Cover Story Published: 27 February 2014

Sometimes things that don’t make much sense at the time become obvious in retrospect.

Say, for example, that you were a teacher, and one of your students was an easily bored little boy.

Instead of paying attention to you, this kid obsessively drew letters. Rows and rows, column after column of letters, marching along the bottom of his notebooks. Not looking up. Not paying attention. Just drawing letters.

What would become of such a child?

Although his teachers at the Arie Crown Hebrew Day School in Chicago could not have predicted it, it is not entirely surprising that now, some 60 years later, Jay Greenspan is a scribe.


Veyetze: Leaving home, discovering home

Published: 08 November 2013


Finding yourself

Published: 19 November 2010

The episode in which the Jewish people acquired its eternal name — Israel — is from one of the most enigmatic stories in the entire Bible.

It occurred as Jacob returned home after fleeing 20 years earlier after his brother’s death threat. Esau had been enraged to discover that Jacob had deceived their father Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau.

The night before their confrontation, Jacob encounters a stranger:

Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overcome him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip and the socket of Jacob’s hip became dislocated….


Whose Ten Commandments?

Published: 23 July 2010
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