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Columns

Rabbi Justin David: The holy refuge of Yom Kippur

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — When people think of Yom Kippur, which beings Friday evening, phrases like “Most important Jewish holiday,” “Holiest day in the Jewish year” and “Day of Atonement” come to mind. The word “Kippur” actually refers to the literal practice of “atonement.” But actually, the rabbis who lived 2,000 years ago and created the form of Judaism we now practice defined Yom Kippur less by what it is, and more …

Larry Parnass: Why the Gazette published a series on the planned death of Lee Hawkins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Editors in the Gazette’s newsroom usually counsel reporters to “write tight” and respect readers’ time. Occasionally stories go long, though, and Laurie Loisel’s series last week about Lee Hawkins did. That brought some questions and complaints from readers. One reader told me she considered the amount of space dedicated to the …

John Paradis: 5 steps that help veterans make transition to civilian life

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The first thing I wanted to do when I returned from a deployment was hug my spouse and kids. It’s a scene I replayed in my mind every day I was away. Then I just wanted to sleep. Then eat a home-cooked meal. Other veterans want to go to their favorite place, perhaps …

Kirk Whatley: Taking good with bad in state’s new gun legislation

Monday, August 25, 2014

HADLEY — According to Guns and Ammo magazine, Massachusetts rates fourth from the bottom of the barrel when comes to being “gun friendly.” On Aug. 13, Gov. Deval Patrick signed Massachusetts’ latest gun control law, the Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence. However, unlike past laws, …

Ralph J. Dolan: Finding compassion for those in flight from violence in other lands

Sunday, August 24, 2014

HAYDENVILLE — What now, America? With waves of human beings streaming across your southern border seeking refuge, you are now reaping the bitter fruit of centuries of occupation, plunder, coup d’ etats, proxy wars, exploitation, enslavement, torture and …

Clare Higgins: Investing in right start for America’s children

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — We have a free public school system in our country that assures every child a seat. It doesn’t matter that the child just moved into the community, or has a special need, doesn’t speak English, or even that their parents don’t work. They don’t have to …

Adam Fisher: Honey, I sold the kids

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Children are darling. Children are dear. But children are also expensive, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which noted in its latest child-rearing guestimations that considering what we’ve invested, my three kids should be worth …

Heidi Ehrenreich: Memories of a boy who loved the alien genius of Robin Williams

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

HATFIELD — I keep a stash of Robin Williams films ready to be popped into my VCR, yes VCR, for those times when nothing else will lift spirits up and transform my gloom with pure glee. Even though …

Margaret Christie & Philip Korman: When local food producers go big

Monday, August 18, 2014

DEERFIELD — Demand for locally grown products by larger buyers, such as retailers, restaurants and institutions, is increasing in our region, and that is welcome news. A recent Gazette story, “Big food retailers going local,” highlighted the efforts of a few large buyers, BJ’s and Big Y, to …

A Gaza exchange: Gazette guest columnists debate issues of international law

Monday, August 18, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week on this page, the Gazette published guest columns by Howard Friel of Northampton (Aug. 11) and Mordechai Kamel of Easthampton (Thursday). Friel is an author and Kamel is a retired surgeon who now practices … 1

Sara Weinberger: A visit to family home the Holocaust took away

Sunday, August 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I spent the evening of July 31 at Logan Airport, waiting to fly to Krakow, Poland, to join my daughter on a journey to discover my deceased mother’s past. My mother, Irena Schenker, grew up in a country that would lose about 3 million of its … 7

Marietta Pritchard: First that and now this? When bad things come in multiples

Friday, August 15, 2014

AMHERST — Despite his education in a rational tradition, my father was slightly superstitious. He didn’t like spilled salt, he spoke of omens and he had, so he believed, a lucky necktie. Immediately after the first few times …

Marc Warner: Planned $2.25 million rail underpass in Northampton wastes public money

Friday, August 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — About 10 years ago, nationwide attention turned toward a planned bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island in Alaska. To the construction companies that would build it, and the Alaska congressmen who pushed for federal funding, the bridge seemed like a great idea. To pretty much everyone … 3