Let me begin by saying that when I finished reading the engrossing Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner (Harper Collins, $14.99), two thoughts flashed through my mind. First, that the inevitable ending was quite satisfying! And, second, that a number of the ancient cultural and religious rituals and practices among the ultra Orthodox Charedi Jews in…

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There’s something manipulative about guilt. I’m not certain what it is, but I’ve seen others resort to it in an attempt to force me into doing things I don’t want to do. And sometimes, well, maybe more often than sometimes, I may resort to guilt to force myself into doing something my better judgment warns…

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