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The Israel Bar Association* gets its share of complaints about alleged misconduct by lawyers – stuff like unwarranted legal fees or professional negligence. But undoubtedly one of the weirdest among the 370 complaints logged with the Bar’s national ethics committee last year concerned an unidentified lawyer who kept a huge Doberman in her law office during meetings with her clients – a breed that has gained a reputation as being exceptionally bad dudes.** A client who felt intimidated by the dog’s presence asked the Israeli lawyer to remove the dog, but the advocate refused.

What did counsel have to say for herself?

Apparently not about to depend on the deterrent power of the age-old adage “never argue with a lawyer,” the solicitor not only claimed that her office was in her home and the imposing pet was a legitimate member of the family, but the Doberman, she told the committee, was present as a “self-defense” mechanism. (The subtext was that the Doberman was a silent partner in the practice which could ‘advocate’ for her in the event of an unruly client – so it seems…)

The committee ruled that there were no grounds for forbidding the presence of all dogs in deliberations between a lawyer and his or her client, not even Dobermans and pit bulls. If a lawyer feels the presence of an un-muzzled Doberman is necessary for the attorney’s personal safety, lawyers must spell out their motives to their client… and allow the client to leave (in one piece) if they so wish.

* There are more than 48,000 members of the Bar Association – per capita, no doubt a world record.

** The Dobermans was bred by a German tax collector named Doberman who was tired of being mugged.


In a rather indecorous game of Jewish geography, a German company called Fotopuzzle that makes posters- and puzzles-to-order from a data base of 55,000 aerial photographs of Germany, decided to add Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps to its collection of picturesque photos that can be made into a 60 x 40 cm poster to hang in the living room, or a 1,000-piece puzzle for hours of family entertainment.

Following the intervention of Germany’s CSU (Christian Social Union) party head Gerda Hasselfeldt, in whose constituency Dachau is situated, the puzzles have been withdrawn from sale.


When patrolman David Cohen was sent to investigate why someone had unlawfully locked an apartment building’s storage room for cooking gas canisters – a public hazard forbidden by law – the cop found the culprit was the head of a destitute family of four which lived in the building. The gas company had threatened to cut off their gas supply due to 500 NIS ($125) in unpaid gas bills. When a company rep explained to the cop that his hands were tied as the family had already received several extensions, patrolman Cohen whipped out his wallet and, going beyond the call of duty, paid the bill on the spot. Escorting the culprit back to the storage room to remove the lock, the good-hearted police officer turned down the resident’s request that the 500 NIS be a temporary loan. Case closed.


An Israeli couple hired an Indian woman to serve as an egg donor and surrogate, but when physicians said the pregnancy wouldn’t hold, not about to put all their eggs (or their sperm) in one basket, the two rushed to hire another Indian woman, who subsequently gave birth to twin boys. After the two returned to Israel with the twins, they learned, much to their astonishment, that the first fetus had, in fact, been carried to term, and they were also the proud parents of an additional bundle of joy – a third son, whom the two immediately adopted, as well.

The delayed delivery set in motion a one-of-a-kind law suit in an Israeli Labor Court: now laboring under the challenge of caring for three toddlers, the couple sued the National Insurance Institute demanding, retroactively, 20 months of special maternity leave mandated for triplets instead of the mere 20-week allowance for twins they’d received. National Insurance had balked (and not because both partners happened to be men), but because their third ‘triplet’ was born two months after his two siblings “to a different mother” (who in fact was totally out of the picture, and hardly tuckered-out from child-raising).

An open-minded Labor Court ruled, without so much as belaboring the issue, that “the social realities we live in today require adaptation of the law to situations that the law didn’t imagine when it was legislated in 1985.”


Magical moments that turn a wedding into an unforgettable event can take all sorts of forms. First, Asaf Solomon employed some quick fingerwork, making the ring disappear under the marriage canopy… then showing up on his wife-to-be’s finger out of sequence before he actually placed it on her finger, as prescribed. Then the seasoned 29-year-old, religiously observant magician and telepathy artist climaxed the wedding ceremony by breaking the glass the tradition commemorating the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem – which consummates every Jewish marriage ceremony using the power of his thoughts alone, without any fancy footwork.

The rabbi conducting the ceremony said the move was perfectly kosher:* Jewish law requires an object – not necessarily a glass – be broken, but it doesn’t say how.

* To be on the safe side, on second thought (just in case someone in the rabbinical establishment lacked a sense of humor?), the groom also broke a second glass ‘the traditional way.’