In the 1970’s Rummikub emerged from nowhere to international stardom. Barry Joseph explains the Jewish origins of the funny Jewish tile game.
FALL EDUCATION Digital media helps children pursue their own learning. Now is the time for adults to claim our unique role in the the digital age, writes Barry Joseph.
There’s something about an egg cream that can bring out the debate in some people.
David Fox has a problem with his rabbi. I sit across from David, at his office desk, in the family factory H. Fox and Company, deep in Brooklyn. David’s family founded the company and for the past century it has manufacturing a wide variety of flavored syrups. Today, however, I am only interested in one, Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup, which is widely regarded as the essential ingredient for the classic egg cream, once described by Mel Brooks as “the opposite of circumcision” as it “pleasurably reaffirms your Jewishness.”
Seltzer delivery is a dying art. Once, hundreds of “seltzer men,” as they liked to be called, drove the city and walked the streets of New York, carting cases of pressured siphons through rain and snow. Now, less than a dozen remain and, like Jedis with their arcane knowledge and mystical allusions to better days since passed, they move amongst us, largely invisible to the untrained eye.
Like Chinese food and pickles, seltzer –– an effervescent spirit that has inspired dreams of cures for such diverse ailments as scurvy and indigestion –– is often associated with Jews. An ad for an at-home seltzer maker touts its product as part of the history of Jewish ingenuity: “Matzo, circa 1440 B.C. — Chicken Soup, circa 1280 A.D.
The phone rings in Maurice Sendak’s rural Connecticut home. “Listen to this,” says his friend Tony Kushner in a perfectly deadpan voice. “J.K. Rowling Admits the Right is Right. She says she is happy because ‘Harry is teaching children to leave Christianity and worship Satan’s sexual member.’” After a pause, the credulous
Last month saw the release of two highly anticipated, albeit quite different, sequels: the “Matrix Reloaded,” the Wachowski brothers’ follow-up to their first “Matrix” film, and the American-sponsored “road map,” the latest installment in an ongoing series of Israeli-Palestinian peace plans.A mere coincidence, no doubt. But there are