Gavriel Rosenfeld


Sacred and Profane History of Cherished Jewish Number 18

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Sacred and Profane History of Cherished Jewish Number 18
Jews have long considered the number 18 to be a serious lucky charm. How many of us know that neo-Nazis also cherish the number — or why?Read More


Rebooting The Führer

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Rebooting The Führer
What would happen if Adolf Hitler came back to life? That’s the premise of a satirical novel — and its best-selling success hints at Germans’ desire for different approaches to the Nazi era.Read More


Stealth Museum

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Stealth Museum
Pan Pacific Park has long been an oasis in Los Angeles’s bustling, heavily Jewish Beverly-Fairfax neighborhood. Basketball courts, baseball diamonds, picnic areas and playgrounds predominate in the park’s hilly setting. It may strike certain visitors as somewhat incongruous, therefore, that the latest addition to the park is an institution that appears to run counter to its carefree spirit: the new Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.Read More


Blessing a Building — Building a Blessing

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Blessing a Building — Building a Blessing
The construction of a new synagogue is always an occasion for celebration, so it was with particular pomp that the Rhineland city of Mainz recently dedicated its new synagogue and Jewish community center. The dedication ceremonies, held September 3, featured an array of German politicians, including German President Christian Wulff. Many of them blessed the new building and underscored its symbolic significance. Yet, while the synagogue received its share of blessings, it also gave physical expression to them in its architectural form. Designed by the German-Jewish architect Manuel Herz, Mainz’s striking new synagogue complex traces its inspiration back to the third “blessing” in the Amidah — the Kedusha. The connection between the word and the synagogue’s appearance is not immediately obvious. But Herz’s drawings for the building reveal that its sawtooth form partly derives from the jagged pattern produced by the word’s five Hebrew letters: kuf, daled, vav, shin and hay.Read More


Fish(y) Forms

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Fish(y) Forms
The High Holy Days might incline most Jews to think of fish as a traditional food served on deli trays after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. But the Jewish Museum’s new exhibition, “Fish Forms: Lamps by Frank Gehry,” asks us to think more deeply about how fish have influenced the work of one of the world’s most celebrated architects.Read More






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  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
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