Melanie Weiss


A General Guide to a Specific Kind of Judaism

By Melanie Weiss

A General Guide to a Specific Kind of Judaism
The general thesis of Rebecca Alpert’s new book, “Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism,” is that the old saying about two Jews and three opinions contains more than a seed of truth. Alpert cycles back to this aphorism regularly, using it as an organizing principle for her guide — but all the while acknowledging that there are more kinds of Jews, more kinds of Judaisms and thus many more opinions than ever before.Read More


The Yiddishe Mame of Feminism

By Melanie Weiss

That the great foremothers of feminism, the first wave of the movement, included in their midst an outspoken Polish Jew is not a fact often revealed in what meager suffragist history is passed along. Amid the large-looming names of the women’s suffrage movement in America, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and the Grimké sisters, Ernestine L. Rose is a figure far less known, despite having worked with all these women and with many of the big names of the free-thought, abolitionist and feminist movements. Rose was unusual for both her time and place, but she was firm in her beliefs, blunt with her opinions and, most important, a fiery public speaker.Read More


Faced With Death, an Unlikely Heroine Emerges

By Melanie Weiss

Faced With Death, an Unlikely Heroine Emerges
It sounds almost like the beginning of a terrible joke: What happens when a 29-year-old who has wasted much of her life gets a brain tumor? Except that instead of a joke, this is the premise of Elisa Albert’s new novel, “The Book of Dahlia”. Albert, author of the short-story collection “How This Night Is Different,” has taken on one of the most essential and universal questions: How do you face the end of your own life?Read More






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    • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
    • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
    • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
    • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
    • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
    • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
    • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
    • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
    • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
    • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
    • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
    • What do you think?
    • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
    • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
    • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
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