Raphael Magarik


Why Israeli Left Should Stop Backing Gaza Wars

By Raphael Magarik

Palestinians carry a boy following an Israeli military strike on the Gaza beach / Getty Images Read More


How Liturgy Can Co-Exist With Backstreet Boys and The Wu-Tang Clan

By Raphael Magarik

How Liturgy Can Co-Exist With Backstreet Boys and The Wu-Tang Clan
Many Jewish liturgical tunes take melodies from secular music. Did Raphael Magarik go too far by grabbing the melody from rap’s Wu-Tang Clan or a Yom Kippur service?Read More


A Holocaust Romance Tied to a Necklace, Filled With Clichés

By Raphael Magarik

A Holocaust Romance Tied to a Necklace, Filled With Clichés
In Ayelet Waldman’s latest novel, a necklace travels to pre-WWI Budapest, finding love, death and the Holocaust on the way. But it’s a romance of cliches, Raphael Magarik writes.Read More


Even Lefties Should Support David the Nahlawi

By Raphael Magarik

Israeli soldiers support a comrade punished for pointing a gun at a Palestinian teenager. / Facebook Read More


Putting Persian Back in the Talmud

By Raphael Magarik

Putting Persian Back in the Talmud
Academic study of the Talmud once provoked anger. But for Shai Secunda, author of ‘The Iranian Talmud,’ much can be learned by finding parallels in other sacred texts.Read More






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  • 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:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
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