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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  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
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