Raphael Magarik


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


Do Jewish Voices Count More on Israel and Iran?

By Raphael Magarik

Sanctions bill sponsor Sen. Robert Menendez addresses AIPAC annual policy conference, Washington Convention Center, March 5, 2013. / Getty Images Read More






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  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "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.”
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