‘You know, I have been waiting my entire life to witness an event of biblical proportions,” Stephen Colbert said on the April 8 episode of his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” referring to the recitation of Birkat Hachamah, the Blessing of the Sun. The event, which occurs every 28 years, was observed this year on the morning of April 8, which was also the Eve of Passover. It celebrates the sun’s return to its original place in the cosmos as when the world was created, according to tradition.
It will be a race to the editing room. Israeli filmmakers will face off next month to claim an honor given neither at the Oscars nor at the Golden Globes: the distinction of having made the best documentary in five days or fewer. Organizers of DocAviv, Tel Aviv’s annual documentary film festival, are currently accepting applications from filmmakers for the unusual contest, which starts to unfold — presumably frantically — on May 4.
Rarely has so much political interest been focused on a single piece of furniture. The extra table now standing in the Knesset chamber has come to symbolize Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, a supersized — and poorly constructed — behemoth. In fact, wags note, the table is more solidly built than the government that will sit around it: At least the table has no holes in it.
When former president Bill Clinton officially opens the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center later this month, the village of Skokie will stake its claim on history. Holocaust history, to be sure, but also — and perhaps more significantly — as the place where the seeds of the Holocaust education movement in the United States were first planted in response to a neo-Nazi march.
In a seeming departure from centuries-old traditions of American Jewish skepticism, interest in spirituality is markedly on the rise among Jewish young adults, according to a study released this month.