Arts & Culture


ROOFTOP RENAISSANCE

By Sanford Pinsker

251 West 100th Street, New York, N.Y., 212-865-0600.

Scribblers on the Roof:

Contemporary American Jewish Fiction Edited by Melvin Jules Bukietand David G. Roskies Persea Books, 352 pages, $15.95. * * *At the turn of the past century, New York City’s Lower East Side was more crowded than Calcutta, and out of that tenement squalorRead More


Taking Care of Husbands

By Dmitri Milch

A husband suspects his wife of adultery, a capital crime. He takes her before the priest, who makes her drink a witches’ brew of holy water and dust from the tabernacle floor. She makes a solemn declaration: If she is innocent, the bitter water will have no effect, but if guilty, she will experience acute gastrointestinal distress.Read More


A History Of Style

By Sarah Kricheff

Vogue magazine did not exist in the 15th century, but this didn’t stop Europeans of that era from keeping up to date on cutting-edge trends in clothing and fashion. Curious about the customs of people living in other parts of the world, early modern Europeans read costume books and travelogues that had images depicting stylesRead More


Before There Was Wal-Mart, There Was Julius Rosenwald

By Loren Fox

Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck

And Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South By Peter M. Ascoli Indiana University Press, 392 pages, $35. * * *Although few remember, Sears once set the pace for the mass-market world of retail shopping in ways that Wal-Mart does now. Perhaps even lessRead More


‘Beyond Insane’ Biblical Paintings

By Menachem Wecker

My artist friends think I’m crazy,” said Archie Rand, who is the first to admit that his newest project is “beyond insane.”Indeed, Rand’s series is arguably the most ambitious Jewish art enterprise, perhaps ever: 613 canvases, one per commandment. Surrounded by stacks upon stacks of paintings in his studio, Rand is easy to compare toRead More


Two Books for the Price of One

By Paul Zakrzewski

Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes By T Cooper Dutton, 416 pages, $24.95. * * *Things are not what always what they seem in the world of T Cooper. To begin with, there is the title of her second novel, “Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes.” This sort of giddy riffing, where subsequent clauses are meant to modify the first one to ironicRead More


Searching for Answers, After the Fire

By Mark Oppenheimer

Triangle By Katharine Weber Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 256 pages, $23. * * *‘Triangle” is a prose cousin of certain one-act plays, those taut dramatic exercises in which just a few characters, engaging in conversation, conjure grand notions. (Think of “No Exit,” “Waiting for Godot,” “Doubt.”) At its best, Katharine Weber’sRead More


A Very Special Episode: ‘Everwood’ Series Finale Has the Rite Stuff

By Victor Wishna

The fictional television town of Everwood, Colo., has no synagogue and no rabbi, not even a fictional one. Its leading citizen is played by the palpably WASPy Treat Williams, and its network — The WB — gave birth to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Beauty and the Geek.” So it might be the last place, even on television, that you wouldRead More


Good Guys and Bad Guys

By Amos Oz

Who are the good guys? That’s what every well-meaning European, left-wing European, intellectual European, liberal European always wants to know, first and foremost. Who are the good guys in the film and who are the bad guys. In this respect Vietnam was easy: The Vietnamese people were the victims, and the Americans were the bad guys. The sameRead More


The Enduring Power of ‘Education’

By Avi Shafran

My 13-year-old son, Menachem, is my valued chavruta, or study partner; he has a keen and creative mind, and I hope he will one day become a true talmid chochom, or religious scholar. We study Talmud together every evening and Sabbath; Menachem’s mornings at yeshiva are also filled with the study of religious texts.But he knows how toRead More


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