Arts & Culture


The Fate of Slaves in Ancient Israel

By Gary A. Rendsburg

With this week’s Torah reading, called Mishpatim or “Rules,” the presentation of the laws of ancient Israel formally commences. Earlier sections of the Torah have occasional laws imbedded in them, such as the law of circumcision in Genesis 17 or the laws pertaining to Passover in Exodus 12. But these items are few in number and areRead More


Plaut Redux: Reforming the Reform Commentary

By Eric J. Greenberg

Since its release nearly a quarter-century ago, the Reform movement’s first biblical commentary has sold 250,000 copies and helped fuel a revolution in Torah study. But, as more and more congregations in recent years began placing a greater emphasis on Hebrew and Torah reading during Sabbath services, the tome essentially fell out of step withRead More


Controversial Priests Tapped for Jerusalem Center

By Jason Berry

Pope John Paul II has awarded control of an important Catholic cultural center in Jerusalem to a controversial, right-wing priestly order whose founder has been accused of sexual abuse.The order, the Legionaries of Christ, received the administrative keys to the Jerusalem landmark, the Notre Dame Center, in a festive ceremony at the Vatican onRead More


Bush Marches Into a Second Term, His Agenda Set by Mideast Foes

By Michael Rubin

Last week, George W. Bush took the oath of office and began his second term. With 150,000 troops still in Iraq, Iran developing nuclear weapons and new leadership in the Palestinian Authority, the Middle East will continue to dominate White House attention.To what extent will Bush’s second term be different from his first? For better or worse,Read More


Ancient Woes Resurfacing As Dean Eyes Top Dem Post

By E.J. Kessler

As the Democratic National Committee gets set to pick a new chairman, the party is experiencing déjà vu all over again.Like a replay of the Democrats’ 2004 presidential primary season, the early frontrunner in the DNC race is former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Then as now, a number of other candidates of varying attractiveness have linedRead More


Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Is Commemorated Around the World

By Eric J. Greenberg

Sixty years after the liberation of Auschwitz by Russian soldiers, leaders of more than 100 nations joined this week for a string of tributes in America, Europe, and at the death camp itself to honor victims and vow that the Nazi horrors never would be repeated.Hanging over the events, though, was a palpable sense that in places likeRead More


Security Cooperation Leaves Israelis, Palestinians Hopeful

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — In a slowly unfolding scenario reminiscent of the nearly forgotten peace process of the early 1990s, Israelis and Palestinians began feeling their way cautiously toward agreement this week on something resembling coexistence.Armed Palestinian police moved into position, with Israeli consent, to stop terrorists from firing rockets atRead More


Orthodox Union Sets Ban on Clubs For Scotch Tipplers

By Gabriel Sanders

The Orthodox Union has called on its member congregations to eliminate from their synagogues the informal drinking circles known as Kiddush Clubs.In letters addressed to member rabbis, the O.U., which represents some 1,000 congregations, has encouraged synagogues to devote the Sabbath of February 5 to launching a Kiddush Club crackdown.TheRead More


Young Activists Join Economic Lions at Davos Parley

By Allison T. Hoffman

Greenspan, Friedman, Fischer, Reich, Rubin, Stiglitz, Summers, Wolfensohn: For years, the single-name figures of the economic world have been men, many of them Jewish, almost all of them weighing in on issues of globalization and economic development from university chairs, institutional headquarters or government departments.But facedRead More


Up From Pushkin Street

By Mark Shechner

The Jewish Century By Yuri Slezkine Princeton University Press, 344 pages, $29.95. * * *Yuri Slezkine begins the fourth chapter of his book, “The Jewish Century,” with a synopsis of Tevye’s daughters, from Sholom Aleichem’s “Tevye the Milkman,” as if it were a parable of all modern Jewish history. “TsaytlRead More





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