Arts & Culture


Judaism, Meditation and The B-Word

By Jay Michaelson

Mindful Jewish Living: Compassionate PracticeBy Jonathan P. SlaterAviv Press, 300 pages, $24.95.* * Meditation and Judaism: Exploring the Jewish Meditative PathsBy DovBer PinsonRowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 304 pages, $35. * *Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the BuddhaEdited by Harold Kasimow, John P. Keenan andRead More


The Man Behind The Equation

By Dan Falk

Albert Einstein looms over the 20th century. He was undoubtedly the greatest intellect of the past 100 years, a man whose very name is now synonymous with “genius.” His rise to fame began on June 30, 1905, when a German physics journal published a seemingly innocuous article titled “On the Electrodynamics ofRead More


Finding Comedy in the Conflict

By Joseph Carman

When choreographer David Dorfman toured with his dance company, he often sought out local rabbis to ask, “Who are the chosen people?” After listening to a thoughtful response, Dorfman’s standard follow-up question was, “Does that mean everyone else is un-chosen?” An obsession with questioning belief systems — and a healthy sense ofRead More


A Look Back at a Different Book Burning

By Zachary Silver

Exactly 60 years ago, a group of individuals assembled to burn the prayer book of a Jewish leader and to ostracize him from community life. This event occurred not in Europe but in Manhattan, and the book burners were not Nazis. They were Jews.On June 12, 1945, at New York City’s Hotel McAlpin, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United StatesRead More


Generation Birthright Grows Up

By Paul Zakrzewski

The Task of This TranslatorBy Todd Hasak-LowyHarcourt, 272 pages, $13.* * Raymond and HannahBy Stephen MarcheHarcourt, 216 pages, $14. * Light YearsBy Tammar SteinKnopf, 272 pages, $15.95. * *There was a time when you hardly ever picked up an American novel or story collection that focused much on Israel — Philip Roth notwithstanding. Today,Read More


Fathers and Sons

By Daniel M. Jaffe

From across the kitchen table, Bobby asks, “You want your firstborn son to die on a battlefield?”“Don’t be ridiculous.” Phil Gutman shakes his head. “We’re talking registration with the Selective Service, that’s all. You’re 18. It’s the law.”“I’ll be drafted to Iraq. We already did the Babylonian exile thing a long timeRead More


The God In the Translation

By Lore Segal

The sadness of reading Torah without benefit of Hebrew has small compensations: I’m forced to look for — to participate in — the struggle of translators wrestling every last meaning from the original in order not to miss the god in the detail.The first half of the first sentence of this week’s portion offers an example ofRead More


Brown Shirts and Dirndls A New Book Explores the History of Nazis and Fashion

By Amanda Fortini

Nazi Chic?: Fashioning Women in the Third ReichBy Irene GuentherBerg Publishers, 320 pages, $28.95.* * *Was there an aspect of culture in which the Nazis did not take a fanatical interest? From numerous books and articles and films on the subject, we have become familiar with images of Nazis storming museums and galleries to confiscate artRead More


A Literary Easterner With a Hollywood Muse

By Mark Oppenheimer

The Golden West: Hollywood StoriesBy Daniel FuchsDavid R. Godine/Black Sparrow Books, 272 pages, $24.95.* * *In his introduction to “The Golden West,” a new collection of Daniel Fuchs’s writings about California, John Updike places Fuchs in the company of similarly gifted fiction writers who did lucrative stints as screenwriters inRead More


Before Fusion: A CD Plumbs Statman’s Archives

By Fred Kaplan

Andy Statman is a practicing Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn and a top-notch clarinetist who has spent the past three decades playing klezmer — not, as some have, for irony or wedding gigs or nostalgia, but rather to explore highly personal paths of connection with the music’s spiritual roots. A new CD, “Avodas Halevi: Archival RecordingsRead More





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  • 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."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
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