Arts & Culture


‘Chassidic’ Jazzman Strives for Authenticity

By Alexander Gelfand

In music, as in any art, intention and biography can be tricky things. For example, should Richard Wagner’s antisemitism be considered when judging his work? Is it fair to take the composer’s controversial writings into account when evaluating his operas? And does the value of his art really depend on the kind of person he was?Drummer ReubenRead More


Treif Wasn’t Always Non-kosher

By Peretz Rodman

Of all the words contributed by the Yiddish language to modern American English, “kosher” is one of the more common — and, as a term neither coarse nor derisive, an exception to a general rule. American dictionaries frequently also list its antonym, treif (spelled with or without the “i”), defining it as “not kosher and hence forbiddenRead More


Every Jew a Canny Yankee

By David Kaufmann

The American Poets Project seeks to present America’s most significant poets in inexpensive editions. In celebration of National Poetry Month, over the next three weeks David Kaufmann will look at the work of three Jewish poets included in the project, beginning with Emma Lazarus and followed by Karl Shapiro and Muriel Rukeyser. It has beenRead More


‘Women of the Book’: A Photo Essay

By Richard Mcbee

The nature of Jewish women’s creativity in artists’ books is brilliantly explored in a traveling exhibition, Women of the Book: Jewish Artists, Jewish Themes, curated by Judith A. Hoffberg. This contemporary art form, conceptually based on illuminated manuscripts, includes 73 artists’ books — all handmade or limited editions — thatRead More


Standing Firm Through Moscow’s Building Boom

By Paul Abelsky

From Mikhail Khazanov’s cluttered offices in central Moscow, he can see the city come into view as a vibrant and chaotic mosaic. But Khazanov is more than an observer. As one of Moscow’s premier architects, his projects have shaped the urban fabric of the place where he has lived and worked all his life.His current projects consistRead More


Counting the Gray Lady’s Sins

By Gal Beckerman

‘Photos don’t normally appear on this page. But it’s time for us to look squarely at the victims of our indifference.” And with that, Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times and its op-ed page’s most morally indignant voice, used his semi-weekly space this past February 23 to hold up before our eyes the images of four deadRead More


The Limits of Enlightenment

By David R. Slavitt

For a Jew of the Enlightenment, for one who believes, as I do, both in Judaism and in the intellectual and political benefits of the Haskalah, Metzora is a daunting and even a dismaying portion. Most of the time, I can find some middle way in which the voices of faith and reason do not directly contradict each other, but here, with these grotesqueRead More


The Anthem Question

By Philologos

It’s not every day that a Palestinian gets to be an Israeli national hero, but it happened last week to Abbas Suan, the soccer player who scored a last-minute goal that gave Israel’s national team a 1-1 tie against Ireland and kept it in the running as a contender for the 2006 World Cup Finals. It was an especially dramaticRead More


Controlling The Uncontrollable

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Tazria, is primarily concerned with the priestly rituals for dealing with the outbreak of macabre changes in the skin and flesh. The commentary in “The Jewish Study Bible” (Oxford University Press, 2004 tells us that “Tzara’at, seen as a gradual erosion of the skin, was thought to culminate,Read More


Novel Jews

Each month, in coordination with our Novel Jews reading series in New York, the Forward publishes an excerpt from the work of that month’s series guest or guests. This month, we will feature readings by Gary Shteyngart and Josh Cohen (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen to highlight isRead More





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