Arts & Culture


Rethinking the Divine

By Miriam Shaviv

In 1982, noted Israeli thinker Yeshayahu Leibowitz wrote that “the question of women and Judaism is more crucial than all the political problems of the people and its state. Failure to deal with it seriously threatens the viability of the Judaism of Torah and Mitzvoth in the contemporary world.”Despite the passage of 20Read More


A New Novel Tears Down a Sacred Shrine

By Peter Manseau

One of the more surprising moments in recent music history comes midway through the celebrated 1998 indie rock album “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” by the band Neutral Milk Hotel. Hiding in otherwise understated tune are some startling lyrics:Read More

                      I know they buried her body with others
Her sister and mother and five hundred families

                    

A Theory of Everything

By Jay Michaelson

Franz Rosenzweig is one of the most mentioned and least read of the Jewish philosophers. Everyone with an interest in modern Jewish philosophy includes him in its highest circle, along with Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Emanuel Levinas and, if religious philosophers are included, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rav Kook and Joseph Soloveitchik. But whileRead More


A Critic Hears False Notes in Music History

By Raphael Mostel

One of the liveliest and most remarkable books about music was published this year. In “The Oxford History of Western Music,” iconoclastic University of California, Berkeley, professor Richard Taruskin offers a 4,000-page, six-volume survey of everything there is to know about Western classical music. For one person to encompass the vast rangeRead More


Bright Lights, Little Village: Jews in Small-town America

By Glenn C. Altschuler

    • *‘A baker who can make kimmel bread and German rolls (bagels, too, I suppose) can do well in Kalamazoo,” a field agent for the Industrial Removal Office of the Baron de Hirsch Fund reported in 1907. A junk dealer in Ashland, Ky., he added three years later, would gladly replace the Negro who worked in his yard with a Jew.Jews, it is well

Jerusalem’s Shrine for the Muses

By Noga Tarnopolsky

The customary thing for men and institutions is to flame out into a full-blown midlife crisis at 40. But who likes customary? No one, apparently, at the Israel Museum, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary with a sumptuous and supremely self-possessed exhibit called Beauty and Sanctity.It is, in fact, an über-exhibit —Read More


This Month at Novel Jews

Novel Jews is a downtown reading series that presents provocative and enlightening fiction and literary nonfiction by both today’s literary superstars and the emerging voices of tomorrow. It is co-sponsored by the Sol Goldman 14th Street Y, the JCC in Manhattan and the Forward.SHALOM AUSLANDER was raised as an Orthodox Jew in Spring Valley, N.Y.Read More


‘Prophet’s Dilemma’ From ‘Beware of God,’ by Shalom Auslander

NOVEL JEWS Each month, in coordination with our 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 Shalom Auslander and Leelila Strogov (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen to highlight is “Prophet’sRead More


Neta Gain; A Choreographer Returns for Her Encore

By Rose Anne Thom

Choreographer Neta Pulver- macher has aptly named her new season, which runs from May 11 to May 22 in New York at The Flea Theater, “NETRO: A Neta Dance Company Retrospective.” “I graduated from The Juilliard School in 1985 and started working right away. This season is a milestone — 20 years,” she noted in an interview with the Forward.Read More


Doomed Love and Melancholy

By Aaron Hamburger

Publishers are notoriously reluctant to take on story collections, perhaps in part because unlike novels, a story collection has to justify its own existence. It isn’t enough for a story collection to be well written, poignant and intelligent. Why, readers ask themselves, have these eight to 12 stories been juxtaposed between theRead More


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