Arts & Culture


The Holy Fool How One Writer Conveys Spiritual Truths That Are Seriously Funny

By Jay Michaelson

Because I first met Eliezer Sobel on a meditation retreat, the first things I remember about him are his socks. The most important rule at such gatherings, where taking off one’s shoes is inevitable, is to bring good socks. But Sobel’s weren’t just the warm, wool socks that every retreat veteran has. They were loud, bright, multicolored;Read More


A Room of Their Own –– Again; Exploring the Latest Revival in Girls’ Schools

By Jennifer Siegel

As a veteran reporter who spent years covering California’s male-dominated State House, Ilana DeBare had long seen that women were disadvantaged in a system fueled by the late-night backroom deals of chummy male insiders. But when she started covering the state’s booming technology industry — a new field, allegedly driven more byRead More


Stern College Turns 50

By Jennifer Siegel

As a member of the second class of Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, Ginger Socol remembers shopping on 34th Street, taking biology classes with a total of three students and living in a hotel suite while the dormitory was under construction. Most of all, though, she remembers her roommates — Orthodox young women fromRead More


America on the Couch: Jews and the Shaping of Therapeutic Culture

By Eli Zaretsky

Jews and the American Soul: Human Nature in the 20th Century By Andrew R. Heinze Princeton University Press, 456 pages, $29.95. * * *The convergence of religion and psychology is one of the signal facts of 20th-century Western culture. In retrospect, the relationship seems obvious: On the one hand, many functions once performed by religionRead More


Nodding Off on Wedlock’s Bed

By David Curzon

This week’s portion contains Jacob’s dream and many other passages that have given rise to midrashim. One of these passages is Genesis 30:1: And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: ‘Give me children or else I die.’ Robert Burns (1759-1796) was inspired by this verse toRead More


Odd Man Out

By Henry Bean

He was strong and handsome, and he was the first born; but his mother, indifferent to all that, preferred his brother and viewed him, largely, as a dullard. When she talked with his brother, their conversations were so darting and subtle that his head hurt. He could not follow them and came to think that they were using a kind of code toRead More


The Women We Know

By Allison T. Hoffman

They are the women we all know: A Florida bubbe battling with her headstrong granddaughter. A good Jewish girl looking for a nice Jewish husband. Three artists — a painter, a singer and a filmmaker — all questioning the assumptions of their faith. An old woman, a Russian immigrant, rediscovering her youth; another, alone in a nursing home,Read More


How Jewish Is the New ‘Jewish Study Bible’?

By Mark Jay Mirsky

The Jewish Study Bible By Adele Berlin, Marc Zvi Brettler (Editors) and Michael Fishbane (Consulting Editor) Oxford University Press, 2,181 pages, $40. * * *‘The Jewish Study Bible,” a hefty, 2,181-page tome published this year, packages a previously published translation of the Hebrew Bible together with extensive marginal commentary andRead More


‘Yekl’ at 108: Rereading a Classic With the Children of Immigrants

By Andrew R. Heinze

Why should a somewhat stiff novella about Jewish immigrants in 1896 hold an American audience today? It shouldn’t, and if Congress had not reopened the Golden Door in 1965, ushering in the second great immigration of the 20th century, Abraham Cahan’s “Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto” might now be gathering dust on a library shelfRead More


Deep Roots, Far-flung Branches

By Jeffrey Griggs

This month, CLAL-The National Center for Learning and Leadership will publish a tribute book to coincide with its 30th -anniversary dinner. The tribute book will feature the work of Moico Yaker, a Peruvian-born artist who currently splits his time between Lima and New York. “Moico shatters the false divide between Jewish and human,Read More





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