Arts & Culture


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


Honoring the Present –– and Future –– Nobel Laureates

By Masha Leon

“It’s the first time Israelis have been awarded a Nobel Prize in Science” said Ben Sosewitz, chairman of Technion International’s board of governors, at the October 14 American Technion Society 80th anniversary dinner at The Plaza in New York. While applauding Technion professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover — discoverers ofRead More


Rebecca at the Well

By David R. Slavitt

Abraham’s servant Eliezer, at the well outside Nahor, is looking for a wife for Isaac, and he asks the Lord, in Genesis 24:14, for a sign: “Let the maiden to whom I shall say, ‘Pray let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’ — let her be the one whom you have appointed for yourRead More


An Exhibit Invites Viewers Into The Mikveh

By Richard Mcbee

For many modern Jewish women, there is no more contentious image than the waters of the mikveh. The ritual bath is fraught with notions of uncleanliness, impurity and inferiority that traditional male-dominated Judaism has imposed upon Jewish women. The curse cast upon menstrual blood is seen as a primitive and punitive denigration of the femaleRead More


The Peculiarly Jewish Predicament

By John Felstiner

Little Men: Novellas and Stories By Gerald Shapiro Columbus Ohio State University Press, 219 pages, $29.95. * * *‘Just tell me — is it good for the Jews?” The precariousness of Diaspora existence got turned against Philip Roth when “Goodbye Columbus and Other Stories” (1958) seemed to betray nasty Jewish foibles to America’sRead More


Setting Yiddishkeit To Mambo, Metal And Surf

By Jay Michaelson

Meshugga Beach Party: Sixteen Songs of the Chosen Surfers (Halakahiki Records) The Makkabees: Volume Aleph (self-released) Yiddishe Cup: Meshugeneh Mambo (Yiddishe Cup)* * *There are some who believe that authentic Jewish genius lies in the moral and legal codes of our ancestors; others, in the monotheistic impulse, or in the faithRead More


Waters of Contention

By Marjorie Ingall

Not long ago, I would have told you that the odds of my ever visiting a mikveh were approximately the same as those of George Bush tongue-kissing Dick Cheney. The mikveh always was an aspect of traditional Judaism I was uncomfortable with. I understand that my perspective isn’t shared by all women, and to those women who disagree with me, I say,Read More


NOVEL JEWS

“Novel Jews” is a downtown reading series in New York that presents provocative and enlightening fiction and literary nonfiction by both today’s literary superstars and the emerging voices of tomorrow. The reading is co-sponsored by The Sol Goldman 14th Street Y, the JCC in Manhattan and the Forward. WHEN: Wednesday, November 10, 7 p.m.Read More


Spiritual Hunger Artists

By Sanford Pinsker

Joy Comes in the Morning By Jonathan Rosen Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 400 pages, $25. ——Jonathan Rosen came to wide public attention, first as the editor (for some 10 years) of this newspaper’s highly regarded Arts & Letters section, and then as the author of “Eve’s Apple” (Random House Inc., l997), an impressive debut novel,Read More


Bridging a Rift Between Israelis and Americans

By Esther Kremer

Outside a velvet rope on a recent fall evening last month, three dark-haired men tossed their cigarettes, passed a security check and queued up to pay a cover charge. They were chatting in Hebrew about a hot new software program as they entered the club, where a celebrity D.J. dubbed “Van Jee” was spinning tunes for a mostly Israeli crowd.As aRead More





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