Arts & Culture


In Airwaves War, Israeli Army Takes Its Case to Arab Media

By Ofer Shelah

JERUSALEM — Eitan Arusy, the Israeli military’s point man in dealing with the Arab media, earned his paycheck May 19.That day, millions of Arab viewers watching the evening news on Al Jazeera were treated to footage from an Israeli army drone. The 10-second clip depicted a missile strike on a group of Hamas members as they cowered fromRead More


Plan To Revive Biblical Sanhedrin Receives Boost

By Steven I. Weiss

A nascent effort to re-establish the ancient rabbinical body of the Sanhedrin received a significant boost Monday when world-renowned scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz agreed to serve as the body’s president.The original Sanhedrin, the supreme legislative body in ancient Israel, comprised 71 leading scholars who issued rulings on a wide array ofRead More


‘Who Is a Taoist?’ Principal’s Job Hinged on Definition

By Jennifer Siegel

Academic politics are often esoteric and never pretty. But in what appears to be a first, the fate of a middle-school principal in West Orange, N.J., was determined by a rabbinic debate over the definition of “who is a Taoist.”For months, Aaron Kriegel, a pulpit rabbi in West Essex, N.J., has urged officials at Solomon Schechter Day SchoolRead More


A Buried Treasure, Unearthed by Chance

By Chana Pollack

In 2000, Time Magazine asked its Israel photographer, David Rubinger, to help the magazine put together its “Century” issue, dedicated to great images of the 20th century. Rubinger — himself an Israel Prize-winning photojournalist, famed for his image of Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall during the 1967 War — began workingRead More


Tango: Not Jewish, But Not 100% Not Jewish

By Alexander Gelfand

‘I’m not Jewish — but I’m not 100% not Jewish,” jokes innovative tango musician and sometime klezmer bassist Pablo Aslan. Much the same might be said of the tango itself.The origins of the tango aren’t entirely clear. Some believe that the dance form, born in the slums of Buenos Aires in the 1880s, derived from an Andalusian dance ofRead More


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


Much Ado About Something

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Judy Frankel rushes into the Hillel cafeteria, late to campus as usual after her weekly volunteer work at the AIDS hospice downtown. How good to engage in tikkun olam, repairing the world — keeping patients company during dinner, holding this hand and that, eliciting memories of healthier times. But afterward, she needs the comfort of her FridayRead 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


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