Arts & Culture


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


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


How Baseball Saved a City

By Michael Shapiro

As the summer of 1977 drew mercifully to a close, Pete Hamill, a champion of his city, offered a painfully grim assessment of what awaited its new mayor, Ed Koch. New York, he wrote, was now “the ruined city and broken city.” Only a fool would have differed with him.In the months leading up to Koch’s unlikely election —Read More


Seeking Virtual Realities In Both Science and Art

By Paul Zakrzewski

More than a decade after David recovered from a Unabomber attack that nearly killed him, the prominent Yale computer scientist is at a crossroads with his life’s work.As a graduate student in the late 1970s, Gelernter made his mark by writing a program called “Linda” — after porn star Linda Lovelace — which allowed programmers to breakRead 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.——–GARY SHTEYNGART was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to theRead More


The Surprise Literary Sensation Sweeping France

By Stéphane Gerson

This year’s French literary sensation is quite a surprise, not least because she is a long-forgotten Jewish writer who died in Auschwitz.Irène Némirovsky was born into a wealthy Ukrainian family in 1903 and grew up among Kiev, Saint Petersburg and Riviera palaces. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, her family joined the ranks of White RussianRead 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


From ‘A Graft of Roses’

A synagogue. I had never before visited one, but knew from friends in Prague that the women sat separately, in the balcony. A portly rabbi with a formidable tri-colored beard and a whip-thin cantor stood on the altar, in front of a wooden ark heavily inlaid with metals and carvings. The foreign words of the prayers washed over me, a droning,Read More


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