Arts & Culture


Uneasy Reading: Books About Parenting Fall Flat

By Marjorie Ingall

Newly expecting friends often ask me what pregnancy book they should buy. My answer always has been “none.” Because they are all vile. I suggest my friends sign up for weekly e-mails from babycenter.com instead, and search that superb site for answers to any questions that may come up.Read More


Manuscripts Worth Millions

By Rick Harrison

If you’re struggling to find a gift for that person who has everything and you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars to spend, then Sotheby’s New York has the right auction for you.On October 27 and 28, the Montefiore Endowment at Ramsgate, England, will auction off a wide array of rare Hebrew manuscripts that Marcia Malinowski, seniorRead More


Looking for Doctor; Will Settle for Turkey Sandwich

By Tina Barry

There are no single men in New York, and everyone knows that. Everyone except my mother. To her, the city is filled with men waiting to make me their wife. I just needed a creative plan for finding them.“If you want to meet a doctor, eat in a hospital,” she advised.Any objections I voiced she waved away. “Look,” she said, “who doRead More


The Art of Forgiving

Come the High Holy Day season, we expect to see a great deal of discussion, in Jewish publications of various sorts, of teshuva (repentance), and particularly of what it means to be a ba’al teshuva (literally, a master of repentance). We might read something about Maimonides’s description of the ba’al teshuva — the one who, placed in theRead More


From Opera to Yiddish Songs, Joy for the Ears

By Masha Leon

“It’s an amazing honor for us to be part of this, the most diverse and largest Jewish festival in the world,” Moishe Rosenfeld told the audience at the 92nd Street Y’s launching of “A Cantorial Celebration of Yiddish Art Song,” which he produced as part of the September 7-14 New York Jewish Music &Read More


A Spider’s-Eye View Of Your Sukkah

By Jennifer Siegel

From his window perch in the living room of the Shapiro household, Sammy Spider sees fall leaves, scampering squirrels and the family busily erecting a Sukkah. When Sammy — the star of the new story “Sammy Spider’s First Sukkot” (Lerner Pub Group), with text by Sylvia A. Rouss and whimsical cut-paper illustrations by Katherine Janus KahnRead More


To Paradise and Back

Simhat Torah follows the seventh day of Sukkot and is a day of rejoicing. On Simhat Torah, the year-long reading of the Torah comes to an end with the last few verses of the Book of Deuteronomy and starts again with the first verses of the Book of Genesis. The scrolls of the Torah are taken from the Ark and carried around the synagogueRead More


Israel Uncorks World-class Wines

By Noga Tarnopolsky

By ordinary standards, the Roman-era grape press found a couple of years ago in the tilled red earth on the outskirts of Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh is not enormously newsworthy. It is just another ruin found in a country in which road workers and homebuilders know that any given square foot of excavation probably could yield a shard or two.But thisRead More


Passion Fruit, Indeed: One Man’s Etrog Obsession

By Dave Gordon

It looks like a lemon, feels like a lemon and kind of smells like a lemon. But an etrog is not a lemon.In fact, it takes a lot to grow an etrog, which is the fruit of the citron tree and one of the four species used on the festival of Sukkot. The others are lulavim (palm), aravot (willows) and hadasim (myrtle). Of the four, the etrog is the mostRead More


Ladino and Yiddish –– Those Tools of Modernity

By Ilan Stavans

Making Jews Modern: The Yiddish and Ladino Press in the Russian and Ottoman Empires By Sarah Abrevaya Stein Indiana University Press, 310 pages, $75 —–I’m thrilled to review this book by Sarah Abrevaya Stein, an assistant professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, but not because it is well written. It is unnervinglyRead More





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