Arts & Culture


Avoiding the Curses

By Peretz Rodman

Who will get the sixth aliya at your synagogue this Sabbath? It is usually an uncomplicated business to distribute among those present the honor of pronouncing the blessings over each of the seven-plus-one segments of the public recitation of the week’s Torah portion. The assignments are made to honor guests, recognize members’ celebratoryRead More


Digging Into Jewish Liturgy for Musical Inspiration

By Seth Rogovoy

According to legend, a Polish nobleman once hired a group of Old World klezmer musicians on the condition that they use written music. Rather than forfeit the well-paying gig, the musically illiterate players faked it by bringing their Bibles. They placed the books on their music stands, the landlord glanced at the strange squiggles on the pagesRead More


Malamud’s New Life

By Jonathan Lethem

In conversation with a friend, I once tried to account for my particular fascination with Philip Roth’s early novel “Letting Go.” In attempting to characterize the book and how it stood apart in Roth’s oeuvre, I blurted out: “‘Letting Go’ is Roth’s Richard Yates book.” What I meant, I guess, was that for one book Roth had triedRead More


A Torah Scholar With a Rock-Star Following

By Eve Grubin

For most scholars, Midrash is an analysis of or commentary on the text of the Bible. But to Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, the literary and Torah scholar with an enormous following on several continents, Midrash is “the repressed unconscious of the Torah.”The difference speaks volumes. Specifically, Zornberg sees Midrash as coming out of what theRead More


The Men in My Life

THE WONDERS OF AMERICAAs the summer gives way to September, and with it the advent of Rosh Hashanah, my thoughts turn to those who will not be on hand this year to usher in the Jewish New Year: my father-in-law, Yaakov (née Peretz Yaakov) Joselit, and my favorite uncle, Bob (née Baruch) Weissman. Apart from having died within several months ofRead More


Israeli Envoy Vexed by Role Of U.S. Jews In France

By Marc Perelman

The growing involvement of American Jewish groups in nascent pro-Israel lobbying efforts in France is fueling concerns of a possible backlash among some French Jewish leaders and Israeli officials.In a letter to the Israeli Foreign Ministry two months ago, Israel’s ambassador to France, Nissim Zvili, warned about the potential negativeRead More


Bush Works At Avoiding Public Spat With Sharon

By Ori Nir, With Reporting From Ha’aretz.

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration appeared to inject itself into Israel’s hottest internal dispute this week, quietly relaxing its opposition to construction in West Bank settlements just as Israel’s own Interior and Justice ministries are battling to freeze construction and prepare for the settlements’Read More


An Unwavering Commitment To Reforming the Middle East

By John Kerry

Across the Middle East, the United States and Israel are facing a range of crucial security challenges. We are not secure while Saudi donors fund terror, while Iran pursues a nuclear weapons programs and while Syria sponsors terrorist operations. We are not secure while Iraq is at risk of becoming a haven for terrorists. And we are notRead More


Rabbinical Council Is Probing Claims of Sexual Harassment

By Rukhl Schaechter

The main union of Modern Orthodox rabbis is investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the scion of a prominent rabbinic family, the Forward has learned.Officials at the Rabbinical Council of America, an organization representing more than 1,000 Orthodox clergymen, confirmed that the organization is examining sexualRead More


New Generation of Polish Jews Insists on Future in Their Land

By Alisa Solomon

Daniela Malec’s blond hair, swept into a stretchy purple band atop her head, sprays upward like a fountain, giving her a perpetual look of amazement. Add her blazing blue eyes, and the 26-year-old Jewish activist looks punk prophetic. “What does it really mean to be a Jew?” she asks, naming the issue that fires her and about 20 other youngRead More





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  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
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  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
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  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
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  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
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