Arts & Culture


Royal Romance and Medieval Mayhem The History of King Artus

Know that in the days of Uter Pendragon there was a great duke in the Kingdom of Logris called the Duke of Til Tomeil. He had an exceedingly beautiful wife named Lady Izerna. One day King Uter Pendragon ordered a very great tournament for all the knights of Logris by the city of Camelot. Each knight and duke had to bring his wife to the tourney toRead More


Memorial Music To Stir the Soul

By David Mermelstein

The arrival on record of an important new work is always welcome, but immense satisfaction is inevitably tinged by sadness with the CD release of John Adams’s “On the Transmigration of Souls,” a 25-minute work honoring the victims of the September 11 attacks. The piece was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and had its premiere atRead More


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


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


Fatalism and Humor in Israeli Fiction

By Susan Miron

Uncle Peretz Takes Off: Short Stories By Yaakov Shabtai Translated From the Hebrew by Dalia Bilu

Overlook Duckworth, 239 pages, $24.95. * * *The Israeli author Yaakov Shabtai, who died in 1981, wrote several morbidly memorable first sentences. “Goldman’s father died on the first of April, whereas Goldman himself committed suicide onRead More


On the Small Screen, Kitsch and a Witch

By Lisa Keys

That pesky, mysterious Lilith.As the mythical first wife of Adam who, as his equal, refused to lie beneath him, she’s been a source of wonder and inspiration for thousands of years. Demonic references in the Talmud and Kabbalist texts have led many to fear her; more recently, she’s been worshipped as a goddess and has been “reclaimed” byRead More


The Latest Round of Jewwear

By E.B. Solomont

Around three years ago, Jon Polsky and Josh Goldstein thought that T-shirts with Yiddish slogans would be cool. Polsky was recruited to model a “Mensch” shirt, and he willingly wore a navy shirt with an iron-on appliqué, thinking all was well and good.That was until last fall, when Yiddish Ts started cropping up all over town and the pairRead More


A Pushcart of Lower East Side Noshes

By Andrea Toochin

Can’t afford the lamb at Mirko’s or the seafood at Nick & Toni’s in the Hamptons? For those of us city dwellers, there’s the Noshcart.The Noshcart is a care package that lets you enjoy the kosher delicacies of the Lower East Side at home, “all delivered to you in a unique, reusable miniature pushcart —Read More


Putting the Fun in Fundamentalism

By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

Born-again Christian youth pastor Shari Putney is standing at the top of a stairway outside a theater in Hollywood, Calif., presiding over a group of young adults, decked out in a sequined, pale-blue mother-of-the-bride dress and a huge diamond cross. Clearly subscribing to the theory that the higher the hair, the closer to God, PutneyRead More


A Final Rush of Eloquence

By Harvey Shapiro

Deuteronomy approaches its close this week, and with it Moses, that great leader, who had been so chary of speech in his youth, gathers himself into a final rush of eloquence that is both a full-scale poem or song and a summing up of the story thus far. He delivers it to the entire congregation of Israel so that each person will know whereRead More


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