Arts & Culture


Wrestling With the Angel That Was Himself

By Saul Austerlitz

Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint By Hélène Cixous Columbia University Press, 168 pages, $27.50 * * *During the era of the Talmud, the period of the scholars known as the Amoraim (200-500 C.E.) was dedicated to the fleshing out of the sparse, cryptic pronouncements of their predecessors, the Tannaim. In an effort to makeRead More


Second-line Living

By Jason Berry

New Orleans serenaded L. J. Goldstein.The brass band funerals and street parades, called second lines, that wind through the town of Treme, outside the French Quarter, were far from his comfortable Manhattan, N.Y., upbringing, but close to his heart.“I used to dream of moving to New Orleans,” Goldstein said. “I was drawn to theRead More


New Books Blend Kabbalah, Psychotherapy and Self-Help

By Jay Michaelson

The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine Within You Rabbi David Aaron Shambhala, 192 pages, $21.95.


Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing And Inner Wholeness

Estelle Frankel Shambhala, 332 pages., $24.95. * * *As everyone seems to know by now, Kabbalah has broken into the mainstream. ThanksRead More


Blond Ambition: A Yiddish Diva Serenades Fans

By Masha Leon

The American Friends of the Hebrew University dinner September 28 at the St. Regis honoring Daniel Schultz, managing director and co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham Ventures, was launched by glorious renditions of our National Anthem and HaTikvah, sung by Tizmoret, Queens College Hillel’s a cappella choir.Harvey Krueger, philanthropistRead More


The Devil Maid Me Do It

By Richard Mcbee

The plot is simple, even seductively coy, but it reverberates into the year ahead. In Isaac Bashevis Singer’s only Yiddish play, “Devil’s Play,” it seems the devil is bored and is looking for a little fun with an easy victim. He settles on a remote shtetl, Frampol, where he finds a happily married older couple, Noson and Royze Temerl, onRead More


Your Morning Coffee, Served Just and Right

By Matthew Goodman

What is the most valuable item of international trade in the world today? No surprise for anyone who’s read the headlines for the past decade or two: It’s oil. But you might be surprised to discover that the second most valuable item is coffee. Oil and coffee — that’ll add a bit of perspective to the morning drive to the local javaRead More


Tale of Twos Marks an Activist’s Life

By Masha Leon

Richard Fisher, a senior partner at Fisher Brothers, and his mother, Emily Fisher Landau, were honored at the September 22 Top Dog Gala, which raised $800,000 for The Animal Medical Center, a state-of-the-art facility that treats more than 50,000 patients each year. To the delight of the 500 black-tie guestsRead More


Tuning in to Sounds Of the Warsaw Ghetto

By Rick Harrison

Close your eyes, and you can see it.On April 19, 1943, there were 35,000 Jews remaining in the Warsaw Ghetto. Out of these, several hundred decided to fight the Nazi army rather than meet the fate of some 465,000 of their neighbors, who died of disease or were shipped off to extermination camps. They were armed — with rifles, a few machineRead More


Nazi Camp as Mecca for Artists?

By Joshua Cohen

An hour’s train ride from the Prague station from which thousands of Jews were deported in winter 1941, in a derelict small town pierced with unreal silence, Petr Larva has a dream. He imagines visual artists from all over the world converging on his adopted town, to live and work and exhibit. He imagines a shattered populace resurrectedRead More


In Time of War, a Call To Serve Civil Society and Country

By Ruth Messinger

I could not help noting the potential irony during the second presidential debate when President Bush announced emphatically that “there will be no draft.” It was oddly reminiscent of the 1988 presidential debate, when then-vice president George H. W. Bush just as emphatically assured the public: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” We all knowRead More


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