Arts & Culture


He Wandered the Earth as an Exiled Man

By Jay Michaelson

Chronicles: Volume One By Bob Dylan Simon & Schuster, 304 pages, $24. * * *Toward the end of last year’s rambling, barely coherent film “Masked and Anonymous,” Bob Dylan, its masked and anonymous star, spoke in voice-over one of his most direct and self-revelatory addresses. Fittingly, it was about the limits of whatRead More


The Fate of Slaves in Ancient Israel

By Gary A. Rendsburg

With this week’s Torah reading, called Mishpatim or “Rules,” the presentation of the laws of ancient Israel formally commences. Earlier sections of the Torah have occasional laws imbedded in them, such as the law of circumcision in Genesis 17 or the laws pertaining to Passover in Exodus 12. But these items are few in number and areRead More


Spain’s Other Philosopher- Son Gets Some Recognition

By Elizabeth Landau

For philosophers, historians and theologians from many faiths, the greatest Spanish Jewish thinker of all time is unquestionably Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides (1138-1204). Hailing from the medieval pueblo of Cordoba, Spain, the prolific Maimonides championed, among other things, the school of religious rationalism. We credit himRead More


A Boy Grows in Brooklyn

By Donald Weber

The much-anticipated premiere of Donald Margulies’s “Brooklyn Boy,” which opens at the Biltmore Theater next Thursday as part of Manhattan Theatre Club’s winter season, continues the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s richly comic yet profoundly heart-aching meditation on the meaning of growing up Jewish in America. “IRead More


God’s Dream of a Holy Nation

By Lore Segal

The week’s portion relates two events, a pleasant one between a man and a man, and the one central between the godhead and mankind.There is a charm in reading about an ancient iconic figure in human trouble to which there is a sensible human solution. Father-in-law Jethro tells young Moses he is overdoing it which is bad not only for his ownRead More


Controversial Priests Tapped for Jerusalem Center

By Jason Berry

Pope John Paul II has awarded control of an important Catholic cultural center in Jerusalem to a controversial, right-wing priestly order whose founder has been accused of sexual abuse.The order, the Legionaries of Christ, received the administrative keys to the Jerusalem landmark, the Notre Dame Center, in a festive ceremony at the Vatican onRead More


Bush Marches Into a Second Term, His Agenda Set by Mideast Foes

By Michael Rubin

Last week, George W. Bush took the oath of office and began his second term. With 150,000 troops still in Iraq, Iran developing nuclear weapons and new leadership in the Palestinian Authority, the Middle East will continue to dominate White House attention.To what extent will Bush’s second term be different from his first? For better or worse,Read More


Ancient Woes Resurfacing As Dean Eyes Top Dem Post

By E.J. Kessler

As the Democratic National Committee gets set to pick a new chairman, the party is experiencing déjà vu all over again.Like a replay of the Democrats’ 2004 presidential primary season, the early frontrunner in the DNC race is former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Then as now, a number of other candidates of varying attractiveness have linedRead More


Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Is Commemorated Around the World

By Eric J. Greenberg

Sixty years after the liberation of Auschwitz by Russian soldiers, leaders of more than 100 nations joined this week for a string of tributes in America, Europe, and at the death camp itself to honor victims and vow that the Nazi horrors never would be repeated.Hanging over the events, though, was a palpable sense that in places likeRead More


Security Cooperation Leaves Israelis, Palestinians Hopeful

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — In a slowly unfolding scenario reminiscent of the nearly forgotten peace process of the early 1990s, Israelis and Palestinians began feeling their way cautiously toward agreement this week on something resembling coexistence.Armed Palestinian police moved into position, with Israeli consent, to stop terrorists from firing rockets atRead More


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