Arts & Culture


You Spin Me Right ’Round A New Book Laces Into the Marketing of Politics

By Ari Melber

All the President’s Spin: George W. Bush, the Media and the Truth By Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer and Brendan Nyhan Touchstone, 352 pages, $11.20. * * *Many people have accused President Bush of misleading the American public. The editors of Spinsanity.com, a nonpartisan Web site “dedicated to debunking political spin and fact-checking theRead More


PSALM 151

In his epigraph, poet Merrill Leffler raises William Carlos Williams’s bold claim that men die miserably for lack of what is in poetry. It’s a claim that many practical folks would dismiss on the face of it, for if the news of our world is purely a matter of dollars and sense, then how much could poetry matter? Leffler is in a positionRead More


Mystery Sells: What the Kabbalah Centre Actually Teaches

By Jay Michaelson

The Power of Kabbalah By Yehuda Berg (Jodere Group, 2002)


The 72 Names of God By Yehuda Berg (Kabbalah Centre International, 2003) * * *Mainstream Jews cannot stand the Kabbalah Centre. You can tell by the way they mock it, highlight its every flaw (huge offices! expensive bracelets!) and deride Madonna, Britney Spears, AshtonRead More


Two New Beginnings and a Sad Ending

By Masha Leon

“This is my first day on the job,” said Arye Mekel, Israel’s new consul general to New York, at the August 16 preview screening of Margarethe von Trotta’s film, “Rosenstrasse,” at the Center for Jewish History. “The movie is a reflection of [how] human courage can make a significant difference.”“This is [also] my first officialRead More


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


Hamptons Host Parties for Peace

By Nathaniel Popper

Like any good Hamptons host, banking heir Ivan Wilzig kept the guests at his July bash awaiting his arrival in proper Jay Gatsby style. The guests at the Wilzig Castle in Water Mill on Long Island, N.Y., mingling among Arabian tents and animal skin carpets, curiously examined the multicolored peace medallions being handed out by a phalanx of hiredRead 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


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