Arts & Culture


Israel Uncorks World-class Wines

By Noga Tarnopolsky

By ordinary standards, the Roman-era grape press found a couple of years ago in the tilled red earth on the outskirts of Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh is not enormously newsworthy. It is just another ruin found in a country in which road workers and homebuilders know that any given square foot of excavation probably could yield a shard or two.But thisRead More


Passion Fruit, Indeed: One Man’s Etrog Obsession

By Dave Gordon

It looks like a lemon, feels like a lemon and kind of smells like a lemon. But an etrog is not a lemon.In fact, it takes a lot to grow an etrog, which is the fruit of the citron tree and one of the four species used on the festival of Sukkot. The others are lulavim (palm), aravot (willows) and hadasim (myrtle). Of the four, the etrog is the mostRead More


Israeli Expats Explore the Fatherland And Its Lingering Guilt Complex

By Frank Hudec

Roi Talmor, 25, is better known as D.J. Poingi, a break-core (a school of techno) disc jockey who says he comes from IsraHell. He lives in what was East Berlin, in a walk-up he shares with a photographer friend. The apartment is small and unrenovated, a holdout in the hipster neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, where every building isRead More


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


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


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