Arts & Culture


Settling in Transjordan

By Peretz Rodman

Imagine yourself as the director of a play or film with Numbers 32 as your script. What instructions do you give to the actors playing the men of the tribes of Reuven and Gad as they rehearse the scene in which they inform Moses of their desire to settle in Transjordan, short of the final journey into the Promised Land? For these and other stageRead More


It’s a Wild Planet, Indeed

By June Scharf

Daniel Grossman can’t help but compare his life to Willy Wonka’s in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” As the founder of Wild Planet, Grossman, 45, spends his day among loads of toys that he manufactures and distributes. The 11-year-old company sells eight brands of gender-neutral, nonviolent toys in the $10-$30Read More


False Messiahs and Whirling Dervishes: A Scholar’s Fresh Take on an Old Topic

By Allan Nadler

The Sabbatean Prophets By Matt Goldish Harvard University Press, 240 pages, $39.95. ——-The following dire, revolutionary proclamation issues forth from a charismatic provocateur in Gaza:“None will be saved from these tribulations except those dwelling in this place. The [very] name of the place [connoting strength] expresses her nature.Read More


At 80, Lang Still Keeps the Flame Alive

By Masha Leon

Guests savored paprika chicken, dumplings, duck liver plus 80 cakes at the June 15 surprise 80th birthday party for George Lang thrown by his wife, Jennifer, daughter Gigi and son Simon. Held at the La Palestra gym — next door to the Café des Artistes, which Lang owns — there was room for Hungarian folk dancers plus 300 well-wishers includingRead More


New Look at False Messiah

well before Shabbetai Zevi’s total defection from Judaism. That latter catastrophe led to the deeper, antinomian apostasy of the later Jewish Sabbateans, as well as to the Donmeh, the school of Muslim believers in Shabbetai Zevi, which persists, very secretly, in Turkey today.Even in contemporary America, though limited to rather marginal JewishRead More


They Might Be Giants

By Jon Kalish

In Our Hearts We Were Giants By Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev Carroll & Graf, 305 pages, $25. —-Imagine the terror of a having a vicious German Shepherd bark at you on the train platform at Auschwitz. Now imagine that the dog is barking at you as your tiny body is lifted from a cattle car — and when you land on your feet, the dogRead More


Five ‘Fruity Jews’ Get Out the Vote

By Anya Kamenetz

It is a beautiful summer Friday in Seattle’s University District, and Frances Kreimer, 21, is wrapped in a tallit, praying the morning service outside an international students’ dorm. Inside, challah is rising in the kitchen, and Kreimer’s four roommates are making preparations for the Sabbath. The five East Coast college students haveRead More


Sealed Mit a Kiss: Yiddish Love Poems

By Alyssa Quint

Simkhe: epistolarishe libe-lider (Celebration: Love-letter Poems) By Troim Katz Handler, translated by Shimon Beyles International Association of Yiddish Clubs, 73 pages, $18. * * *No one who has drunk from the cup of Sappho, much less from the bounty of today’s literary erotica, will blush over “Simkhe: epistolarishe libe-lider,”Read More


First Fruit

By Daniel M. Jaffe

‘Heartburn — raisins I don’t eat. Take mine.” Jed offers his packet of raisins to the young man in the window seat beside him.“Thanks,” Ron says, “I’m not really hungry.”“Who knows when we’ll get lunch? It’s a long flight. I’m Jed, by the way.”“No, thanks, maybe later.” The two men shake hands. “Name’sRead More


Strange Bedfellows of Art and Politics

By P. G. Kain

“I have never hated the individual Jew — yourself I have cherished as a friend, but you will know that I speak in all honesty when I say that I have loved you, not because of your race but in spite of it.” — Martin Schulse in a letter to his friend and business partner, Max Eisenstein, in the play “Address Unknown.” WhenRead More


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