Arts & Culture


An Atheist’s Case for Talmud

By Leah Vincent

As a rabbi’s daughter, Leah Vincent was never allowed to learn Talmud. Years after abandoning ultra-Orthodoxy, she sets out to rediscover the ancient Jewish law books.Read More


Remembering the Life and Films of Paul Mazursky

By Benjamin Ivry

Born Irwin Mazursky in Brooklyn, Paul Mazursky became the quintessential American filmmaker of the 1970’s. Benjamin Ivry remembers his life and legacy.Read More


Israel and Circumcision Top List of Concerns in New 'Pewish' Plays

By Gordon Haber

The Pew Survey of American Jewry has inspired conversation, argument, and now actual drama. ‘Pewish,’ a night of new Jewish plays, shows how influential the survey continues to be.Read More


Hey Baby, It's the 4th Of Jew-ly!

By Dan Epstein

Jewish artists have written some of America’s most patriotic rock songs. Here is a list of songs by Semitic singers to accompany your fireworks display.Read More


Circassian: A Most Difficult Language

By Philologos

When Philologos encounters two Circassians, Israel’s smallest indigenous non-Jewish population, he is intrigued by a tongue that sounds to some like speaking through pebbles.Read More


A Holocaust Romance Tied to a Necklace, Filled With Clichés

By Raphael Magarik

In Ayelet Waldman’s latest novel, a necklace travels to pre-WWI Budapest, finding love, death and the Holocaust on the way. But it’s a romance of cliches, Raphael Magarik writes.Read More


An Empty Bob Dylan Biography

By Joshua Furst

What does Dennis McDougal’s new biography of Bob Dylan add to the legend of The Bard? For Joshua Furst, not much.Read More


Eli Wallach's 10 Greatest Roles (A Completely Biased List)

By Adam Langer

Eli Wallach was best known for playing villains like Calvera in ‘The Magnificent Seven.’ But his legendary career demonstrated truly impressive range.Read More


A Remembrance of Eli Wallach

By Adam Langer

Eli Wallach was best known for all the big screen roles he played. But Adam Langer, who edited Wallach’s autobiography, remembers the man for the human being he was.Read More


The Pleasures and Contradictions of Being Nat Hentoff

By Erik Tarloff

A new documentary on Nat Hentoff shows how the 89-year-old Village Voice critic and free speech activist was always a little ahead of the curve. Except when he was behind it.Read More





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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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