Fast Forward


How the Radanite Traders Spiced Up Life in Dark-Ages Europe

The first spice, according to the Bible, was found in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 2:12 we are told of the land known as Havilah, “and the gold of that land is pure: Bdellium and onyx stone are there.” Bdellium (it is, in case you’re wondering, the only word in the English language that begins with the letters “bd”) is anRead More


Broader Horizons Triumph in ‘Best of Times for Women’

By Masha Leon

Journalist Ruth Gruber and sex guru Ruth Westheimer — with doctorates, the “two Drs. Ruth” — took center stage at the May 12 women’s luncheon hosted by the Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Following greetings by co-chairs Patti Kenner and Ann Oster, museum chairman Robert Morgenthau and director David..Read More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL May 30, 2003

Stanley Siegelman of Great Neck, N.Y., is one of our most faithful readers. He is also a master of the wit and wisdom that distinguishes seykhl from ordinary intelligence. His special genius is Yiddish poetry, usually on current matters with a generous dose of biting commentary. His latest contribution is this piece about Senator Joseph Lieberman,Read More


Nobody Likes Surprises

By Jeffrey Fiskin

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord which he had not commanded them.

—Leviticus 10:1

And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord when they offered strange fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai.

— NumbersRead More


Alternative-Ritual Site Nabs Webby Award Nomination

By Noah Shachtman

In the Talmud, there’s no ritual for going on welfare. For having sex for the first time. For recovering from a mastectomy. Or for going to a gay pride march.But today, some people wish to infuse these events with religious and cultural significance. By the thousands, they’ve been turning to the Web site, Ritualwell (www.ritualwell.org), forRead More


Do-gooders Locking Up One Locksmith’s Market

By Wendy Belzberg

A group of young men in our community have started something called “the Chevra,” the mission of which is to perform good deeds 24 hours a day. It is like Hatzolah, but instead of saving people’s lives, they bail people out. Among the good deeds they perform are unlocking people’s car doors and fixing flat tires. The local locksmithRead More


Yidishe Hotties, Unite!

By Marjorie Ingall

Sometimes a T-shirt is just a T-shirt. Sometimes it isn’t.Amy Sohn, who writes the Naked City column for New York magazine, e-mailed me about a new Web site. Since Amy is an arbiter of all that is hot, heavy and Hebraic, I checked it out.The site is called “Jew.Lo” (www.jewlo.com). As you probably know, “J.Lo” is the nickname…Read More


An Israeli Singer Takes Cancer Survivor Show on the Road

By Erica Brody

Israeli singer Tami Rimon once used her voice solely for entertaining — she has put out two albums in Israel and was known for making the rounds at formal functions and concert halls. But now, as a New York appearance last week made evident, Rimon’s performances have taken on a more serious tone.A hamsa and a pink ribbon adorning herRead More


An Evening of Two Elies: Wiesel, Tahari

By Masha Leon

The American Jewish Committee New York Chapter’s April 30 Stanley M. Isaacs Human Relations Award dinner at the New York Hilton — at which Elie Wiesel presented an award to fashion designer Elie Tahari — will be remembered as “The Evening of the Two Elies.” Delighting the 350 guests who helped raise $400,000, the biblically nimble Wiesel…Read More


What Our Fathers Got Away With

By Lore Segal

It’s one of the old, bottomless speculations: Would a humanity that had no God — if we can imagine humanity without the divine to believe, or alternatively disbelieve, in — have come up with a moral code? Without the idea of a heaven, would our human nature have issued itself a set of commandments to obey or, alternatively,Read More





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