Fast Forward


Soros Gets Boos for Using YIVO Stage as Political Platform

By Masha Leon

It was “Budapest at the Pierre [Hotel]” for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research’s May 13 benefit dinner honoring architect Moshe Safdie and Imre Kertész, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize for literature. As Hungarian musicians and dancers entertained, diplomats from Hungary, Austria and Lithuania and 470 YIVO guests (who raised $1 million…Read More


Mapping the World of Spices

Salt, of course, does not come from a plant (it is not vegetable but mineral) and so cannot be considered a spice; still, as the most prevalent seasoning agent the world over — among Jewish and non-Jewish cooks alike — it deserves at least a brief mention in this context. There are many varieties of salt, from sea salt to iodized table salt;Read More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL June 6, 2003

On the occasion of Israel’s celebration of its Independence Day, the Forverts devoted its “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry” page to several selections of poetry on the theme of the Israeli state. One of these was by H. Leivick who lived in Israel at the time of the historic Israeli Declaration of Independence. What follows is a transliteration ofRead More


JUDAIKITSCH

Shavuot is a great holiday. There’s no fasting and no scouring the house for crumbs. All of its customs are fun ones: You decorate with flowers, eat cheesecake and stay up past your bedtime. It’s sort of like Jewish graduation night, only without the spiked punch and bad DJ.That’s not to say it’s all frivolity. Shavuot marks the givingRead More


Happy Holidays From Hadassah

Hadassah ladies are famous for many things: fundraising, love of Israel, hospitals and, last but not least, cookbook compiling. The first Hadassah cookbook came out in 1931, a product of the hard work of a chapter in Dorchester, Mass. It had an ochre cover and advertisements, but no illustrations. The dishes included such non-kosher fare as quahogRead More


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


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