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Where Celebrity Meets the Mystical World

By Lisa Keys

At the release party last month for the latest Kabbalah Centre tome, “The 72 Names of God: Technology for the Soul,” the talk was not of Jewish mystical practices, but of Madonna. Madonna, Madonna!The Material Mom lent her unparalleled star power to the affair, during which the media hordes waited hours behind velvet ropes for a glimpse,Read More


Mother’s Day: A Contrarian View

By Marjorie Ingall

You’ve heard people express these sentiments before, so I’ll just spit it out: Like many constitutionally cranky people, I find Mother’s Day an irritating fake-o holiday suffused with a synthetic saccharin glow.Express your appreciation of me every damn day of the year, and if you send me a card with glitter on it…Read More


The Blasphemer’s Tale: Obsession With Otherness

By Raymond P. Scheindlin

The son of the Israelite woman pronounced the Name in blasphemy, and he was brought to Moses — now his mother’s name was Shlomit daughter of Divri of the tribe of Dan — and he was placed in custody, until the decision of the Lord should be made clear to them.

— Leviticus 24:10 Shlomit bat Divri was her name, and her nameRead More


Lunch in the Limelight for the Producers

By Masha Leon

“I’ll do anything for Isabelle Stevenson [American Theatre Wing’s chairman of the board]… even wear men’s clothes,” declared master of ceremonies Harvey Fierstein at the Wing’s April 14 luncheon, which honored 12 Broadway producers — all women: Dasha Epstein…Read More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL May 9, 2003

When the editor of this column was a little boy, which, indeed, he once was, his mother would, on occasions when he crowded the house with friends, say that they were a “pozharne komande.” He did not know what it meant literally, but he sensed it referred to his gang. It was not until he found a song in the compilation by Eleanor Gordon MlotekRead More


Loving Neighbors as Yourself

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Kedoshim, is a collection of injunctions, mainly ethical. In the JPS translation, Leviticus 19:18 reads: “Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”W. H. Auden, in an early poem, offers a sly critique of the problems posed by the attempt to put this commandment into practice: “You shall love your crookedRead More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL May 2, 2003

“Dos Naye Lid,” or “The New Song,” is the title of a poem by Abraham Reisen (1875-1953). When written, it did indeed represent a new mood — one of hope in circumstances that seemed hopeless.“The New Song” was also, in the light of human history, an old song. In ancient Greece, there was the myth about Pandora, whoRead More


Meet the Next Iman, Israel’s Hottest Model Citizen

By Aliza Phillips

In Israel, Esti Mamu stands out in a crowd — especially when the crowd is made up of the country’s top models. For while British-born Naomi Campbell and Somalia-native Iman long ago set a new standard of beauty in the American and European fashion industry, black models like Mamu are still largely invisible on the Israeli scene.Mamu, aRead More


On Yom Ha’atzmaut, Be Fashion Forward, for Pita’s Sake!

Israel is known for many things — great symphony, great security, great sightseeing — but great style is not one of them. Sure, most modern Israelis dress to the nines, but in the popular imagination the Israeli national uniform remains a pair of denim cutoffs and sandals. We think of shmatte, not Prada.But that doesn’t mean you have to markRead More


The Stove’s On — It Must Be Chicken in the Pot

Although a chicken cooking in a Jewish pot now seems about as natural and inevitable as the sun rising in the morning sky (and appear about as frequently), it might not necessarily have been so. The Bible never mentions chicken, and the dietary laws therein regulating its consumption are ambiguous at best. Unlike the other three categoriesRead More





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  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • 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?"
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