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Rabbis’ Rules on Rice

By Wendy Belzberg

Every year as Passover approaches I wonder why there are so many different points of view about what is acceptable to eat over the holiday. This year I’m asking Wendy: Why can’t I eat rice on Passover? — Sorting the chaff

An accident of birth — or your ancestors’ birth, to be more precise — seems to separate you fromRead More


In Every Generation, Finding Redemption in the Seder

By David Arnow

A single word captures the concern of the Passover Haggada: redemption.Encyclopedia Judaica defines redemption as “salvation from the states or circumstances that destroy the value of human existence or human existence itself.” At its core lies a relatively simple idea: The future will be better than the present. Not just a little brighter —Read More


A Small Anthology for Pesach

By David Curzon

In the great modern exodus of Russian Jews from the Soviet Union during the 1980s, many of those who came to New York worked for a while as taxi drivers, as other immigrants have done before and since. On a day during this exodus I started a conversation with my Russian taxi driver by saying, “I’m Jewish, are you?” He replied, with aRead More


Songwriter Denise Rich: ‘Inside of Me Is a Black Woman’

By Masha Leon

“Inside of me is a black woman,” declared songwriter Denise Rich, who hosted the April 2 Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s annual spring benefit at her lavish Fifth Avenue penthouse. “It’s why I write the songs I do,” Rich told the 150 guests. “The world needs more than ever… to…Read More


Once Again, Striving To Preserve Freedom of Speech in Wartime

By Gus Tyler

At a special and most unusual press conference at the Pentagon, General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, threw a temper tantrum. “General Myers rapped on the lectern with a clenched fist,” The New York Times reported, “and angrily mocked criticism from retired generals and others analyzing the war onRead More


Let My People Go — Out To Eat

Ah, Passover. Moses demanded, “Let my people go.” We’re tempted to add, “out to eat.” We find it terribly ironic that we celebrate our freedom from bondage by observing dietary restrictions that are the food equivalent of an electronic ankle monitor. As far as food goes, on Passover, we’re all under house arrest.But it doesn’t haveRead More


A Celebration Of Ingenuity In Advertising

In contemporary America, Passover is the occasion for many things, from a sudden appetite for gefilte fish to a momentary burst of attention to ritual. It has also been the occasion for extraordinary moments of creativity when it comes to advertising and marketing.Given the exigencies of the holiday — with its built-in requirements for specialRead More


Picking the Perfect Passover Wine: Chilean Red With the Roast?

By Erica Brody

As the Seder draws near, Jews of all stripes become oenophiles, setting out to stores to choose the perfect wine for their Passover meals. As with the meals themselves, which by now include vegetarian and gourmet selections as well as the traditional brisket, kosher wine options have increased exponentially in recent years, leaving brains swimmingRead More


Take-out Chinese, Anyone?

By Linda Frank

When Moses and the children of Israel hastily left Egypt, they had to worry about that weird bread that didn’t rise and how to cross the Red Sea pursued by Pharaoh’s soldiers. The last-minute departure allowed for no time to plan ahead. Fortunately, God led the way and sent manna.When my husband, Eli, and I decided to celebrate Passover withRead More


Is a Name Change Identity Fraud?

By Wendy Belzberg

I never gave serious thought to changing my last name (it’s about as Jewish as you can get) until I realized how pervasive antisemitism has become. I am in my 50s and beyond the age where it might matter, but my daughters are in their early teens and will soon be applying to college and then entering the work force. I amRead More





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