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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


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


Nursing Babies, Anxiety Too

By Marjorie Ingall

The subject of breast-feeding turns people into sputtering loons. At one end of the spectrum, there are the militant nursing activists (unfortunately known in mom circles as “breast-feeding Nazis”), who insist that women who choose not to nurse are selfish, lazy, weak and ignorant. They pooh-pooh stories about plugged ducts, pain and bleeding.Read More


Dad: Separate Sections for Parents, Kids

By Wendy Belzberg

My husband and I are taking our three children to Italy this summer on a family vacation. My husband travels frequently on business and has accrued thousands of frequent flyer miles. He wants to use his miles to upgrade our tickets to first-class while our children fly coach. I am shocked that he could even come up with the idea, much less haveRead 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


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