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When Hearty Gefilte Fish Kept Shtetls Stuffed

Gefilte fish is at once the zenith and nadir of Ashkenazic cookery: Is there any other dish that so typifies its extraordinary resourcefulness in the Old World and its long decline in the New?Gefilte fish is a forcemeat — chopped and seasoned meat or fish usually used for stuffing — made from ground-up freshwater fish mixedRead More


Holiday Kashrut for Critters

When cleaning for Passover, don’t forget the needs of sweet Fido. Or Garfield. Or Tweety. Or whatever your canine/feline/avian family member is named.While the Talmud instructs that pet owners are allowed to feed non-kosher food to their furry or fine-feathered friends most of the year, on Passover, while pets are permitted to continueRead More


Reading of Noah, Artists, Holidays And Einstein, Too

By Aliza Phillips

The Haggada may be Passover’s great book, but it’s not the only great thing to read this season. The start of spring brings with it a new stash of stories for all your bundles of joy.For the younger set, children’s publishing giant Scholastic gives us “The Animals Went in Two by Two: A Noah’s Ark Pop-up Book” by Jan Pienkowski, aRead More


Mom’s Seder: The Next Generation

By Marjorie Ingall

My parents sold their house, my childhood home. (I have issues about this, but I’ll deal with them in therapy rather than in this column.) Their new apartment is large enough to hold a brisket and a large matzo ball, but not simultaneously. So this year, Jonathan and I are hosting Passover for the first time.It’s a big deal. It’s a bigRead More


Wishing for Cultural Ties To Keep U.S., French Allied

By Masha Leon

French champagne and canapés greeted arrivals at the March 19 “Sounds French: A Festival of New Music from France” reception at the Fifth Avenue headquarters of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services. The evening celebrated the month-long series of performances of works by French composers at New York City concert halls.Read More


Culture Clash Begets Funereal Family Drama

By Wendy Belzberg

Last month when my mother died I followed her wishes for a funeral with a minimum of fuss and religious ritual. I arranged for a graveside service with a Reform rabbi and requested that only immediate family attend. I was aghast when an Orthodox cousin whom I had not seen in 40 years showed up and proceeded to shovel earth into myRead More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL April 4, 2003

December, inaugurating the world’s first entirely kosher Caribbean cruise. While in recent years, more and more cruise ships have specialized in trips offering frozen glatt kosher food or a separate kosher dining room, Shollar’s Chosen Voyage is to be the first luxury ship to be made entirely kosher, from bow to stern. For five weeksRead More


The Analyses of Acute Diagnostic Minds

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Tazria, is concerned with purity and contamination. It contains many passages along these lines: And when a man or woman hath a plague upon the head… the priest shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the appearance thereof be deeper than the skin, and there be in it yellow thin hair, then theRead More


Even Now: Daring To Make a Difference

By Karla Goldman

No matter one’s politics, the seemingly inexorable trajectory of world events has engulfed us all of late. Those opposing a U.S. assault upon Iraq have felt particularly powerless. Even those supportive of military engagement can hardly feel sanguine about the unpredictable series of events that will play themselves out in upcoming weeks andRead More


Learning To Make and Accept Judgment

By Jeff Bogursky

The priest stands with his two sons, engaged in the act of sacrifice — the aim: to propitiate divine anger and achieve the best possible conditions for his nation. Then, in an astounding act of sudden, celestial judgment, the two sons are brutally slain. The father is devastated.Why were the sons of Aaron struck down? The Torah tells us,Read More


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