(JTA) – Stepping into the lobby of the West Hollywood medical marijuana dispensary where Dina Browner serves up buds to movie stars, it’s hard to miss the name Snoop Lion splashed across a hydroponic grow box painted red, green and gold.
Two women ordained as Orthodox rabbis this week will be entitled “rabba,” the female form of “rabbi.” They will be joining the only woman who had the title until now, Sara Hurwitz of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale’s synagogue in the Bronx.
I don’t really follow the peregrinations of reality star Kim Kardashian, but the fact that she’s expecting her second child with music mogul Kanye West is only of note to people like me because she announced she’d achieved pregnancy through I.V.F.
Though appalled, I laughed when I first heard about Rabbi Barry Freundel. How he hid cameras in the mikveh to watch his congregants and conversion protégés undress and prepare for ritual immersion. The image that came to my mind was that of the boy in my third grade class who tried to peek up my skirt. How puerile, I thought. And then there’s the newly reported matter of Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt and his habit of inviting young men to play racquetball and then join him in the sauna, naked, in order to conduct “sichot nefesh,” the serious discussion about matters of the heart. A bit creepy, no?
Late last week, Emma Sulkowicz, the recent Columbia graduate who spent her last year of college with her mattress strapped to her back, released a new rape-related performance piece to the public, titled “Ceci N’est Past Un Viol (This Is Not A Rape)”. Hosted on its own webpage, and existing entirely on the internet, the piece is a complex, and well-constructed, participatory art piece that, while at first glance may seem overtly literal and perhaps juvenile, is actually quite sophisticated and brilliant. While the piece consists of three parts, you’ve probably only heard of one: a “sex tape” that loosely simulates Emma’s alleged rape in August of 2012. What you probably haven’t paid attention to are the other, equally vital, parts of the piece: an introductory text that explains the video/makes requests about the audience’s participation and an open comment section.