Jewish Literature

Who is a Jewish Leader? January 2, 2013 2:29 am

Who is a Jewish Leader?

The sedra (Bible portion) of Shemot, in a series of finely etched vignettes, paints a portrait...

The Dangers of Favoring One Child Over Another December 28, 2012 12:54 pm

The Dangers of Favoring One Child Over Another

I’ve always seen the biblical Jacob as characterized by two central yet seemingly contradictory...

The Greatness of Growth and Change December 19, 2012 8:29 pm

The Greatness of Growth and Change

The sequence from Bereishit (Genesis) 37 to 50 is the longest unbroken narrative in the Torah...

Disguise and the Mending of Identity December 14, 2012 5:13 pm

Disguise and the Mending of Identity

Joseph is now the ruler of Egypt. The famine he predicted has come to pass. It extends beyond...

The Jewish Refusal to be Comforted December 6, 2012 8:05 pm

The Jewish Refusal to be Comforted

The deception has taken place. Joseph has been sold into slavery. His brothers have dipped...

A People Capable of Feeling Distress, Even in Victory November 28, 2012 9:56 pm

A People Capable of Feeling Distress, Even in Victory

Jacob and Esau are about to meet again after a separation of twenty two years. It is a fraught...

On Relationships: W.H. Auden vs. Amos the Prophet November 8, 2012 3:13 pm

On Relationships: W.H. Auden vs. Amos the Prophet

“We will buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes.” (Amos 8:6) W.H....

Reinterpreting Bible Scenes Illuminates New Meanings November 1, 2012 8:26 pm

Reinterpreting Bible Scenes Illuminates New Meanings

It is one of the most famous scenes in the Bible. Abraham is sitting at the entrance to...

Parenting in Judaism: Learning from Abraham October 23, 2012 9:23 pm

Parenting in Judaism: Learning from Abraham

The call to Abraham, with which (the Bible portion of) Lech Lecha begins, seems to come from...

Unchosen: Memoirs of a Philosemite October 17, 2012 11:33 am

Unchosen: Memoirs of a Philosemite

I co-wrote a book with Julie Burchill a few years ago. It’s called Not In My Name: A Compendium...

Genesis: Ideological Calendars and the Land of Israel October 12, 2012 12:56 pm

Genesis: Ideological Calendars and the Land of Israel

Everyone is conditioned culturally to think in specific ways and to adopt specific timelines. Christians...

The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible (REVIEW) September 19, 2012 10:34 am

The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible (REVIEW)

The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible, by Harold Bloom  ...

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  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

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  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

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  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

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  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

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  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

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