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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...

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:...

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 Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Jewish former CNN host Larry King asked a Saudi Arabian fan if taking pictures with Jews is allowed in his country, before agreeing to pose for a photo with the man, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The world-famous interviewer was leaving the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. with a New York Times reporter when a “dark-skinned man” approached and asked to take a picture with him, according to the publication. Whereupon, King asked the fan where he was from. When the man said Saudi […]

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  • Europe Sports Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    British-Jewish business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar joked on Wednesday that London synagogues will likely be empty during Yom Kippur with congregants fleeing to watch the match-up of two leading English soccer teams known for having hordes of Jewish fans. “Spurs V Arsenal cup game drawn on most important Jewish festival,” Lord Sugar pointed out on Twitter. “Both teams have loads of Jewish fans. Conclusion Synagogues will be empty.” North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC will go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup third-round […]

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  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Two Jewish men were the only unwitting participants in a social experiment conducted by Jimmy Kimmel, for his popular TV show. As part of a candid-camera-like sketch featured Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host devised different street scenes to observe human behavior — in particular, to see how long it would take people walking down California’s bustling Hollywood Boulevard to notice and interact with others in distress. One scene involved a man in a Spongebob Squarepants costume who had “fallen down” on the sidewalk and needed help […]

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  • Education US & Canada International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    A major Jewish organization rebuked actress Natalie Portman on Monday for saying in a recent interview that Jews put too much emphasis on teaching about the Holocaust relative to other genocides. The Israeli-born movie star told the U.K.’s Independent that the Jewish community needs to examine how much focus it puts on Holocaust education over other issues. She said she was shocked when she learned that a genocide was taking place in Rwanda while she was in school learning only about the horrors of the […]

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  • Arts and Culture Israel Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    JNS.org – A new book that draws parallels between the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of Independence) has sparked outrage ahead of an official book launch, to be hosted by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on Sept. 7. The Zionist organization Im Tirtzu wrote a letter to the institute demanding that it cancel an event it planned in honor of the book’s authors, under the title The Holocaust and […]

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  • Education US & Canada Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Famed actress Natalie Portman warned on Friday against the use of Holocaust education to evoke fear and paranoia. In an interview with the U.K. Independent she added that the trauma should make Jews more empathetic to others who have also experienced hatred. “Sometimes it can be subverted to fearmongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen,’” the Israeli-American star said. “We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, antisemitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I […]

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  • Book Reviews Commentary A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    The Tribalist, by Louis Marano, is ostensibly a work of fiction but at its core a kind of love song by a gentile journalist for the State of Israel, and especially its secular Zionist core. (Because of the relentless attacks by left-wing polemicists on Israel’s allegedly “messianic” fringe, it’s often forgotten that most of Israel’s founders and all its leaders have been secular Zionists.) The author, the product of an Italian-American family in Buffalo, served two tours of duty in […]

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  • Food Jewish Identity Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    JNS.org – Rugelach (singular: rugala) are a beloved traditional Jewish pastry, with a quirky history to boot, but they often present a kosher conundrum. Though parve rugelach are often a preferred dessert after a meat meal for those observing kosher laws (which stipulate a waiting period between eating meat and dairy), some of today’s most popular rugelach are known for their dairy fillings. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer—author of the books “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” and […]

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