Jewish Literature

A Titanic Victory and a Small Cruse of Oil December 25, 2011 6:14 pm

A Titanic Victory and a Small Cruse of Oil

David Brooks, in an engaging but superficial article on Hanukah in the New York Times (The...

The Rebellious Man of Faith December 14, 2011 5:26 pm

The Rebellious Man of Faith

The patriarch Jacob, my namesake (Jacob Shmuel) of whom we have read the past few weeks in...

Vayishlach – Success Is No Substitute for Familial Harmony December 11, 2011 12:09 pm

Vayishlach – Success Is No Substitute for Familial Harmony

Whole “Jacob arrived whole to the city of Shechem,” the Torah states in this...

Vayeitzei – The Battle of the Stones December 5, 2011 7:20 pm

Vayeitzei – The Battle of the Stones

The Quarrel The rabbis in the Talmud focus on an apparent grammatical inconsistency in the...

The Sandy Path to Inspiration November 25, 2011 10:47 am

The Sandy Path to Inspiration

Free Plowing Back in the ’40s, a Jewish guy was arrested for smuggling guns into Israel,...

Abraham Vs. Gaddafi November 4, 2011 3:41 pm

Abraham Vs. Gaddafi

The Genesis of a Faith The unfolding dramatic events in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and other countries...

Korach: Korach and John Lennon June 24, 2011 3:06 pm

Korach: Korach and John Lennon

Wise or Boorish? This week’s portion, Korach, relates the tragic story of the mutiny...

Korach: The Spiritual Narcissist June 24, 2011 2:50 pm

Korach: The Spiritual Narcissist

This week’s Torah reading deals with the rebellion of Korach, a cousin of Moses, who contends...

Emor: How to Speak – The Secret to Influencing Others May 6, 2011 3:34 pm

Emor: How to Speak – The Secret to Influencing Others

To Rebuke or to Ignore? To Fight or to Accept? When witnessing a transgression our first...

Mishpatim: Shoveling the Snow January 28, 2011 1:36 pm

Mishpatim: Shoveling the Snow

Who’s Digging Out of What? A Snow Shoveling Meditation As I was digging out of the snow...

Bo: The New Moon January 7, 2011 7:13 am

Bo: The New Moon

This new moon (Ha’chodesh Hazeh) shall be to you the head of...

September 3, 2010 3:55 pm

Vayelech: A 2,000-Year-Old Debate on Whether to “Get Out of the Box”

Synagogue Bulletin Blunders These announcements, with interesting typos and phrasing blunders,...

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  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

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  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

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  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the moral of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry has [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

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  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

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  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

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  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

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