Browsing Archive

September, 2010


Finding God in Madonna

By On September 29, 2010

What sort of spiritual seeker uses Madonna as a role model? Ten years ago, Wendy Shanker wrote her first book, the wildly popular memoir The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life, and became a successful… Read More


Freud and Friends

By On September 28, 2010

The charming, clever new novel A Curable Romantic starts with a great setup. As the book opens, a poor, affable young man named Jakob Sammelsohn bumps into Sigmund Freud at an opera house and makes an… Read More


A 400-Year-Old Jewish Ritual Bath in Barbados

By On September 27, 2010

When most people talk about getting wet in the Caribbean, they don’t mean it like this. Amazingly, the oldest mikveh–or Jewish ritual bath–in the Americas isn’t in New York City or Plymouth,… Read More


Why Is This Sukkah Different?

By On September 22, 2010

The holiday of Sukkot starts at sunset tonight. This year, a competition called Sukkah City asked people to creatively explore the idea of a sukkah–and to reimagine the ancient hut in new, creative ways.… Read More


The Jewish Blessing for a Two-Headed Snake

By On September 22, 2010

It seems like there’s a blessing for everything in Judaism. When you eat fruit, you can say one blessing. When you smell a fresh flower, there’s another. And when you see a two-headed snake… Read More


Matisyahu Meets the Ukulele

By On September 21, 2010

Picture it: A crowded public bus. Someone pulls out a ukulele and begins jamming. Within seconds, the entire bus is singing along to the song. Now, imagine that the song is Matisyahu‘s anthem… Read More


Growing Up Psychic in Israel

By On September 20, 2010

Israeli director Ari Folman scored big with his 2008 animated film Waltz with Bashir, an introspective portrait of army service that was a critical and commercial triumph. Over a decade earlier, Folman directed… Read More


Yom Kippur and Free Will

By On September 17, 2010

Decisions, decisions. Who really makes the big choices in our lives? The Unetanah Tokef prayer is arguably the most dramatic part of the High Holiday liturgy. It describes all of humanity parading before God like… Read More


Philip Roth’s Dance Remix

By On September 16, 2010

When Hollywood makes a movie out of a book, it’s often remarkably different from the original. Ever wonder what authors think about this? James Marcus, a writer for the L.A. Times who… Read More


A New Take on Ancient Songs

By On September 15, 2010

A nigun is a wordless melody, a musical meditative prayer. Traditionally, a nigun is hummed or chanted by an individual or a group without using instruments. That didn’t deter D. Brook and J. Harkham,… Read More


Music like Bubbie Used to Make

By On September 13, 2010

One Jewish mother has hung out with Hootie & the Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Think I’m lying? Think again. Jewish Mother is a combination concert venue… Read More


It’s All About the Fruit

By On September 8, 2010

There’s a boy named Todd who’s a little bit sweet and a little bit snarky. There’s a deity named God who likes to pay him a visit every once in a while.… Read More