Browsing Archive

March, 2011


Repentance Can Be Loud

By On March 31, 2011

Jews recite the devotional prayer Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King) during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The traditional melody is a slow, stirring, dirge. And, of course, it’s perfect… Read More


Everybody Poops

By On March 30, 2011

There’s a Jewish practice of saying a blessing before eating any food–a spiritual equivalent of saying thank you to the “chef.” But did you know that there’s also a blessing for food that’s on its… Read More


A Roman Holiday

By On March 29, 2011

  A summer in Italy sounds like an ideal vacation. Unless, of course, you’re part of a Jewish family that’s just fled the Soviet Union. That’s the set-up for David Bezmozgis’ new novel The… Read More


The Gift to Stalin

By On March 28, 2011

Imagine that everyone you’ve ever known was packed onto a train and sent away. No, we’re not talking about the Holocaust, but Stalin’s forced evacuation of minorities to desolate regions of the… Read More


Tel Aviv Meets Mali

By On March 27, 2011

Idan Raichel, an Israeli composer and multi-instrumentalist, works with singers and musicians from all over the world. But Raichel’s new album breaks with his own rhythm. Instead of switching musicians every song (often enlisting 50-100 per album), he’s… Read More


The Beauty of Blasphemy

By On March 25, 2011

The cover of Pitom‘s new album, Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes, features a picture of an empty chair sitting in a corner. It feels strangely appropriate. If Pitom were a preschooler instead of a jazz… Read More


Suggestive Silence

By On March 24, 2011

Nobody dies in Jonathan Safran Foer‘s 2002 short story “A Primer for the Punctuation of Heart Disease.” But looming over the characters is the omnipresent fear of death. The narrator of the story (whose… Read More


Free Love

By On March 23, 2011

Is it possible to be too comfortable with yourself? The Torah tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). On the surface, it’s a pretty simple thing. Who doesn’t think that they should love their… Read More


Postcards from Hell

By On March 22, 2011

Torkel S. Wächter, a Swedish novelist who happens to be Jewish, was rifling through his attic when he found 32 postcards written to a man named Walter Wächter. The postcards tell a fascinating… Read More


The Blaxploitation Bible

By On March 21, 2011

  Interpreting the Bible–and looking for ways to make it current and relevant–isn’t a new phenomenon. Ever since the Good Book was written, people have been retelling its stories and translating its teachings… Read More


Tel Aviv Chic

By On March 18, 2011

The cutting-edge clothing store Urban Outfitters just released the photo spreads for their new spring catalogue, and if some of the background locations look a little familiar, well, there’s a reason for that–the photos… Read More


Worf Is Jewish

By On March 17, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation was the second iteration of the iconic 1960s science-fiction TV show. It was praised for its vision of a future that wasn’t distant and mechanical, but undeniably human–even in… Read More