Browsing Archive

October, 2011


The Dybbuk Inside

By On October 31, 2011

In Jewish mythology, a dybbuk is a wandering spirit of a dead person that possesses a living person. Often, the dead person has unresolved business on Earth or an unsettled score to avenge. This demon became… Read More


Hasidic Chic

By On October 28, 2011

For New York Fashion Week back in 1993, designer Jean-Paul Gaultier became–according to the New York Times–“the first major designer to use Judaism as an inspiration.” In his show, models dressed in long black coats, high boots,… Read More


After Tishrei, Now What?

By On October 27, 2011

The month of Tishrei, during which Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot all take place, might be the most well-known month of the Jewish year. The month immediately following it, Cheshvan, might be the least publicized. Cheshvan has earned its… Read More


How to Play Jewball

By On October 26, 2011

Do Jews care about sports? The popular stereotype says no–Jews are too nerdy and bookish to chase after balls. But Neal Pollack, author, impresario, and occasional correspondent, has devoted the past two years… Read More


Stairway to Heaven

By On October 25, 2011

At the start of the Bible, everyone on Earth speaks the same language. This all changes when a group of people decides to build a tower–the Tower of Babel–up to the heavens (Genesis 11).… Read More


“Shema” for Deaf People

By On October 24, 2011

The Shema is the most important six-word liturgical formula in Judaism–“Hear o Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One,” runs the usual English translation. But when translating into American Sign Language, one encounters a… Read More


A Scotch, a Herring, and a Crime

By On October 19, 2011

Scotch and herring is the snack of Jewish royalty–the old men at the back of the synagogue on Saturday morning, that is. From this honored tradition, the “Scotch and Herring Mysteries“–a new series of short crime… Read More


Something Borrowed, Something Blue

By On October 18, 2011

Need a wedding dress, and don’t have the thousands of dollars it might cost? What about a Purim costume, or a bicycle, or a loan for a new car? A gemach can help.… Read More


Rock Against the Nazis

By On October 17, 2011

Holocaust survivors have manifested the trauma and tragedy of life under Nazism in all different ways. Some have created works of literature, moving films, or symphonies. French pop star Serge Gainsbourg went a different route–he… Read More


A Tale of Two Adams

By On October 14, 2011

Not everyone knows this, but the first two chapters of Genesis tell two different stories about the creation of humanity. In his theological masterpiece Lonely Man of Faith, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik constructs two ideal human types… Read More


Jewish Gauchos of Argentina

By On October 12, 2011

A town of Jewish immigrants, uprooted from czarist Russia to the Argentinian Pampas. Sounds crazy, no? The Spanish-language story collection Jewish Gauchos of the Pampas, written in 1910, describes a group of fictitious Jews who, fleeing real-life pogroms, wind… Read More


Jews Aren’t Just White

By On October 11, 2011

Is the Jewish population growing or shrinking? It could be doing either, depending which survey you’re looking at. The one thing everyone agrees on is this: It’s changing. Be’chol Lashon is a group dedicated to… Read More