Browsing Archive

January, 2012


Hogan’s Heroes

By On January 30, 2012

If you described the 1960s TV show Hogan’s Heroes as a “sitcom about a German P.O.W. camp during  World War II,” you’d probably receive more than a few surprised looks–but that’s exactly what it… Read More


Revolutionary Youth

By On January 27, 2012

Shmarya Levin was born in Russia in 1867. A politician and activist, he was elected to the first-ever Russian Parliament in 1906, as a representative of the Bund, a Jewish socialist political party. The Parliament was… Read More


Messed-Up Bible Stories

By On January 26, 2012

There’s no denying it. Some stories from the Torah are straight-up disturbing. Often, in Hebrew schools and synagogues, people push these stories into the background, focusing instead on more easily understandable (and less shiver-inducing) parts. However, a new animated… Read More


The Last Battle

By On January 25, 2012

The End of Days occupies a much more central place in Christian theology than in Jewish thought. Judaism, for the most part, is more concerned with the present day than the final days. Perhaps we don’t think… Read More


Another Kind of ‘Green’ Judaism

By On January 24, 2012

“Is marijuana kosher?” The book Cannabis Chasidis: The Ancient and Emerging Torah of Drugs is an insightful, if puzzling, exploration of what Jewish sources think about drugs and chemical experimentation. The author, Yoseph Leib, hails from a… Read More


Gays, Gypsies and Jews

By On January 23, 2012

A lot has been said about a new wave of anti-Semitism rocking the world–but there’s been significantly less rocking out against anti-Semitism. That’s why the bizarre song “Gay, Gypsy and Jew” by the Berlin-based… Read More


Faking Hebrew for Beginners

By On January 20, 2012

One of the best ways to develop an appreciation for the uniqueness of the Hebrew language is to play Hebrew Scrabble. Yes, Scrabble. You see, many Hebrew words are simple–variations on three-letter roots, with prefixes, suffixes, and… Read More


Last of the Red-Hot Mamas

By On January 19, 2012

Sophie Tucker (1884-1966) was a star of Yiddish vaudeville and American films. She was born as Sophie Kalish in Tolchin, Ukraine. Her family immigrated to the United States and opened a diner where Sophie sang for tips.… Read More


Third Time’s the Charm

By On January 18, 2012

There’s a man at a comedy club wearing a black suit, white shirt, and twirled sidelocks. He’s telling the audience about his last flight to Israel. “When I show up for the flight looking like… Read More


A Christmas Special for Jews

By On January 17, 2012

There’s a certain magic to stop-motion animation–the animation technique that makes physically manipulated objects, like clay figurines, look like they’re moving on their own. It seems honest and unpolished, evoking the same kind of feeling we get… Read More


Ritual Shellfish

By On January 16, 2012

Tzitzit are the thready fringes that hang from the corners of a tallit. The tzitzit we use today are almost uniformly white, but according to Jewish tradition, they’re allowed to be any color of… Read More


Fanny Brice Meets Ozzy Osbourne

By On January 13, 2012

It might be hard to imagine a band paying homage simultaneously to 18th-century Yiddish music and 1980s heavy metal. But a few seconds listening to the band Yiddish Princess, and you’ll be convinced the two… Read More