Browsing Archive

February, 2012


Masters of Jewish Culture

By On February 29, 2012

We know that Jewish culture goes beyond the kitsch of shows like Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But does the investigation of Judaism in popular culture warrant an entire school curriculum? According to Jenna Weissman Joselit, the answer… Read More


Jewish Privilege

By On February 28, 2012

Hailey is a recent college graduate, freshly relocated into her mother and stepfather’s luxury penthouse in Manhattan. Unemployed, she’s both the wealthiest and poorest 1% of the country…and she’s caught in both the economic crisis… Read More


Star of David

By On February 27, 2012

Today, the Star of David is a ubiquitous Jewish symbol. However, this widespread use is a relatively recent development. In fact, if you asked King David about the star that bears his name, he’d probably… Read More


Ten Lost Tribes

By On February 24, 2012

In the Bible, the Land of Israel was divided into twelve areas, one for each tribe (except for the priestly tribe of Levi) . But 2,700 years ago, ten of the twelve tribes were lost, exiled by invading Assyrian… Read More


Rapping about Seinfeld

By On February 23, 2012

The 1990s TV program Seinfeld was, according to its premise, a show about nothing. Everyday situations such as rivalries between old men and eating the tops of muffins, in Jerry Seinfeld’s worldview, came to embody… Read More


Swimming and Judaism

By On February 22, 2012

According to the sages of the Talmud (Kiddushin 29a), there are a few things a father is obligated to do for his son: 1. Circumcise him, 2. redeem him from the priests, if he’s a firstborn, 3. teach him Torah,… Read More


The Stephen King Story About Herman Wouk

By On February 21, 2012

Herman Wouk is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Caine Mutiny, War and Remembrance (a thousand-page epic about World War II), and several other books. He’s also 96 years old, and is still writing. His most recent book, The… Read More


Job, the Musical

By On February 20, 2012

Joseph, with his Technicolor coat and his rags-to-riches story, seems like the ideal protagonist for a musical. An exotic setting! Family drama! And a great tear-jerker ending! The story of Job might make a great musical, too–for an audience… Read More


Before and After the Holocaust

By On February 17, 2012

H.G. Adler (1910-1988), a writer from Prague, was a younger member of the artists’ circle that included Franz Kafka and Max Brod. In 1942, he was deported to Terezin, and later Auschwitz. Panorama, his epic first novel, was… Read More


Electric Golem

By On February 16, 2012

The 1920 German silent film The Golem is a classic of early cinema–dark, tortured, dated, and silly, but also genuinely creepy at points. The film is based on an ancient Jewish folktale in which a medieval rabbi molds… Read More


Do Jews Meditate?

By On February 15, 2012

How did the prophets of the Bible receive their prophecy? Aryeh Kaplan, who was a rabbi, author, and physicist, responds to this question at the start of his book Meditation and the Bible. He suggests that meditation is… Read More


A Jewish Twilight

By On February 14, 2012

Every culture has its legends of paranormal monsters–including Judaism. It’s no surprise, then, that contemporary fiction’s obsession with vampires has spawned Jewish varieties. The novel The Last Jewish Virgin: A Novel of Fate by Janice Eidus takes itself incredibly seriously.… Read More