Browsing Archive

March, 2012


Who Hid the Chametz?

By On March 29, 2012

In the weeks before Passover begins, the search for chametz can be all-consuming. Some people get intense with their spring cleaning–de-crumbing kitchen furniture with toothpicks, shaking out every book in the house for breadcrumbs. While this might… Read More


Passover in Ethiopia

By On March 28, 2012

Now this is what it means to be free. In 1977, the Israeli government began airlifting the entire community of Ethiopian Jews, who were facing starvation and governmental anti-Semitism. The exodus officially ended in 1991, when nearly all… Read More


Jews and Muslims Vs. Nazis

By On March 26, 2012

In 1942, a young man named Younes is caught between a rock and a hard place. He’s a French black market runner who’s shuttling goods in German-occupied France. When he’s caught and discovered by the puppet… Read More


Aliens in the Bible?

By On March 23, 2012

The earliest writings of Merkavah mysticism date back to the second century C.E. The word Merkavah literally means “chariot,” and this mystical study is named after the surreal vision at the beginning of the biblical Book of Ezekiel, in which… Read More


Hard to Hear

By On March 22, 2012

“Being the hearing child of deaf parents,” says stand-up comic Moshe Kasher in his new memoir, Kasher in the Rye, “is a membership card to a very elite club. To other deaf people, we aren’t… Read More



By On March 21, 2012

The children’s author Maurice Sendak recently released Bumble-Ardy, the first book in three decades that he’s both written and illustrated. In fact, the story is not exactly new–it’s adapted from a short film Sendak made for Sesame Street in 1970.… Read More


The Slam Poet Goes to Israel

By On March 19, 2012

“In the beginning was the word,” says Bob Holman, a slam poet and founder of the Bowery Poetry Club–one of New York‘s premiere poetry venues. “God said it. But who was He speaking to? Christians? Muslims? Jews?”… Read More


The Art’s In The Saltshaker

By On March 16, 2012

Eva Zeisel (1906-2011) was trained as a fine artist in Hungary, where she was born. Her talent led her to move to Germany and then the Soviet Union, where she became a renowned glassworker. Glasswork was a… Read More


Letters from the Dead

By On March 15, 2012

Imagine spying on letters written by other people–young lovers, long-separated families, runaway teenagers. Sounds vaguely intrusive and stalkerish, right? Now, imagine you’re reading letters written 70 years in the past–from tourists, refugees, World War… Read More


It’s Hip to Be Square

By On March 14, 2012

Most people have a definite mental image of what matzah should look like: It’s evenly perforated, crunchy, and square. However, if you showed a piece of contemporary Manischewitz matzah to a Jew of the past–whether… Read More


What Freedom Looks Like

By On March 13, 2012

The Katz Family Haggadah, at first glance, is deceptively simple–it looks like a children’s picture book. It features big-eyed cartoon kids, large, readable text, colorful spreads of blue skies and yellow sand, frogs, and an… Read More


Sexy Geeks

By On March 12, 2012

What makes a man? Today, the word “manly” suggests a specific picture, with bulging pectorals and an attitude. But according to Daniel Boyarin, an author and professor of Talmud at the University of California-Berkeley, that idea only… Read More