Browsing Archive

April, 2012


Shadowboxing Hitler

By On April 30, 2012

Kseniya Simonova is an artist from the Ukraine who specializes in fingerpainting (yes, she’s an adult). On the television show Ukraine’s Got Talent, Simonova “performed” a live painting by spreading sand across a glass table, illuminated… Read More


Is Ladino Endangered?

By On April 27, 2012

Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, is a combination of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Spanish. When the estimated 300,000 Spanish Jews were exiled from Spain in 1492, they carried this language with them. Today Ladino is spoken on a daily… Read More


Real Jewish Ninjas

By On April 26, 2012

Yehoshua Sofer is the “Aluf Abir” (Aluf means “champion”) or headmaster of the Abir Warrior Arts school of self-defense in Jerusalem. According to him, Jews have practiced martial arts since biblical times. As Sofer tells it, Abraham‘s father, Terah,… Read More


Sinbad in the Talmud

By On April 25, 2012

The Talmudic sage Rabbah bar bar Hana got around. Unlike most scholars of his time–who stuck to either a yeshiva in Jerusalem or in Babylonia–bar bar Hana traveled back and forth between both places. But, in… Read More


Conversion from A to Z

By On April 24, 2012

Converts to Judaism don’t always get the sweetest deal. In fact, according to the Talmud (Yevamot 47a), a potential convert is supposed to be repeatedly dissuaded from converting–just to make sure they’re really… Read More


A Jewish Homeland in Germany?

By On April 23, 2012

Lately, it seems like everybody’s a fan of the idea of a Jewish state…and nobody’s a fan of the State of Israel. First, Michael Chabon‘s novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, a sort of post-Zionist fantasy, moved the… Read More


The Subway Violinist

By On April 20, 2012

The violinist Philipe Quint was a child genius. At the age of 9, he was a featured performer with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra. Later, he became a refusenik, and was finally allowed to leave… Read More


The Holocaust, with Punchlines

By On April 19, 2012

Edge City is a daily comic strip published in many national newspapers. It’s about a family, the Ardins, who happen to be Jewish. Jewish subjects don’t feature in the Ardins’ life every day, but their… Read More


Jewish by Identity Theft

By On April 18, 2012

When people talk about mixed marriages, they don’t usually mean this. In Twelfth and Race, a new novel by Eric Goodman, Richard Gordon, a middle-class Jewish guy, moves to a small Kansas town and… Read More


Was Shakespeare This Jewish Woman?

By On April 17, 2012

Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare’s plays? According to many modern scholars, the answer is no–at least, not completely. In 1600s England, it was common to share or borrow pieces of plays for one’s “original” compositions. In recent… Read More


Garbage Pail Kids

By On April 16, 2012

Every artist has a day job, at least at first. In the mid-80s, Art Spiegelman was editing Raw, his underground comics magazine, and writing and drawing issues of a comic book that would later become Maus. In… Read More


Calendar Girls

By On April 12, 2012

How many biblical women can you think of? Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and…? The truth is, many women are mentioned in the Bible. Most aren’t power players with stories of their own like Moses or King David. Many… Read More