Browsing Archive

December, 2010

A new year every day
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A New Year Every Day

By On December 31, 2010

Many Jews try not to make a big deal out of the New Year–at least, the one that starts on January 1. After all, we’ve already celebrated the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, a… Read More

the fastest draw in the shul
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The Fastest Draw in the Shul

By On December 30, 2010

Here’s one part of the Wild West that the Frisco Kid never saw. Rabbi Harvey, the comic book character, lives in a frontier town. He works as the town rabbi, greeting townsfolk, prospectors, and visitors… Read More

The Mongrel Jews
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The Mongrel Jews

By On December 29, 2010

The self-described “street folk” band The Mongrel Jews plays old-fashioned folk and bluegrass music. Though they’ve started playing proper concert halls and touring, the trio still plays music on the corners of their native… Read More

what shape is your food
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What Shape Is Your Food?

By On December 28, 2010

Kosher symbols, called hekshers, appear on all sorts of food, from meats and cheeses to potato chips and soft drinks. Some, such as a U or a K in a circle, are commonly… Read More

Tracking down the messiah
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Tracking Down the Messiah

By On December 27, 2010

Like many scholars in the Talmud, Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi yearned for the Messiah’s coming. Living in exile, Joshua dreamed of a perfect world free of suffering, and he prayed for a powerful redeemer–perhaps… Read More

Theodor Herzl's Christmas tree
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Theodor Herzl’s Christmas Tree

By On December 24, 2010

Jews have devised all sorts of mechanisms for dealing with the holiday on December 25 that shuts down most of the Western world. In centuries past, Jewish communities have hid from Christian… Read More

Rapping the good book
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Rapping to the Good Book

By On December 23, 2010

When’s the last time you danced up a storm…to the Bible? Matt Bar and Ori Salzberg are Bible Raps, a duo that creates songs based on stories from the Bible and other Jewish books.… Read More

war peace3 and poetry
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War, Peace, and Poetry

By On December 22, 2010

Though the Israeli poet Dahlia Ravikovitch (1937-2005) was named for a flower, her unsentimental and ironic poems are decidedly not flowery. Her first book, “The Love of an Orange,” was published when she was in her… Read More

No one is all bad
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No One Is All Bad

By On December 21, 2010

Like any compelling story, the saga of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt has bad guys–the Egyptians–and  good guys–Moses and, well, God. Yet Rashi, a medieval commentator, makes a surprising comment about how we’re supposed to feel about the… Read More

An Unexpected Yiddish Balladeer
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An Unexpected Yiddish Balladeer

By On December 20, 2010

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was an African-American singer, actor, and activist who sang the songs of his ancestors–and ours. Robeson learned Hebrew from his father, a Christian preacher, and he became captivated by the Jewish stories and… Read More

A-Zodiac-for-the-jewish-deli
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A Zodiac for the Jewish Deli

By On December 17, 2010

There’s always been a healthy, productive relationship between Jews and Chinese food–from Christmas dining to a mutual love for sweet & sour flavoring. L.A.-based comedian Seth Front (who’s also a rabbi’s son) took the relationship one step… Read More

rolling on shabbos
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Rolling on Shabbos

By On December 16, 2010

The 1998 Coen Brothers film The Big Lebowski has become an integral part of Jewish pop culture–owing mostly to the fervency with which John Goodman shouts “I don’t roll on Shabbos!” Lebowski Tees, the newest bit… Read More