The Puerto Rican Boxer With the Kosher Tattoo

October 21, 2014
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The Puerto Rican Boxer With the Kosher Tattoo

Pro boxers don’t usually wear their sponsorship on their sleeves – but Puerto Rican fighter Miguel Cotto wears his on his neck. Er, scratch that – the Orthodox Union hechsher tattooed on the light middleweight boxer’s trapezius isn’t actually an endorsement from the Union. And the 33-year-old has only four losses in his nearly fifteen-year…

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How Anti-Semitism Helped Ruth Bader Ginsburg Succeed

October 20, 2014
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How Anti-Semitism Helped Ruth Bader Ginsburg Succeed

Rising to barely 5 foot 1 inch, weighing in at just under 100 pounds, and topping out her age bracket at 81 years, we have the meanest, leanest magistrate in the land—the Jewess Justice herself, nicknamed Notorious RBG for her fierce approach on and off the bench—Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg! Born and raised…

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The New Trans TV Show That’s Good for the Jews

October 15, 2014
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Why the New Trans TV Show is Good for the Jews

Amazon’s first foray into television, Transparent, looks like it will be good for the Jews, especially if it succeeds. In the first season, three self-involved, adult Jewish siblings in Los Angeles will discover that the person they know as their father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) identifies, and wants to live publicly, as…

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When the High Priest Was Pelted With Citrons

October 14, 2014
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When the High Priest Was Pelted With Citrons

It’s autumn. Do you get upset when squirrels pelt you from above with acorns? Well, please count your blessings: at least they’re not etrogs, and at least you’re not a high priest with unpopular religious beliefs. In the ancient Temple during Sukkot, a water offering – known as Simchat Beit Hashoavah – was poured on…

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The Amazing New Molecule Shaped Like a Jewish Star

October 13, 2014
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The Amazing New Molecule Shaped Like a Jewish Star

Even Isaac Asimov couldn’t dream this up. A team of University of Manchester chemists led by Professor David Leigh have invented a molecular shape that looks exactly like the Magen David – the Star of David – which could, if harnessed correctly, yield the strongest and lightest armor ever made. But it wasn’t easy: the shape had to…

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The Lady Gaga of Hasidic Music

October 8, 2014
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The Lady Gaga of Hasidic Music

He’s been called the Jewish Elvis; he’s been called the Lady Gaga of Hasidic Music. He’s a rock star, he’s a YouTube sensation, and he’s a Hasidic Jew. He is Lipa Schmeltzer, and his wardrobe is way more interesting than yours. Lipa hails from the Skverer Hasidic community in New Square, New York—a closed community that is…

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The Surprising Hasidic Subtext of a Popular New Novel

October 7, 2014
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Why "Back to the Future" is About the World to Come

Ben Lerner is not primarily a novelist – he’s a poet. He’s also not a Hasid. But his new novel 10:04 opens with a quote: “Hasidim tell a story about the world to come that says everything there will be just as it is here…Everything will be as it is now, just a little different.” From…

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Finally! Seinfeld in Yiddish.

October 6, 2014
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Finally! Seinfeld in Yiddish.

The trademark bass-slapping is at first replaced with the opening bars of “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof, but otherwise it looks like any other Seinfeld re-run – until Jerry and Elaine open their mouths and are suddenly fluent Yiddish speakers. A Vimeo user who goes by the handle “A Mishel” has dubbed and…

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When the Hearthrob of the Yiddish Cinema Led Kol Nidre

October 3, 2014
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When the Hearthrob of the Yiddish Cinema Sang Kol Nidre

If Kol Nidre has never made you shiver with emotion, then you must see the 1940 acclaimed Yiddish film Overture to Glory. Made in New York, the film offers a glimpse at a world—and an art form—that peaked just before its own destruction. With music written by the great Yiddish theater conductor Alexander Olshanetsky and starring Moishe…

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The Refugees’ Japanese Savior

October 2, 2014
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The Refugees' Japanese Savior

With the Soviet Occupation of Lithuania in full swing and the encroachment of Nazism around the corner, Jewish Polish refugees and Lithuanians were desperate for a way out. Introducing Chiune Sugihara, Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Kaunas, Lithuania, and all around exceptional human being. After the Japanese government denied repeated requests…

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The Crazy New App For Using Your iPhone on Shabbos

October 1, 2014
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The Crazy New App for Using Your iPhone on Shabbos

  Shabbos and technology: two great tastes that taste great together? The makers of the new Shabbos App, available in February from the iTunes Store and Google Play, want to convince you that, though it may seem counterintuitive, their spirituality-practicality hack will allow you to keep the Sabbath better from the comfort of…

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Celebrating Hanukkah, USPS-Style

September 30, 2014
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The First Jewish Postage Stamp

You’ve recited selichot. You’ve blown the shofar. You’re doing your teshuvah. All that’s left is to get your final Jewish New Year card into the mail before you have to repent for missing the season. But which stamps should you use? The history of the United States postage stamp is surprisingly short, and the history of the…

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