A Muslim, a Jew, and a Jerusalem Kabbalist

December 19, 2013
By
courtyard-kabbalist

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure—and sometimes, one man’s trash is another man’s history. In her second novel, In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist, Ruchama King Feuerman explores the ways two men—one Jewish, one Arab—build an unlikely friendship despite Jerusalem’s cultural and political divisions. Isaac Markowitz, a Lower East Side haberdasher who makes aliyah to realize his…

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In Israel, A Social Network for the Dead

December 17, 2013
By
Neshama

Ever wished you knew where your great-great-grandparents were buried? Ever wanted to visit the grave of a distant relative but don’t know where to find it? There’s a new social network designed to help you out. Shelly Furman Asa has created Neshama.info, a website where you can search for the location of graves…

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Help Us Find the Makers of “Snowvadia,” the Chief Sephardic Rabbi Snowman

December 16, 2013
By
Help Us Find the Makers of “Snowvadia,” the Chief Sephardic Rabbi Snowman

Today we stumbled upon a hard-to-miss snapshot of “Snowvadia Yosef,” a well-crafted homage to Ovadia Yosef, the recently deceased former Sephardic rabbi of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas party. Snowvadia, as he’s being called, has been making the social media rounds, but we’ve yet to find out exactly WHERE…

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Gogol-Mogol, The Shtetl Miracle Cocktail

December 16, 2013
By
gogol

From the same folks who discovered chicken soup and munching garlic cloves as remedies for the common cold, came the “gogol-mogol” the once-revered, now maligned shtetl health cocktail. What, haven’t heard of it? Gogol-mogol, or “guggle-muggle” in Americanese, is an egg-based beverage rooted in the Russian Old Country. It’s typically made by beating…

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Meet Mr. Israel, the Bodybuilding Rabbi

December 13, 2013
By
Rafael Halperin

Having trouble balancing your hechshered ice-cream business with your pro wrestling career? You might want to consult with the late Rabbi Rafael Halperin—who managed to claim the first Mr. Israel title, think up a shomer-Shabbos credit card, and run a chain of optical shops, all while maintaining a religious life and a celebrated wrestling career.…

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Everyone Wants to Go to Commie Camp

December 12, 2013
By
commie-camp5

In the summer of 2012 conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh labeled Camp Kinderland, “extremist,” pointed to its “Communist roots,” and accused it of indoctrinating children. Comedian Katie Halper, a Kinderland alum, decided there was just one way to get to the bottom of the allegations: go back to camp. For one summer…

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The Marine Corps Marrano

December 11, 2013
By
victor

Up through World War II, The United States Marine Corps was generally viewed as the least inviting of the U.S. Armed Forces for American Jews to join. It was, in the words of Lenny Bruce, “heavy goyish.” Of course, there were a few prominent exceptions to this rule, notably General Victor “Brute” Krulak. Participating at key moments of…

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They Called Her Rebbe

December 10, 2013
By
They Called Her Rebbe

While rifling through the bargain bin at your local bookstore for a dime novel to read on the plane, you come across what looks like just the right smut: a classically pulpy woman on the cover, eyes cast down to the text in front of her. Even the title, with its exaggerated…

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A Surprising New History of “Fiddler on the Roof”

December 9, 2013
By
wonder-of-wonder

Maybe you first heard Tevye break into song when you watched Fiddler on the Roof on VHS in your grandparents’ living room. Maybe you sat in the audience on opening night at the Imperial Theater in 1964. Maybe, before all of that, you read Sholem Aleichem‘s story “Tevye the Dairyman” in shule, or two decades later your cousin walked down…

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The Ghost Shtetl of Trochenbrod

December 6, 2013
By
Lost-town

Once upon a time there was a shtetl named Trochenbrod. In its heyday, Trochenbrod, which is located in Western Ukraine just 30 kilometers northeast of the city of Lutsk, was home to approximately 5,000 Jews, with seven synagogues, and a rich farming culture. In typically frank Yiddish fashion, Trochenbrod means “bread without butter.” And…

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Talmudic sex scandals for $2

December 5, 2013
By
Donate $2 Today!

Join the Jewniverse/MyJewishLearning annual $2 campaign! Your donation allows us to keep on sharing all of the weird, wacky and inspirational sides of the Jewniverse. And c’mon, we’re just asking $2.

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Nude Photos + Bible = Art

December 4, 2013
By
bigal

The words of the Bible calligraphed carefully onto…skin? This edgy sounding art project is actually pretty old-school: a Torah scroll is sheepskin with calligraphy on it—but Israeli artist Ronit Bigal has taken the idea of Torah on skin to a new and breathtakingly beautiful place. Bigal takes digital photos of the body close enough that it’s…

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