The Israeli-American Music Mogul

August 27, 2013
By
diwon2

Remember the Israeli keffiyeh controversy? Semitic Swag, the LA “lifestyle brand” behind it, is headed by Erez Safar, a DJ/producer who is perhaps better known for his non-sartorial endeavors. And he’s just made another musical splash. Safar, who performs under the moniker Diwon, has just dropped his first solo album. Called “New Game,” the…

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Wear Tzitzit, Skip Sex

August 26, 2013
By
tzitzit2

If you’ve never thought of prayer fringes serving a practical purpose, one particularly lewd Talmudic episode may change your mind. In this story, a tzitzit-donning man undertakes a faraway and expensive journey to procure the services of a well-known courtesan. But upon reaching her boudoir he is prevented from carrying out his desires…

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The Original Yiddish Girl Band

August 23, 2013
By
barry-sisters

A girl group that got its start on a local radio show, and eventually made it big, appearing on late-night talk shows, and touring all over the world. The Spice Girls? The Supremes? Nope. Try the Barry Sisters, whose big hits were all Yiddish covers of popular English songs. Born…

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The Google Glass Goes Jewish

August 22, 2013
By
jewglass

It seems like Jewish apps have existed as long as the smartphone. Your iPhone can teach you to bake challah, take you to the Western Wall, and even say the prayer after meals. But now, thanks to tech startup Rusty Brick Studios, you won’t even need to turn on your phone. That is,…

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Freud’s Jewish Mistress

August 21, 2013
By
freud-mistress

Vienna, 1895. Minna Bernays, a laughably incompetent lady’s companion, moves in with her sister Martha and Martha’s husband, Sigmund Freud. Freud, a 39-year-old struggling professor of the fledgling field of psychotherapy, is charmed by the intellectually-minded Minna, who attends to the Freuds’ 6 children and, owing in part to her fascination with her…

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The Most Embarrassing Jewish Search Result

August 20, 2013
By
jewish-and-you-know-it

Try this at home. Go to YouTube, type the word “Jewish” and sort by “view count.” What’s the most-viewed “Jewish” video of all time? You’ll never guess. It’s a silly piece of fluff called “I’m Jewish and You Know It” – a parody of LMFAO’s hit song “Sexy and I Know It.” Go ahead, click on the picture. Don’t…

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The Very Worst Week in Wales

August 19, 2013
By
wales1

Wales is famous for being the home of woolly sheep and Tom Jones and difficult-to-pronounce place names (Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, we’re looking at you). What it’s not known for is anti-Semitic violence. But 102 years ago today, it became notorious for just that. In 1911, the newly industrialized South Wales was wracked by labor disputes,…

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“This American Life” Goes Israeli

August 16, 2013
By
sipur-israeli

A story about a classical composer who, after sustaining a brain injury, had to teach herself how to listen to music again. A man standing by the side of the road in Europe with a sign saying: “Anywhere.” If these sound like segments from the wildly popular National Public Radio…

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The Sage and the Bathhouse

August 15, 2013
By
bathhouse

Q: What’s worse than a rabbinic sage frequenting a den of public nudity and sex adorned with statues of pagan goddesses? A: A rabbinic sage discussing Torah in that den. Read on: The Mishnah relates an incident of Rabban Gamaliel’s visit to an Acre bathhouse festooned with a statue of a nude Aphrodite, the Roman goddess of love and sex.…

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Roaming Europe in Search of Yiddish Joy

August 14, 2013
By
helix

To hear some people tell it, you’d think Jewish history was one long calamity: the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion, pogroms and, of course, the Holocaust. Didn’t European Jews ever smile or sing or enjoy life? Actually, yes. That’s the message the Helix Project is passing on to young Jewish scholars. Helix is a project…

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An American Folksinger With A Hasidic Twist

August 13, 2013
By
levi-robin1

When you first listen to Levi Robin‘s tender, breathy vocals and hypnotic fingerpicking, what comes to mind is likely Iron & Wine or Bob Dylan. But if you close your eyes and listen to the lyrics, you might be surprised. Instead of odes to long-haired beauties and urban chaos, Robin, a 21-year-old Lubavitcher Hasidic folksinger, delivers tried-and-true…

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Niels Bohr, The Righteous Physicist

August 12, 2013
By
bohr

Danish physicist and Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr lived a busy life: When he wasn’t re-imagining atomic structure and quantum mechanics, he was saving over 7,000 Danish Jews from Nazi persecution. In 1943, after learning that Nazi occupiers sought to prevent him from working on the Allied Manhattan Project, Bohr evacuated to Sweden, whose government was…

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