Shlemiel the First resurfaces and a new Porgy and Bess

“Shlemiel the First,” the joyous 1994 Klezmer musical, reappeared this past month on the New York stage for, alas, too brief a visit. This revival was the joint production of the National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene and the Theatre for a New Audience, staged at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. And […]

Ayin Caramba!

For most of the 20th century, Hebrew teachers dutifully taught pupils that the Hebrew alphabet had two “silent letters,” aleph and ayin. While this may be true of Modern Hebrew, both letters were pronounced in Biblical Hebrew. Eastern European Jews continued to pronounce the ayin until at least the 1700s. Ayin and aleph are still […]

Say Kaddish over your dead computer

By Ted Robert She was getting old. You could tell her passion was waning even though she was only 22 years old. Two out of three times when I clicked on her button she wouldn’t turn on. Well, she turned a dusky orange, but not that inviting – “here’s your mail” green that I had […]

A Zealot is a Zealot

By Jim Shipley In 1951, the Longshoreman / philosopher Eric Hoffer published The True Believer where he postulated that all extreme philosophies and movements were pretty much the same. Whether called Communism, Fascism, militant Islam or the Settler Movement, their tactics, extremism and lack of common sense are pretty much the same. Hoffer said “a […]

Fun vanen heybt zach aun ah libeh? (How does a love affair begin?

April 2013 Mein libeh haut zach aun gehaben ahz ich haub zich gehlerent zein ah nurse. (My love affair started while I was a student nurse at Mt. Sinai (Jewish) Hospital in Chicago.) Mein shziger iz geven krank in hauspehtal un ich fleg err bauden un iber biten deh kleyder. Ich fleg redden Yiddish mit […]

What’s with the fours?

by Rabbi Avi Shafran Despite the late hour and exhaustion(not to mention wine),many a Jewish mind has wondered long and hard during a Passover Seder about all the Haggadah’s “fours.” Four questions, four sons, four expressions of redemption, four cups.There’s clearly a numerical theme here. While some may superficially dismiss the Haggadah as a mere […]

Relationships Between Jews and Germans Today

By Miriam Zimmerman What happens when today’s Jews and Germans encounter each other face to face? What restraints cripple both parties in their attempts to communicate? Is there the proverbial elephant in the room that no one engages directly? Perhaps the different generations handle the awkwardness differently. What rights do contemporary Jews have to invoke […]

Moving Toward Vege-Veganism

By Mary Hofmann Eating Animals, by Jonathan SafranFoer, envisions a Passover without meatand provides compelling reasons why weshould consider moving toward becomingvegetarians/vegans in our scary newworld of factory “farming.” While Michael Pollan (Omnivore’sDilemma and Food Rules), Mark Bittman(Food Matters), Alan Weisman (The WorldWithout Us) and others aren’t as straightforwardin drawing parallels betweencurrent human behavior and […]

Yes, the Rabbanit (Rebbetzin, Rabbi’s Wife) Yemima, Not the Rabba

By Batya Medad I wasn’t quite sure what was acceptablerecently, so I only took a couple ofpictures after it was over, and only one iseven barely acceptable.You can see her inthe distance wearing a black hat. Strange for me, I have troubleremembering her points, even though Iwas mesmerized and listened to everyword. But I’m very […]

Rosh Hodesh: Finding strength one month at a time – by Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I listened to the phone message from Cindy and knew that something was wrong. I could hear it in her voice, even through the static on my answering machine. I called her back immediately and my worst fears were confirmed: Cindy had breast cancer We didn’t speak often because Cindy needed to conserve her energy […]

Wineries and an Artist’s Colony in the Golan Heights

  How would you feel if you could swallow less than a tablespoon of something every day and know it would prevent heart disease and bad cholesterol, destroy cancer cells and even stop the development of cancer? If you are a diabetic, it would balance the level of insulin in the blood. A miracle drug? […]

Shopping in Jerusalem, something for every taste

By Batya Medad Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image. I always get a kick out of the store window reflections, even when there’s nothing I would buy. I’ve never liked snoods. I think of them as colored undershirts with spikes. Your browser may […]

Variety of Interesting Stories – Sybil Kaplan

[whohit] Variety of Interesting Stories[/whohit] When we lived in Overland Park, I did my weekly shopping at the local supermarket, Price Chopper, or the one with the large kosher sections, Hen House, supplemented by the Wal-Mart neighborhood store. One of the stock items I bought was toilet paper most frequently four packs but sometimes more. […]

A new leadership recruiting poster

By Rabbi Moshe ben Asher, Ph.D. & Magidah Khulda bat Sarah [whohit]A new leadership recruiting poster[/whohit] For much of our professional lives, we worked as congregational and community organizers. We had an axiom in that work: “Whatever the problem, whatever the solution, do leadership development!” That maxim reflects an understanding that the current leadership is […]

Major vs. Minor fun

Hello again, Mr. Funsmith. First of all, how are you already? And before I forget, thanks for your insightful, dast I say, brilliant comments about that whole Fun IQ thing. Fun. Fun way to think about fun. Intelligent, even. So, I thought, since we’re corresponding already with such productivity, that I’d ask maybe if you […]