Shevat Began Jan 26

By Melinda Ribner It may still be the heart of the winter in many places, but the month of Shevat marks a hidden and mystical time of new beginnings. Shevat is a time of rebirth, new inspiration and creativity. The first part of the month may still feel dark and harsh, but that all changes […]

For the Sake of Others

By Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D Sitting in my study I began reading a book about the life of Albert Einstein. To say that he was an interesting person would be to understate his importance or the impact he had on humanity with his Theory of Relativity – the concept of time and space. To this […]

Kvetching Andy Rooney Style

Andy Rooney alas is dead. I used to love to hear him kvetch. Chanukah and that other holiday have passed when the transliteration chachamim (Chelm “wise” men) were at it again. I received a card with the Chanuka(h) blessings (spelled with two k’s no less) and I noticed the Hebrew word a-tah spelled with two […]

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 […]