Currently Browsing: Judaism 35 articles

trrans Jewishness

Intersex and Trans Jewish Lives

Martin H. Di Maggio argues that the time to act is now. Shortly after I was born, nurses noticed that I was “a bit different from other boys” and took me to have chromosome tests (without informing my mother) to verify my sex. It wasn’t enough that I “looked like a boy” or that I […]

seinfeld featured

He Was Making Out During “Schindler’s List”

In his latest “Seinfeld Yomi”, Jarrod Tanny pores over “The Raincoats”, eps 18 and 19, season 5. Which is worse making out during Schindler’s List or The Ten Commandments? The Rabbis weigh in. GEMARAH: He was making out during Schindler’s List! Who does that? said Bar Kappara convening the meeting in the name of Rav […]

serious featured

A Serious Man’s Bar Mitzvah

Rabbi Elliot B. Gertel reflects on A Serious Man as it approaches its thirteenth-year anniversary. Here, I offer my original review (slightly edited) in retrospect, followed by a postscript in which I add some thoughts. I have not found reason to reconsider what I originally said. I confirm my past observations with a tribute to the […]

fogs feature

Can Your Canine Keep Kosher?

Nathan Abrams reviews a new short film about the relationship between frum Jews and their dogs. They may be man’s best friend, but they are not a Jew’s best friend. As the saying goes, “A Jew with a dog? It’s either not a Jew or it’s not a dog.” A new documentary, currently screening as […]

simon feature

Solomon and Rabbi Simon

Barbara Borts tells us how Simon and Garfunkel explain Kohelet. Paul Simon has just celebrated his 80th birthday, keyn eyn hore, and Art Garfunkel has his coming up soon. All the celebrations have sent me with nostalgia back to their music, which formed a significant part of my teenage playlist of folk and singer-songwriter melodies. […]

houdini featured

A Jewish Magician Among the Spirits

Efram Sera-Shriar remembers Harry Houdini’s investigations into spirit and psychic phenomena at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1926, the famous American magician Harry Houdini (née Ehrich Weisz) participated in a series of congressional hearings to determine whether ‘fortune telling’ should be made a criminal offence in the District of Columbia. For many observers […]

rabbi featured

Do Not Underestimate the Determination of a Quiet Rabbi

Gloria Tessler considers the welcome activities of some of our rabbinate but decries the misguided priorities of others. When we think of great rabbis we sometimes look back to philosophers of the past. Maimonides, the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman of Breslau, Abraham Heschel, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Great thinkers who have died and left us […]

Stan Lee featured

A Lone Lee Man of Comics

Nathan Abrams reviews a new biography of Stan Lee. ‘This is a particular pleasure — or frustration, depending on one’s point of view — for Jewish critics, who have spent decades and spun a small cottage industry arguing about just what the new mythology is constructed by American Jewish artists owe to the old ideas […]

benjamin Jewishness

Benjamin Franklin and the Parable against Persecution

Shai Afsai explores how Benjamin Franklin’s parable has a Jewish source. According to Ben Franklin’s correspondence with Benjamin Vaughan, the inspiration for two of his parables was taken ‘from an ancient Jewish tradition.’ One of these parables — commonly referred to as either the Parable against Persecution or as Abraham and the Stranger — is […]

tempering featured

Tempering Jewish Fear & Anger

Dan Jacobs argues that diaspora Jews are letting their fear and anger determine their reactions to recent events. During the recent Israel/Palestinian fighting, Jews have been targeted by antisemites around the world. In the UK Jews were verbally attacked by pro-Palestinian protestors waving flags and shouting ‘death to Jews’, ‘rape their daughters’.  These types of […]

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