Currently Browsing: Judaism 30 articles

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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Adam and Eve

A new poem by Robert ‘Smokey’ Miles. The first man looked at the rib girlWho was ripped right from his chestHe said ‘You look cute in your birthday suitAnd I really do dig your breasts.’Then he palindromed ‘Madam I’m Adam!’She said, ‘I’m Eve, please don’t leave!’And soon they got up and at ’emAnd reproduced like […]

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Not a Jew. Says Who?

Loolwa Khazzoom reflects on Ella Emhoff’s Jewishness and who gets to decide. On Inauguration Day, I was very emotional – not only because Kamala Harris is the first African- and Asian-American woman in the White House, and not only because her husband, Doug Emhoff, is the first Second Gentleman in the White House, but also […]

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A Scholarly Unorthodox

Karen H. Skinazi reviews Zalman Newfield’s Degrees of Separation. When my teenage son was little, he used to sway back and forth if he was concentrating hard on something—a book, a puzzle, a Lego creation. ‘Who knew shokeling was hereditary?’ we joked. My husband comes from Hasidische stock. If my son still shokels while he […]

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Zoom Connections

Roma Cohen writes about organising services, via Zoom, for a small and aging regional congregation. On Sunday 26th July 2020, the 102nd Annual General Meeting of our small northern ‘friendly, warm and welcoming’ Harrogate synagogue took place for the first time through the medium of Zoom.  The much respected, dedicated Chair of fifty years plus […]

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RBG and the Jewish Tradition of Dressing with Intention

Of the many lessons Ruth Bader Ginsburg embodied – that our legal status should not be contingent on gender; that we can value people with whom we virulently disagree, and that disagreement can make us better; that choosing the right life partner can make all the difference – the one that most resonates with me […]

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