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The Rabbi's Revenge Jewishness

The Rabbi’s Revenge

A short story by Elliot B. Gertel.                                                      The young rabbi looked forward to the class. Fresh out of the seminary, in his first congregation, he anticipated, more than anything else, the opportunity to teach the children. After all, “And thou shalt teach them unto thy children,” is a cardinal commandment in Judaism. The teacher of […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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Shaddai

Mirushe ‘Mira’ Zylali reviews Loolwa Khazzoom’s new album. The Aramaic-language piyyut ‘Yah Ribbon “Alam”’ ends with a prayer for a restored Jerusalem. Written in the late 1500s by Rabbi Israel Najara, the then-rabbi of Gaza, it has been sung for four hundred years as a Shabbat hymn – that’s 21,000 Shabbatot. On Shabbat, God asks […]

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 […]

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Neshama Reggae

Forty years after his death, Martin Elliot Jaffe reflects on Boby Marley’s Jewish Soul. My heart pounds a bit as the stage lights dim and after a long pandemic-enforced hiatus we return to the jam night stage of the Winchester in Lakewood, Ohio. Guitarists await the count, the drummer signals me and I launch the […]

dog featured

Jews and Dogs

To mark the release of Cruella, Nathan Abrams reflects on the relationship between Jews and dogs. Even though I own two of them (or they own me), Jews and dogs are widely believed to be an oxymoron. Consider the Yiddish proverb, ‘A Jew with a dog? It’s either not a Jew or it’s not a […]

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New Trek is Jew-Trek

First airing in 1966, Star Trek was always heavily influenced by Jews and Jewish thought but now it’s Jewier than ever. Famously Kirk, Spock and Chekov were all played by Jews (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Walter Keonig). Some of the writers who worked on the original series such as the noted sci-fi authors Harlan Ellison (City […]

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Prayer

Bruce Black offers up four new poems on prayer. 1) Every day I listen Every day, dear God, I listen,wanting to hear Your voice— Just a word or two, even the soundof Your breath— Hoping for a sign that You arelistening to my prayer.__ 2) Your face is hidden Your face ishidden behinda cloud. When […]

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