Blogs

Shemot: A Name Carries Pride Of Self, But A Label Is Imposed

The middle book of the Torah is called Exodus in English and Shemot (Names) in Hebrew.  Names play a crucial role in Torah language and thought.  When God gives Adam responsibility for keeping the earth safe, Adam’s first responsibility is to name the creatures of the world, and in that way, connect with them. Know their names and not their skills.

Shemot: Compassion Trumps Charisma When God Chooses A Leader

Thirty-two centuries before Time Magazine began selecting "Person of the Year," God chose the "The Person Of the Millennium." His name was Moses.

Rabbi Michael Levy

Did Boehner Find His Backbone? Is It Good For The Jews?

The Congress finally passed and sent to the President this week a bipartisan two-year budget bill intended to prevent a repeat of October's government shutdown that sent the Republican brand plunging into the subbasement.

The Tea Partiers are outraged, even to the point of branding Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a "tax-and-spend" liberal.

While the House GOP leadership backed the budget compromise, the Senate Republican leaders were in full retreat, scared that the tea partiers would seek revenge on him.

Fischer: Israel Not Doing Enough to Find Peace

The highly respected former governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer, told a New York audience the Netanyahu government is not doing enough to make peace with the Palestinians.

Two-On-The-Aisle: Theater Café In Jerusalem

In the uncanny way that art imitates life, Jerusalem’s literary café, Tmol Shilshom, has been the setting for fictional accounts of young Israelis in search of love. The café, named in honor of the masterpiece by Israeli Nobel Prize-winner S.Y. Agnon, is half-hidden in a courtyard of the city’s historic Nahalat Shiva neighborhood. It is renowned for an atmosphere that encourages both cultural dialogue and romance over shared meals and occasional evening talks by Israel’s literary lights.

Improvisational theater in Jerusalem: Love Stories at Tmol Shilshom. Irit Elad

High Profile Art And Judaica At Sotheby’s

Each December (perhaps in time for holiday shopping?), Sotheby’s in New York presents its sales of ”Important Judaica” as well as “Israeli and International Art.”

Miniscule Torah Scroll (Germany, 19th century). Courtesy of Sotheby's

Playing Chicken With Sanctions

"Handle With Care," Handles With Grace

“Will I see you at shul?”
“…Spent $200 for Christmas.”
“Mah nishmah?”
“The name’sunder Menachem O’Malley.”

Voices slipping in and out of Hebrew and English, filled up the lobby of the Westside Theatre,where the audience was waiting to see "Handle With Care," the new off-Broadway play by Jason Odell Williams.

Little did they know that art was about to imitate life.

Carol Lawrence in “Handle With Care.” Doug Denoff

Stand Up And Be Photographed!

On the coldest day this month, I stepped onto Brighton Beach and contemplated my identity. I am not a member of the Polar Bear Club. I hate being cold!  Rather, I was participating in a “Casual Conversation” in the warmth of the lobby of the JCC in Manhattan. 

Signs of dual identity. Jeff and Alina Bliumis. Photo courtesy The JCC in Manhattan

The New Linkage

For as long as I can recall we've been told by the people who are supposed to be foreign policy experts that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the source of instability in the Middle East.  Solve that, they preach, and all the other problems can be solved.  

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