Blogs

Subversive Swastika: Or, Is Nara's Art Innoncent?

Years ago, on a trip to Japan, I came across a swastika.  Dozens of them, actually, in museums across the country.  I was shocked, what Westerner wouldn't be? 

No doubt this has happened to many Western travelers in Asia, and no doubt many have gotten the re-assuring answer from tour guides or friends: don't worry, it just means "good luck." Buddhists have been using it as a symbol for luck for more than 2,000 years.

Harboring Boston Envy

You know how, from the outside at least, there’s always that friend who seems to be perfect, who seems to succeed at everything you can’t pull off yourself?

That’s how I feel about the Jewish community of Boston. Every time I go there, I’m struck by how well things appear to be run, how Boston actually does all these progressive things that other Jewish communities only talk about doing.

Debating the AJC poll and the plight of Jewish Democrats

Only minutes after posting my story on the new American Jewish Committee poll and its plethora of bad news for President Obama, I received an email from an angry Democrat.

Sure, he said, the national downturn in the President's popularity is reflected in the Jewish numbers. But he argued that I downplayed the fact the Democrats still enjoy a close to three-to-one advantage over the Republicans in Jewish partisan identification.

Carl Paladino's creative Jewish strategy

Apparently Carl Paladino, the Republican/Tea Party candidate for governor of New York, has a Jewish strategy: find the fringiest elements of the Jewish community, take positions that a majority of Jews will find offensive, and then sit back and wait for the Jewish votes to come your way.

What a concept.

Blaming Islam Itself For Militancy

"Islam is a religion of peace."

That was the motion of a fascinating, highly charged debate last Wednesday night at NYUs Skirball Hall sponsored by Intelligence Squared, whose series of topical debates with experts in the field are always timely, lively and thought-provoking.

The Beauty of the "Non-Date" Date

It's funny how different hanging out as "friends" versus hanging out as "potential life partners" (no pressure, ahem!) can be.

Which is another way of saying, I couldn't stand the guy on our official date.

But when he invited me over for a glass of wine for a "non date date," he suddenly didn't seem so bad. He even seemed sort of good. And except for the nasty smell emanating from somewhere in his apartment (blech!), I might have even been open to him.

Republican Jewish Coalition repudiates another GOP candidate, Barbara Boxer wins 'Wing Nut' honors

Jewish Republicans are lining up to disavow one of their party's congressional candidates - Rich Iott, who's running for a House seat in Ohio and is a “tea party favorite,” according to the Atlantic, which broke the story.

Israel's loyalty oath time bomb

Have you noticed the eerie silence of major Jewish and pro-Israel groups on the issue of the loyalty oath for new citizens approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet?

Best I can tell, the only group that's weighed in is J Street. But behind that wall of silence I'm guessing there's a lot of anxiety about how the ongoing controversy will affect American Jewish commitment to the Jewish state – and the commitment of one group in particular.

Syndicate content