For young American Jews, it’s a long way from ‘Exodus’ to the separation wall.
In 1960, the film “Exodus” was nominated for three Academy Awards. Based on Leon Uris’ novel about the founding of Israel, it seems hard to believe that such a film, drenched in Jewish military heroism and suffused with Holocaust imagery and Arab aggression, could have such broad and unambiguous appeal. But it did. It not only won an Oscar, it also starred a Hollywood icon, Paul Newman, as the heroic Jewish fighter, and even made a commendable showing at Cannes.
But almost a half-century later, a very different film about Israel won an Oscar nomination. “Waltz With Bashir,” (2008) directed by the Israeli Ari Folman, put a spotlight on the massacres at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps during the first Lebanon War.
Call him the Robin Hood of Eastern European Jewish culture.
Hershele Ostropolyer was an exuberant trickster who roamed the Ukrainian countryside at the turn of the 19th century, playing jokes on the rich to help the poor. The Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre’s new production, “The Adventures of Hershele Ostropolyer,” stars Mike Burstyn as the legendary joker who always has another trick up his sleeve.
I’ve been a very bad blogger recently (a whole week without posting), but a very good Jew: in the past 10 days, I’ve gone to services at three congregations, and attended a Storahtelling event. Plus, this Saturday morning I’ll be in shul (a fourth one!) yet again, for my niece’s bat mitzvah.
Those who pray three times a day, or are at least weekly shul-goers, may laugh at such modest accomplishments. Indeed, I’m sure someone will send me a nasty e-mail or post a comment saying this (along with being intermarried) is further evidence of my moral laxity. Nonetheless, for me, four synagogues in two weeks — not during the High Holidays — is something of a record.
Isn't the disaster that's still unfolding down in the Gulf of Mexico an almost perfect illustration of what's wrong with American politics?
Everybody's complaining about the lax federal response – including those factions that want to cut government until it's small enough to drown it in the bathtub, to use one of their popular expressions.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish and international groups called on the United Nations' Secretary General to rebuke the Libyan envoy, who currently leads the General Assembly, for likening Israel to Nazis.
Ali Abdussalam Treki’s "comments are an outrage, a blight upon the United Nations and his high office, and an impediment to historical truth and to peace," B’nai B’rith International President Dennis Glick and Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin wrote Tuesday in a letter to Ban Ki-moon.
I'm beginning to think all the major Jewish “defense agencies” like the ADL and both AJCs need full-time departments just to respond to shameless politicians using inappropriate Holocaust and Nazi analogies.
The latest: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, although he's purportedly an historian, doesn't have the historical sense to distinguish between policies he doesn't like and the vilest, most dangerous political system in history.
In the religious world, there has been much discussion over the past few years, and rightly so, of the struggle between what sociologists like to call the “commanding presence” and the “sovereign self.” The “commanding presence” is an outside source of authority- in the larger religious sense, God, or in a lesser religious sense, rabbis. The “sovereign self” is the autonomous individual, who chafes at being told what to do.