Christmas

Take Your Daughter To Church Day

Looks like, despite my railing against Joseph Reyes, the court has ruled in his favor. (Imagine that: not everyone is swayed by my opinions!)

Reyes is the Catholic Chicago dad who had his 3-year-old daughter baptized without his estranged Jewish wife’s permission.

Bart Simpson’s Birthright Trip?

Episode generally avoids Israeli-Palestinian conflict

03/25/2010
Editorial Intern

First, Krusty the Clown intermarried. Now, Homer Simpson, in Jerusalem on the animated family’s first trip to Israel, thinks he’s the Messiah.

In its more than 20 years on the air, “The Simpsons” has had countless Jewish moments and references, such as when Homer expresses shock that Mel Brooks is Jewish, a Springfield department store advertises “Christmas gifts at Hannukah prices” and the numerous adventures of Krusty, whose father Hyman is an Orthodox rabbi.

Sympathy For The Devil?

Old murder case solved; Orthodox Jewish reaction unresolved.

03/02/2010
Associate Editor

Long after a murder leaves the front page, it lingers in a kitchen grown quiet, or when dialing a phone forever unanswered, when private jokes stay private, and you say “all right” when people ask, but your seders aren’t the same, and Christmas isn’t Christmas, for mourners all share the same pew in pre-dawn sleeplessness.

Jonathan Mark

Yiddishkeit For Yuletide

12/20/2002
Staff Writer

No tinsel, no Santa, no carols, no nog. Some Jews feel they're missing out on the fun of Christmastime. Sure, there are alternatives like Chinese-food-and-a-movie or Matzah Ball dances - the ethnic equivalent of artificial snow. These activities capture the season's festive mood without drawing on its Christian origins.

License To Offend

12/19/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s common wisdom that the best comedy is essentially serious. Of course, clichés often have an underlying truth, so maybe that explains why Rob Tannenbaum, one half of the comedy-music duo Good for the Jews playing at the Highline Ball Room on Dec. 23, is both a very funny guy and yet someone who discusses his work in surprisingly sober terms.

Light Reading

11/28/2007
Jewish Week Book Critic

“There are many lights in light,” according to a line in the Talmud. Hillel’s words refer to the blessing over the Havdalah candle, but can be applied no less to Chanukah.

Money Is Vital, But The Power Of Ideas Sustains Us

01/21/2010
Staff Writer

Not surprisingly, as the economic downturn drags on, there is much communal discussion about the need for more and more funding to keep our most precious institutions and programs intact, from the federation system to Birthright Israel to day schools.

But then there is the phenomenon of Limmud.

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Todah and Shabbat Shalom…

12/25/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

My wife and I arrived in Israel last night for a stay of about ten days.  The visit incorporates the opportunity for the unveiling of my late mother’s tombstone, and also some sorely needed R and R.  Only a few minutes ago, my wife checked her e-mail and saw that someone on our synagogue listserv had asked what Christmas was like in Israel.

The short answer is- you wouldn’t know it’s Christmas.

No Problem Finding a Minyan Here…

01/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week I wrote about how (outside of Bethlehem, Nazareth, etc. of course), Christmas was basically invisible here in Israel, where I am visiting.  New Year’s Eve celebrations are a bit different.  In Tel-Aviv, there were parties and celebrations long into the night.  In Jerusalem, where I am, other than the American kids who are here for the year, it was pretty much a night like all others.   I can’t say as I missed all the hoopla too very much.  It was oddly calm…

Hair, Harry And Hindus

Sunday, September 28th, 2008   In the end, of course, “Hair” is a Broadway musical, a superficial story with superb songs that just happen to be about drugs, dropouts and draft dodging. Some teenagers, from a yeshiva, told an old man (me) that seeing  “Hair” made them wish that they were “activists,” too, like the kids in “Hair,” which is as connected to real life as wanting to be a nanny after seeing “Mary Poppins,” or a horse after “Equus.”  
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