Jerome Chanes

Journal Watch

04/03/2009

At the crux of the regulation of food preparation and ingestion is the question of how our religious ritual activities hallow our lives and shore up our ethnic/national identity. The rationale for the laws of kashrut may indeed be arcane and unknown, indeed unknowable; but at bottom they are all about a reverence for life.

Journal Watch

05/01/2009

What’s the Jewish language? Or, more to the point in 2009/5769, what is not? Seventy years ago, Yiddish was the lingua franca of the Jewish people. Today it is not Hebrew, it is not Yiddish, it is not Ladino, it is not Russian (a small flowering of Russian literature in Israel notwithstanding) — it is English.

Journal Watch

05/01/2009
What’s the Jewish language? Or, more to the point in 2009/5769, what is not? Seventy years ago, Yiddish was the lingua franca of the Jewish people. Today it is not Hebrew, it is not Yiddish, it is not Ladino, it is not Russian (a small flowering of Russian literature in Israel notwithstanding) — it is English.

The Question Of Community

While Zionists see a state as the answer, American Jews have proven adept at creating their own communities, relatively free from anti-Semitism.

03/06/2009
What, indeed, is “community”? Are we bound together by common purposes and goals? (This approach is beloved by the community organizers.) Or is there something deeper, more intimate, in the idea of community, something that reaches down to family? In this construct, the community provides the individual much of what the family provides; it’s the idea of kinship.

Grappling With Anti-Semitism

05/16/2003
Staff Writer
Columbia University history professor Simon Schama stood at the podium in the Center for Jewish History's auditorium Sunday night relating how the desecration of hundreds of Jewish graves in England last week had affected him personally. "The headstones of my uncle and great-aunt were turned over," when 386 Jewish graves were damaged in East London, he said. Thus began a three-day international conference in New York on the rise of global anti-Semitism.

Getting A Read On The Rambam

Special to the Jewish Week
10/16/2009

Maimonides scholarship is thriving. But there has always been a healthy interest in, and veneration of, the life and works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon — in his Hebrew acronymic, “the Rambam.” Jewish philosopher, jurist and halachist nonpareil, physician, communal leader — Moses Maimonides looms larger than any other figure in Jewish intellectual, social, and religious history. 

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