Amid hard times and carbon footprints, leftovers are thrifty, politically correct — and shockingly tasty.
For 100 years, we were a restaurant family. From 1888 to 1988, we threw out food. Pristine bread trays, untouched butter ramekins, plat du jours at the end of the jour. Anything tired or wilted was whooshed into the garbage, OUT! Every morning, as the sun rose over the East River, the kitchens started from scratch.
One day, millennia ago, next to a fire or hearth, someone found that their flatbread dough — a dough made daily, eaten at every meal — had gone bad. Dough that should have been firm was misshapen. It was puffy and elastic. It would have smelled of something unfamiliar, and, to an inexperienced nose, probably unpleasant. Most likely, they tossed it to the birds or dogs, and started anew. But this “off” dough, had it been baked, would have been one of the first leavened breads.
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.
“We could be like the Mayans and the Incas. People will come to Jerusalem and say, ‘Yes, there were these curious people there.’”
The statement comes around the middle of “Out of Faith,” a documentary that offers a moving, honest and evenhanded look at the problems interfaith marriage creates for the Jewish people.
Of all the holidays in the Jewish calendar, Purim is the most theatrical. Throughout the ages, Jewish communities worldwide have naturally performed the story in different ways, in accordance with their own native theatrical traditions. In 18th-century Prague, since itinerant puppeteers provided much of the entertainment seen by the common people, a marionette version of “Queen Esther” was one of the hits of the day.
Nefesh B’Nefesh is better known for its efforts to get North American Jews on planes to Israel, but last month it settled for driving more Internet traffic there. The organization recently hosted the first International Jewish Bloggers Convention at its Jerusalem headquarters. The conference, which featured keynote speaker former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who doesn’t blog — attracted 200 Israeli-based bloggers (many of them Anglos) and 1,300 people around the globe who watched the live video feed.
Vera Felice won't do nudity. She won't work on Shabbat. But the 21-year-old actress and model can do accents. A native of Copenhagen, the shapely blonde has no trouble slipping from thick-tongued Russian to saccharine Southern. For her next role, however, the recent graduate of the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute says she won't have to learn a new accent, "just a new language."
Theodore Bikel says he identifies so closely with his stage role as Tevye the Milkman that he sometimes lapses into character. And, Bikel told an audience in New York this week, "people still approach me on the street to ask, 'How are things in Anatevka?' ": the fictional shtetl where "Fiddler on the Roof" is set.