Staff Writer

Text Context June 2010: Weddings

Weddings: a new and thoughtful look at the ritual terrain

Staff Writer
06/16/2010
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Isaac Bashevis Singer on Shabbat

04/28/2010

 The Friday evening meal was over, but the candles were still burning in the silver candlesticks. A cricket chirped behind the stove, and the wick in the lamp made a slight sucking sound as it drew up the kerosene. On the covered table stood a crystal decanter with wine and a silver benediction cup, an engraving of the Wailing Wall upon it; near them lay a bread knife with a mother-of-pearl handle and a challah napkin, embroidered in golden thread. 

When Shabbes And Shabbesdik Collide

Does stone-throwing count as work? How about Dylan in Hebrew?

Special to the Jewish Week
04/28/2010

Shabbes! Shabbes!! Has it ever struck you as odd, those scenes in Jerusalem of fervently Orthodox Jews blocking cars and throwing stones on the holy day, to protest its desecration? To you, this may seem absurd and repellent, a blatant violation of the tranquility of Shabbat. To them, it’s a matter of life and death, not just a lifestyle choice. In short: what is or isn’t shabbesdik — in the spirit of the Sabbath, in Yiddish — is very much a subjective affair.

AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DI STRIBUTION COMMITTEE. Shabbat held in one of the dormitories for Jewish refugees.  Shanghai, China 1940

Shulevitz’s Shabbat

The author of The Sabbath World shares what she’s learned about the day of rest.

Staff Writer
04/28/2010

 Cultural critic Judith Shulevitz grew up in a house divided when it came to observing Shabbat. And she’s not the only one. What for some people is a kind of refuge is for others an antiquated and sometimes oppressive ordeal. From its very beginning, the Sabbath has raised questions, posed challenges and has spawned new ways of thinking for Jews and Christians alike. In her new book, “The Sabbath World, Glimpses of a Different Order of Time,” Shulevitz explores how the Sabbath has been observed and understood over the course of millennia.  

Photo By Michael Datikash

A Lonely Levantine Shabbat

In Cairo, the once-crowded Shar Hashamaim is restored, but there are almost no Jews left to pray in it.

Special to the Jewish Week
04/28/2010

 I make it a point to go to shul on Saturday morning, and that wasn’t going to change when I found myself in Cairo last summer. Yes, it is in an Arab country, but it is my Arab country, where I was born and where of late I have found myself traveling again and again. There is no one there for me — the 80,000 Jews who once lived in Egypt are pretty much gone, as are all my relatives. Cairo, to paraphrase Janet Flanner, was yesterday.

  david cowles, Ark at Ben Ezra, Cairo,1994.

Editor’s Note

Jewish Week Book Critic
04/28/2010

 Chrystie Sherman took the cover photograph, “Shabbat,” in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, in 2002, as part of her “Lost Futures: Journeys into the Jewish Diaspora” project.  Her subject, dressed in a brocade Shabbat robe, opened the door of her family’s home to the photographer shortly before the onset of Shabbat. Later that evening, she hosted Sherman and 10 other guests for a traditional Bukharan Shabbat dinner of fragrant rice and lamb, in their courtyard under the stars. The young woman resembles the Sabbath bride of song.

lighting Shabbat candles at a DC-supported home for the aged for survivors of German concentration camps. Nice, France, 1951

Text Context April 2010: Shabbat

This month, our distinguished writers pause to consider the Sabbath, a day said to mirror the world to come.

Staff Writer
04/28/2010
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Green Day For AJC

11/17/2009
Staff Writer

San Francisco — In its effort to elevate the issue of energy independence, the venerable American Jewish Committee has pushed for policy change in Washington, “greened” its own New York headquarters and even offered cash incentives for its employees to buy hybrid cars.

A Tesla electric sports car parked outside of San Francisco’s JCC, site of an environmental conference. Right, AJC “green” missi

Joshua Venture Betting On Known Quantities

The revamped group’s list of eight fellows, many of them incubated elsewhere, positions it as an advanced-stage funder.

04/13/2010
Staff Writer

Joshua Venture Group, the newly re-launched fellowship that trains Jewish social entrepreneurs, announced its 2010-2012 cohort of eight fellows on Monday. Each of the Dual Investment Program fellows will receive $40,000 in “seed funding” per year over the course of a two-year period, as well as $20,000 in health benefits, in addition to individual coaching and organizational support.

Environmental and social justice groups were big winners in the first Joshua Venture grants since group reformed.

Remember Shelter In Shanghai

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

For the Jewish adults from Nazi Europe who spent some of their wartime years in a 40-square-block area of Shanghai, it was a difficult time. Low wages, if they had work. Crowded apartments. Disease and hunger.

For the kids, it was easier. They went to school and played.

For all, it was better than being back home under the swastika.

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