writer

Why Blog?

There are many reasons to not like blogs. For one, they're derivative, the great many of them dependent on hard-earned reporting.  Usually, they're mere commentary on stories professional journalists have sweated long and hard to report. It used to be the case that newspapers would give a column to a reporter only after he'd spent years mastering his beat; the freedom to opine was an editor's great gift to a writer whose identity, individuality, whose thoughts and ideas were shackled in servitude to the ethical code of reportorial objectivity.

Israel Lifts iPad Ban

It was reported this morning by the Associated Press that Israel has lifted the ban on Apple's iPad, which ends the restrictions on importing the tablet computer to the Jewish State. The concern was that the iPad didn't comply with the European wireless standards that Israel follows and could disrupt other wireless devices.

Sabbath: Not Just For Jews

Judith Shulevitz's new book, "The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time," is attracting a good bit of attention, as well it should. Blending personal experience with history, theology and philosophy, the book is both an emotionally and intellectually rewarding encounter for the reader, and the product of a highly intelligent and thoughtful writer willing to probe every angle of what the Sabbath has meant to the world.

Another Jewish Supreme Court possibility - and rising talk about a "Protestant-free" court

So another Jewish name has surfaced in the raging speculation over President Obama's choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: Martha Minow, dean of the Harvard Law School and one of the President's former professors (See this story in today's Boston Gl

Peaceful Sarajevo

The capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina is safe, restored and beautiful.

04/07/2010
Travel Writer

A few weeks ago, writing about Belfast, I was reminded of another delightful, little-touristed European city whose recent past is marked by religious/ethnic strife.

That city is Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is sad and telling that the top “Frequently Asked Question” on Bosnia’s tourism Web site is: “Isn’t there still a war in Bosnia?”

A footbridge in the old city of Mostar, a few hours south of Sarajevo.

A Page From The Song Of Songs

On this, the Shabbos of the Song of Songs, take a look "A Page From The Song of Songs" by Sholom Aleichem. It is sometimes painted as a "children's story" but in reality it is the first of four stories -- taking place on a Pesach, a Shavuous, and a Pesach and Shevuous many years later -- culminating in an excrutiating romantic misunderstanding between two young adults that can break the hearts of old men and women long past their childhoods.

Ed Koch's 5 Top Current Movies

Okay, everybody knows Ed Koch is a former New York mayor and a major player in Jewish politics. In 2008 he campaigned aggressively for Democratic nominee Barack Obama; these days he's giving President Obama heartburn by leading the charge against his current Middle East policies.

But Ed Koch is also a film buff and a keen-eyed critic, as recipients of his movie review emails know.

Mr. Koch was kind enough to share his top movie picks of the past 12 months with the Jewish Week:

Around the Cyber Seder

As we approach the Passover Seder, here are a few cool sites and videos to enhance the Passover experience:

Bangitout.com - Seder Sidekick 2010

Isaac and Seth Galena, the brothers behind the popular Jewish humor site Bangitout.com have once again published a Seder Sidekick to help bring some levity to the Passover Seder. Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Harold Galena, the 38-page PDF document includes song parodies, top ten lists, silly jokes, quizzes, and funny pictures.

Dark Humor

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

 Earlier this year, New York magazine ran a cover story announcing the death of Jewish humor. “Twilight of the Tummlers” was a profile of Woody Allen and Larry David, tied to the movie “Whatever

Works,” but it was also a prediction that their particular brand of bleak, self-lacerating comedy was not long for this world.

PHOTO: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE: French refugee children, Portugal, 1941.

“A Rabbi Walks Into a Bank . . . ”

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

 A witty man was once asked: “A doctor and a banker — which one is more important in the eyes of the Lord?”

Literary lights Alter Druyanov, Y.H. Ravnitzky, Simon Dubnow, Mendele Mocher-Seforim and Chaim Nachman Bialik
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