The road less traveled is getting crowded. Not only are large numbers of Jews embarking on spiritual journeys, but many are writing about them, in full candor. The inner adventure story might be the Jewish book of the moment.
While bookstores are overflowing with memoirs of every stripe — the musings of people from all backgrounds, reflecting on remarkable families, abuse and dysfunction, divorce, relationships — Jewish writers seem to be revealing the details of their spiritual lives: The relationship frequently examined is that with God.
The copy of Leon Uris’ “Exodus” that Mark Tsesarsky read as a teenager was fragile, having passed through many hands before his. This was a samizdat copy, published underground and secretly circulated among Jews in the former Soviet Union. In the 1970s, reading it could have gotten Tsesarsky arrested, but, as he told Uris many years later as a new citizen of the United States, it made him “a Zionist in hiding.”
Sunday, March 29th, 2009
Here’s a beautiful in-house video about the final days of The Rocky Mountain News, a great paper that died too soon. You needn’t live in Denver to appreciate the loss. My cousin Jack Frank left the Bronx during the Great Depression, on one of FDR’s alphabet programs that brought him to Colorado. In time, he got a job as a reporter for the Rocky. The Rocky made it through that depression. It didn’t make it through this one. Please watch.
The home page of the University of Colorado Web site reveals a scene of striking beauty: an exquisitely designed red-brick, neo-Gothic building set against the rugged peaks of the Rockies.
But for Jewish students on the Boulder campus, the idyllic scene of the American West belies their experience on the front lines of a new kind of anti-Semitism playing out in recent years at American colleges and universities spurred by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He is a headhunter in the securities industry by vocation and environmental photographer by avocation. He is a Jew who grew up in New Jersey and studies Islam’s Sufi mystical tradition. Norman Gershman came here from his home in Colorado five years ago in search of some people to photograph — and found a mission.
In Midtown Manhattan he discovered Albania.
Hate crimes against Jews continued across the nation this week even as political leaders from New York’s City Hall to the White House were promising stepped-up protection and renewed attempts to push tougher anti-hate and gun control laws.
The moves come in response to the shootings at a Los Angeles-area Jewish community center in which five people were wounded, including a 5-year-old boy and two 6-year-olds.
Fort Dix, N.J.: The residents who traverse the blue cinderblock wall hallways, decorated only by stenciled warnings not to loiter and to "keep your hands out of pockets," are focused on two things: getting through each day and the date they will be released.
But on a recent Monday afternoon, two dozen men in dun-colored uniforms are bent over worksheets on their desks in a pair of windowless rooms at the Midstate Correctional Facility here focusing on something larger than themselves: the heroes in their lives.
Like a cross between the voice of God and a vintage radio broadcast full of pop and hiss, the disembodied sound of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi filled the sanctuary of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun.
It was a Shabbat celebration of the 75th birthday of Schachter-Shalomi, the rebbe of the Jewish Renewal movement, who is nearly universally known as Reb Zalman. For four decades he has been considered by many to be a marginal figure but has, in fact, also breathed a spark of spirit into the inner life of mainstream Judaism.
Your star has fallen from my firmament, Mel Gibson.
Tom Selleck was the first to go down like, dare I say it, a shooting asteroid. The tall, dark, hirsute and handsome actor sat next to Rosie O'Donnell on her talk show shortly after two students killed a dozen schoolmates and a teacher at Colorado's Columbine High School, and defended the National Rifle Association, of which he was a member.