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.
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Behind bars, many inmates find meaning in the traditional study of Jewish ethics.
Special To The Jewish Week
Mussar — ethical teachings originally developed in 19th-century Eastern Europe primarily by Rabbi Israel Yisrael Lipkin Salanter to help Jews integrate their daily behavior with Torah commandments and values — has recently come back into vogue. Jews across denominations, and in settings from synagogues to JCCs, have renewed studying these texts.
Many people turn to mussar to help them address career frustrations, health setbacks, family difficulties — or simply learn how to deal better with others.
Lakewood, N.J., real estate developer accused of far-reaching scheme; may have laundered money through charities; grand jury empaneled.
Special to the Jewish Week
(Posted Tuesday, Dec. 29, 5:45 p.m.) In an alleged financial fraud that has ensnared Orthodox Jewish investors from New York to Florida to London, a Lakewood, N.J., businessman is accused of bilking them out of more than $200 million through phony real estate deals, according to complaints made in multiple lawsuits across the country.
When Marcy Strickler was 10 years old, she suddenly faced frequent bouts of diarrhea and completely lost her appetite and energy — far from the ideal situation for an active fifth grader. For a while, she tried to ignore the symptoms and hid everything from her parents. But as hard as she tried, she couldn’t hide the illness forever.
“I just woke up one morning and I physically couldn’t go to school,” she said.
Call it the overlooked Day of Freedom. In a week marked by Passover festivities, American Jews may have easily disregarded “Tax Freedom Day,” which fell out yesterday, April 23. No it’s not a newfangled holiday you’ve never heard of. And it won’t grant you a day off. Rather, it’s the day when taxpayers finish working for the government and begin working for themselves — at least theoretically.
A rabbi and a private equity guy walk into a Starbucks in Times Square around 8:30 p.m. on a Monday. The rabbi, sporting a dark beard and a pocket-sized Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), orders a grande coffee with soymilk. The private equity investor grabs an iced coffee and a turkey sandwich, and pays for them both.
When Warren Buffett plunked down $4 billion for an 80 percent stake in Israeli-based Iscar Metalworking in 2006, his first-ever foreign acquisition sent an unmistakable message that Israel’s industry is a good bet for foreign investors. Today, though Israel’s economy suffers from a growing income gap between rich and poor, foreign investment is up and Israeli high-tech start-ups are on the rise.
Rachel Rosenfeld opened up a school in Cambodia. Danny Schwartz donated kitchens to six Ethiopian families in Israel. And Becky Weinberg organized “Becky’s Closet,” donating princess-like dresses to needy bat mitzvah girls in Canarsie, Brooklyn.
The common denominator? All three are New York Jews under the age of 18.
When I was a small child in Houston, my mother would come to school every year to teach about Chanukah.
Armed with her guitar, wax-encrusted menorah, dreidels and box of latkes mix, my mother (laying her New York accent on a little thicker than usual) gave my Christian classmates a brief recap of the Maccabee story before launching into some songs. A blonde girl once requested "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer." The teacher looked embarrassed, but my mother laughed and said, "Why not?"