Jewish

Subversive Swastika: Or, Is Nara's Art Innoncent?

Years ago, on a trip to Japan, I came across a swastika.  Dozens of them, actually, in museums across the country.  I was shocked, what Westerner wouldn't be? 

No doubt this has happened to many Western travelers in Asia, and no doubt many have gotten the re-assuring answer from tour guides or friends: don't worry, it just means "good luck." Buddhists have been using it as a symbol for luck for more than 2,000 years.

The Curious Case of Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Laureate 2010

Mario Vargos Llosa, the Peruvian writer who today won the Nobel Prize for Literature, was not Jewish. But he nevertheless often wrote about them: in "The Storyteller," (1989), about a Jewish anthropoligist in Lima who shacks up with a  tribe deep in the Amazon; as a contributer to the Commentary; and, recently, as an outspoken critic of Israel.

Given his not infrequent association with Jews, it is worth asking what he actually thinks of them. 

Simchat Torah Mysticism in the Age of YouTube

Google Images and YouTube videos are helping Jewish educators create new midrash and bring sacred meaning to age-old traditions. Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz created an innovative, interactive experience for the seven hakafot (circles) of Simchat Torah.

Her "Seven Dances for Simchat Torah in the YouTube Era" is available on the Sh'ma Koleinu website. Sh'ma Koleinu is an online center for spirituality and connection from Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT, which seeks to bring sacred meaning to convey something of the deeper meanings of the High Holy Day liturgy.

"The Dance of Eternity" brings spirituality to Simchat Torah (Artwork of Francene Hart)

When Technology & Shabbat Collide, Give the Benefit of the Doubt

This past Sunday, the president of New York University issued a mass e-mail apology to students and staff. The day after Yom Kippur might sound like a sensible day for issuing apologies, but the question is whether John Sexton actually needed to make a Mea Culpa.

Going Digital for Repentance

Robin Chotzinoff reflects in the August/September 2010 issue of Hadassah Magazine about how she observed the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah (the ten days of repentance) last year by answering a series of e-mail questions from 10Q. Ben Greeman, who launched the project in 2008 explains that "we tried to let people tap back into tradition, but without feeling like they have to pass an entrance exam."

Repent, Renew & Rejuvenate with Reboot's 10Q this Year

Woody Allen's "Tractatus Theologico-Politicus"

In case you missed it, The New York Times snagged a quick but worthy Q&A with Woody Allen today, a week before his new film comes out.  Allen told the Times' Dave Itzkoff that his film, titled "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" and featuring Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts and Anthony Hopkins, was his way of exploring the nature of belief. 

Event Mailing List Signup

To get information on all Jewish Week community forums, just send an "reply" to this email link by

Islam hatred and anti-Semitism...connect the dots

Reading the comments of many Jewish Week readers on the New York Islamic Center controversy, I can't help but wonder why so many fail to see the parallels between their views of Islam and traditional anti-Semitism.

A typical comment goes like this: “Don't you understand that Islam is not a religion, but a violent ideology bent on conquering the world and bringing its population under submission through Sharia law? Haven't you read the Koran?”

Back to School Campus Roundup

09/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Young Jews across the country are leaving the careful watch of their parents this month and returning to their various campuses. For this year’s freshmen, Oreos have always been kosher, McDonald’s has always served bagels, and the Soviet Union is just another chapter in history textbooks.

Kosher Couscous: Or, How Paris Got Its Jews Back

The publishing trend of telling history through food may be approaching its end. In any event, Mark Kurlansky pretty much has the genre cornered, telling history through oysters, cod and salt.

Syndicate content