In his usually precise and incisive way, critic Adam Kirsch tackles a thorny issue: should Christians read their Bible like Jews read theirs? The occasion is a new book--"The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book"--by Case Western religion professor Timothy Beal, who is also the child of evangelical parents.
If you are anything like me, you've been transfixed by the Egyptian revolution. If you value political freedom, human dignity and non-violent resistance as means to achieve both, than this was an event impossible not to love. We all know the future is uncertain--if a legitimate democracy will takes Mubarak's place, and if that democracy will mesh with its former allies, America and Israel among them--but the short history of the revolution itself is what both conservatives and liberals alike in the U.S.
If you haven't heard the pianist Mitsuko Uchida play, do. She's performing tonight at Carnegie Hall -- solo works by Schumann, Chopin and Beethoven -- but even if you miss it, check out some of her albums online.
This week I wrote about the minimalist composer Steve Reich, whose groundbreaking Jewish chorale piece "Tehillim" (1981) is being performed by the teenage new music ensemble Face the Music next Thursday at Le Poisson Rouge. (They'll perform "Tehillim" at other locations over the next few months as well.)
This week I reported on the role Jews played in the civil rights movement under Martin Luther King. It's a fascinating story, and one that many people I interviewed told me remains poorly understood. Often it's reduced to a glib one-liner: Jews supported him, a line captured best by the iconic image of rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walking with King in from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.
Wars are never pretty. They're even uglier in the Middle East, where the lines between conflict and quiet are always in flux. The images that greet us daily from the Muslim world are the most glaring; the endless rampage of hate-fueled violence makes you sick. Forget about the millions who are cowed into silence; even more abhorrent is the constant stream of popular support violence receives. Just look at The New York Times' front page story today on the many respe
When Claude Lanzmann's nine-and-a-half hour epic "Shoah" debuted in 1985, much of Europe was aghast, infuriated, ashamed -- and profoundly moved. No film to date had captured the devolution of humanity that the Holocaust required -- and, years later, the sublimated memory and even outright denial that bystanders, Nazis and even victims still maintained.
CARACAS, Venezuela (JTA) -- On a balmy tropical evening in early December, a few hundred families, mostly of Moroccan descent, gathered to inaugurate the first phase of what eventually will be a grand, two-story marble shul located in a wealthy Caracas neighborhood.
Among them, Claudio Benaim’s family beamed as Benaim stood with Rabbi Isaac Cohen as he recited a prayer into a microphone and affixed a mezuzah on the synagogue’s doorpost. Others admired the new flat-screen TVs listing daily prayer times.
Last summer the Yale historian Timothy Snyder drew much attention with his provocative essay detailing the ways Auschwitz is a poor symbol of the Holocaust: Jews died mainly by bullets, not by the gas chambers typified in Auschwitz. And while most Jews sent to Auschwitz were from Western Europe, the majority of those murdered came from the East.