Jews

Does Franzen's "Freedom" Suck?

I do not know about you, but I've been riveted by the debates surrounding Jonathan Franzen's latest novel, "Freedom".  In the new issue of The Atlantic, B.R. Myers strikes a devasting blow against a book that has been otherwise roundly praised.

Stephen Greenblatt to Al Pacino's Shylock: Dead on Arrival

Despite the general approbation for this summer's Shakespeare in the Park staging of "The Merchant of Venice," the production was dealt a serious blow this week.  Stephen Greenblatt, America's leading Shakespeare scholar, wrote a scathing review of Al Pacino's performance in the New York Review of Books.

EU Commissioner Apologizes for ‘Irrational Jews’ Remark

09/03/2010

(JTA) -- The European Union's trade chief apologized for saying that rational discussion about Israel was impossible with Jews and that the Jewish lobby is the most influential in Washington.

Karel De Gucht, a former Belgian foreign minister who is now the E.U.'s Trade Commissioner, had been asked in a radio interview on Thursday for his opinion on renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks launched in Washington.

Choosing Soul Over Mind

Praying on Rosh HaShanah poses a challenge to a devoted Jew for whom god is not on a throne.

Special to The Jewish Week
08/31/2010

I am not a learned Jew. I am neither “religious” nor secular. I grew up in a religious household, and studied for a short time in a Jerusalem seminary. And though I eventually decided Orthodox Judaism was not a good fit for me, I did not entirely abandon Judaism either.

The author will be in synagogue on Rosh HaShanah, “using the prayers others are saying as the backdrop to my own meditation.”

David Mamet: Before He Was Conservative, He Was Jewish. Discuss.

Now that he is an established potentate of American theater, David Mamet has had no trouble saying what he really thinks.  Jews may remember his 2002 essay in The Forward, where he lambasted Jews for over-sympathizing with Palestinians.  They will probably remember better his 2006 book, "The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Jewish Self-Hatred and the Jews," where he took it further, arguing that liberal Jewish antagonism toward Israel was simple self-hate.

Jewish Connectivity, Old And New

07/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

What does a chasidic rebbe’s tisch (literally, table, a large gathering of chasidim around their spiritual leader) have in common with a Birthright mega-event? At first glance, not much.

Teaching Talmud In Moscow

07/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Now that the Russian government permits the practice of religion, I often wonder what is happening to the Jews of Russia. This past May I found out. I spent the month in Moscow teaching Talmud at the Moscow State University for the Humanities. 

Oliver Stone apologizes for Jewish accusations

07/27/2010

(JTA) -- Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone apologized for saying in an interview that the Jewish lobby controls Washington's foreign policy and that Hitler's actions should be put "into context."

Stone in an interview with the Sunday Times also had said that "Jewish domination of the media" has prevented an honest discussion about the Holocaust.

The Damage Done, and the Task Ahead

07/26/2010

The crisis in Israel over the so-called Rotem Bill regarding conversion practices and who should control them has been averted, at least for now. The bill was not brought to the floor for a vote because its sponsor realized he was short of the votes needed for passage.

Only the truly naïve about how these things work believe that this is the end of the story. Like a retrovirus, this issue of “who is a Jew” will surely rear its ugly head again in the not too distant future.

Oliver Stone decries Jewish lobby’s power

07/26/2010
JTA

(JTA) -- Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone in an interview decried what he called the Jewish lobby's control over Washington's foreign policy and said that Hitler's actions should be put "into context."

Stone in an interview with the Sunday Times also said that "Jewish domination of the media" has prevented an honest discussion about the Holocaust.

Jewish organizational and Israeli officials condemned the remarks, which were published Sunday.

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