Lens

03/13/2012 | | Lens

Recognize the historical landmark in the background? It’s Migdal David, the Tower of David, the two-millennia-old citadel near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the walled Old City of Jerusalem.

Recognize the musical landmark in the foreground?

It’s Matisyahu.

03/06/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

For those who can’t make the 5,883-mile pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray at the Western Wall, there’s now a Kotel closer to home.

At the corner of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn.

02/28/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

World competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi has won awards for downing copious amounts of hot dogs, meatballs, Twinkies, hamburgers and pasta.

Last week, with Purim coming up, he tried his hand at hamantashen.

Actually, both hands.

02/28/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Purim, which starts next Wednesday night, is a reminder of the importance of humor in Jewish life — the holiday is traditionally a time of pranks and frivolity. A new book, “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life” (HarperOne, $25.99), by James Martin, a Jesuit priest who works as culture editor at “America,” a prominent Catholic magazine, is a reminder that humor plays a part in other religions.

02/21/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

During a recent educational tour in Canada, Noam Bedein, director of the Sderot Media Center, an independent advocacy organization in the Negev, encountered a surprising amount of support for Israel among the members of the First Nations — the country’s indigenous people, like the Native Americans here — he met. As often-displaced groups, they told Bedein, a Sabra, they understood Israelis’ love for their land.

02/14/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

For several weeks each winter, between Chanukah and Purim, the Weissberg Commons area of Yeshiva University’s Belfer Hall becomes an enormous book fair. More than 15,000 people — families and singles, children and seniors, Orthodox and non-Orthodox — browse through tables and shelves crammed with discounted books and DVDs and educational software offered for sale during The Seforim Sale sponsored by the Students of Yeshiva (SOY).